Questioning Creatives

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This article was written on 07 Apr 2014, and is filled under animators, graphic designers.

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Alessandra Leone

Hi there, I’m Alessandra. I’m from Italy but am currently based in Berlin. The path that brought me to motion graphics and live visuals doesn’t point directly to that. I studied classical music, than Product design at University for the first 3 years, did a master in Communication Design and ended up being a motion graphics designer. So just to make it short: learned about music, liked design, got into graphics, landed on motion graphics and evolved to live visuals in the meanwhile. If you look at it from far away, it just makes sense – graphics that work with sound and develop over time.

I did an internship in an agency in Berlin when I just got here, that did teach me a lot. On the other hand, it made me understand agency life was too tight for me. Simply didn’t give me time to experiment. So I ended up freelancing first in Berlin, than back remotely to my hometown, and finally in the US and UK.

After I decided I wanted to explore live visuals. That was like playing with your videos while listening to music. And has its own magic because you never know what you are going to do. I also was interested in interactivity and performance. So I ended up doing that too. And slicing my time into a 60% clients jobs and 40% personal work. It keeps me alive and eager to investigate, but also pays my living and helps me get better and up to the standards, professionally speaking.

When did you decide you wanted to be motion graphics designer and animator?
I never did, I just realised I was one, at some point . Most likely when I had to update my CV and define what I was.

I have always been attracted by animated images. Both in the form of movie and animation. What was fascinating for me was the way they could drive hearts and minds hand in hand with sound and music. Make you feel one way or another. I was being affected by that, so I wanted to affect people.

Would you recommend studying at art school?
No clue. I did study at a Design University, that nothing had to do with art. It was about marketing – product – concept – brief. Ended up being useful and making a professional out of me. Not sure an art school would have done the same.

How long was it before motion graphics and animation became your primary form of income?
The time to understand how precious is animation work. When you try to do for a living what you like to do, it´s easy to underestimate ( in terms of money ) your work.

Once you have a look at the price your work is sold at – that is way different than what you are offered – you than can start living with it.

What do you wish you’d know when you first started out?
Be conscious about the time you need to make something the best and most clean way. Do not rush, do not get lost. Be able to estimate how long that needs to be done well.

What’s the best thing about being a motion graphics designer and animator? 
Having people appreciating your work, liking your video and commenting on them.

What’s the worst thing about being a motion graphics designer and animator?
At the end of the day, you don’t just turn off the computer and never think of it till next day. Comes with you all the time. Not the worst thing ever, but it´s not easy to learn how to deal with it without getting overwhelmed.

If you weren’t a motion graphics designer and animator, what would you be?
Something less creative and more scientific? even if, in the end, scientific is somehow creative.

Any other tips you could share?
Look around what others do. Then challenge yourself. That’s the best arena you can be into. You, yourself, and all the possibilities possible.

If you work for a client, give shape to what that is willing to tell – a mood, a colour palette, rhythm and personality.

MOTION GRAPHICS portfolio: www.alessandraleone.com

LIVE VISUALS PROFILE : cargocollective.com/aikia

PERFORMANCE GROUP: www.stratofyzika.com

VISUAL INSPIRATION BLOG: liquidmetalsunbeams.tumblr.com

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