Someone has said we are the generation who share everything, well not everything, as online personalities are carefully crafted. A brilliant quote taken from the start of your animation Disconnect.
Doug Hindson, tell us how this idea came about and what your thought process was behind making a physically tactile animation in comparison to a digital?
In terms of the medium, since being at university it’s become clear that the digital aspect is vital within the creative sector but at the same time it’s always exciting to see what people do when they do take a step away from the computer. This was the opportunity to take that step and move away; to produce something that was incredibly self indulgent, which of course the film is. I really wanted to take a step to enable myself to learn new skills such as working with wood in the workshop, as it was another fantastic facility at university.
Also the subject matter of the film is quite heavy so it was nice to contrast this and to bring in a fairly simplistic, almost childlike aesthetic into the puppets.
I came about your work through Vimeo itself! The power of social media and sharing is powerful in this day and age. How have you found this to have either positive or negative effects on your work?
It’s one of those things where social media feels like a wild beast you try and tame but with the thought that you, no matter how much you tame it, will be received to the public.
I know a lot of peoples work goes under the radar so when making Disconnect I made a concerted effort to post it across social media. It may come with negative connotations but at the end of the day you’re doing what anyone else would be; showcasing the work you’ve produced to get exposure and a reaction.
Let’s find out a little more about you and your work! If you were to have a catch phrase it would be…
If there was a simple way of summing it up, it would be to work with a focus on narrative and concept but to also push an emphasis on visuals and design – finding a balance between the two.
The sub-heading to my work on my website is that I’m a director, animator, illustrator and maker, which sums up the broad aspects I’m interested in.
As a recent graduate from Kingston, how have you found the transition between education and employment? Have there been any surprises along the way?
There are always surprises! No matter how many visiting practitioners and tutors lectures in university, you need to learn the working world first hand.
University generally left me prepared for the working world, but needless to say there is always something more that can be done. Basic things like the admin of being a creative could be pushed a little more, as it’s the invoicing and business parts that are and have been a learning curve.
How do you balance your work between illustration and animation?
Generally I have moved away from illustration and the work I’m being commissioned and making it animation. When I work on my own personal projects it tends to be in the moving image, so for me illustration has taken a sideline but it has been an integral part and starting point to my profession.
What three objects would you not be able to work without when you are creating new work?
I feel like I would not necessarily need three physical objects, with the knowledge of having my brain there. With that, my hands and eyes would be the three most needed things. I don’t want to rely too much on a set way of working, and feel if I were to have objects I use a lot it may come across and direct my creative direction.
If you were to invent a law for England to follow that isn’t in place at the moment, what would this be?
To listen more to people you don’t agree with and be open minded!
You seem like a busy working maker and creator through your website, between commissioned and personal work. How do you feel they feed together?
In general the personal work is usually where the passion lies, which is where you can experiment. There’s no constraint from the client that allows you to try out new things that you may not have thought of before.
At the same time it can be quite useful having a brief and structure, as it provides direction. When I had just finished university I found it a struggle keeping up the motivation to work on personal pieces, when I had spent the day following another creative brief from a client.
That’s another great thought, as it relies on what motivates you through your working day…
If there is an idea that I would begin to work on, I would try to catch a glimpse as to what I was working on and not losing sight of that final idea ensuring that the essence alive. This of course can be a challenge; as for better or worse, there are obstacles that will come into your working day. These can direct your work and there may be the case that your work is stronger for it.
Final question for you! What can we expect to see next?
3d printing will be an aspect that you will see – it’s part of a project I’m currently working on. Using cutting edge technology but also having influences from 100s of year old techniques is vital and a challenge I’m ready to take on. It’s exciting to see the innovations, speed and size of work that people are coming up with.
Let’s see what materialises.