Welcome back to Motionweeknight Blurbs! Thank you for sticking with us, we will be rewarding your loyalty with more wise words and imaginative insights, all from motion graphic giants we have interviewed just for you!
Today’s Motionweeknight Blurb comes from a design heroine, Erica Gorochow!
Our featured artist on Motionweeknight Blurbs has a witty moniker in all the social media, “Gorociao.” She is a freelance designer and animator in New York, so if you want somebody cool enough to make your cool motion graphic videos, then go and look for Gorociao!
Read on, earthlings!
MW: How did you start in the industry?
Erica Gorochow: ￼￼I studied film in school and originally thought I would pursue either screenwriting or editing. While in school I was exposed to experimental filmmakers like Oskar Fischinger and Norman Mclaren, as well as graphic designers like Geoff McFetridge and Mike Mills. A friend clued me into After Effects and at the end of my junior year and I worked feverishly on a bunch of micro projects to learn the software. I lucked out however, when I got a summer internship working for the then, newly minted Lifelong Friendship Society. That studio was everything I wanted to be involved in: a tight knit group of friends making far out little videos for MTV-like clients. I remember walking in for the interview and basically blurting out concern that I was merely a film major, as opposed studying to design or animation. One of the four partners brushed ￼away my worries saying he had studied math in college. It was a great summer.
MW: What best describes your unique style?
Erica Gorochow: ￼￼I’ve never really strived to have an explicit style, just to follow urges that excite me. I hope what I do is less about style and more about tone: bright, crafted, a bit hand-done with a whiff of clever.
MW: What was your first job and project in the industry?
Erica Gorochow: ￼￼My first real job was a freelance gig where I helped Digital Kitchen pitch to the Cosmopolitan Hotel. I had finished an internship at DK in my last year of studying in Chicago. There, I worked with a creative director named Frank Pichel. He invited me to freelance after graduating. I remember how utterly nerve-wracking it was and how I felt like a complete imposter on the conference call with the other designers. Though my design didn’t win DK the job, having someone believe in you in some capacity, as Frank did, helped me to internalize that I could succeed in this business. A mentor early on in one’s career is invaluable.
MW: What software and/or hardware has been instrumental in your growth as an artist?
Erica Gorochow: ￼￼I’d be shy to say even now that I’m an “artist”, but I have the fondest memories of MS Paint. My dad would bring nearly obsolete computers home from his office, so as I kid I had a machine with DOS and Windows 3.1 in my room. I fell deeply in love with computers and became unafraid to poke around, pirate and break things. I’ve always found a sense of empowerment through figuring out how to make things with
￼But on a more practical note, I owe so much to After Effects. I love how easy it is to
start animating, but also how deeply nerdy you can get with it. I have the feeling a gracefully made After Effects project is similar to elegant programming. With a bit of strategy and patience you can create something beautifully dynamic and versatile. I
love that challenge.
Probably more than hardware or software, I’ve found growth by being surrounded by
a community of inspiring, ambitious friends in New York. My conversations with media artists, coders, writers, filmmakers, even friends in the food industry, on how they cope to move forward, pushes me to expand my skillset and reminds me making things is supposed to be zig zagged and messy.
MW: ￼What’s it like working with some of the really well-known studios, like Brand New School, or working with clients like Rihanna? Any horror stories to share?
Erica Gorochow: ￼All studios have their pros and cons. Appearances can also be be deceiving. There are certainly lots of amazing studios I have yet to work for, but I haven’t found that one studio that has it all for me: consistent quality of work, financial stability, talented and ego-less staff. Rather, freelancing around has introduced me to individuals that I have been able to learn from and admire. The other truth is that everything is so fluid in this industry. Talent moves around a lot, new places are opening all the time and many places that were once leaders, fall away.
￼It’s always exciting to work for high profile musicians or companies. But I think it
comes down to what amount of trust a client places in you and how deep the bureaucracy of decision makers goes. Though the commercial business doesn’t usually scale this way, ideally, those who are making can communicate directly with those who want the thing made.
MW: Any advice for freelance motion graphic artists?
Erica Gorochow: ￼￼I think the biggest thing is to balance nuts and bolts with larger thinking. Realize there will always be software to learn and master, but don’t lose site of the bigger picture. Why and what do you want to make? Also, learn to write. Being able to
communicate eloquently will make you invaluable.
￼I have a friend with whom I often talk about this notion of a “wellspring”: what’s the
core thing that excites you about motion graphics or animation or design? More than a cool studio or a shiny tutorial trick, I want to be able to still be enthusiastic about
this field fifty years from now.
MW: Where would you see yourself in 5 years?
Erica Gorochow: ￼￼Fantastic question and one I’ve been talking about with lots of friends in this business. I think my main goal is to maximize time working on projects that genuinely stimulate or challenge me and minimize projects I do strictly for money. I want to continue being in a position where I can largely say no. I want to pursue bigger projects as a director — whether commissioned or personal — with people I respect and enjoy being around.
￼MW: We all know that motion graphics take a lot of time to complete. What’s your favorite food to eat when you’re staying up late working on all these awesome graphics?
Erica Gorochow: I am a total sucker for all gummies Haribo.
We’ve already featured Erica’s amazing reel on the site before, but here it is once again for everyone who wants a preview of her design and animation prowess!
Want more awesomeness? You may reach Erica Gorochow at [email protected] or visit her website at http://gorociao.com/