Danny Yount has stamped his name of some of the most influential title and interface design work for the big screen. Both director and true superstar and leader in the current motion design world, it is almost certain you have seen his amazing work. We were fortunate to have a chance to ask some questions with out next installment of Motionweeknight Blurbs.
MW: How did you start out in the industry? What were your firsts (first project, first client, first headache, first triumph)?
I started as an annual report designer – it was my first job but I was very excited to get into the industry. We were exploring animation and videography for interactive work in the late 90’s when it was all new and that’s when I discovered motion design and editorial.
My first major project was Six Feet Under – it was also my first time directing a film shoot.
My first headache was probably learning how to use a computer on my own by reading manuals and practicing it. My first digital design work was horrible but eventually I started getting better. Probably took me 5 years to reach a good level.
My first triumph was winning several AIGA Gold awards in the Northwest for interactive pieces I made, and then appearing in magazines etc. That sounds shallow I know but as a young designer when that happens you get really excited and more motivated – as though all that work has paid off and that you are final getting validated as a legitimate force in the industry.
MW: What best describes your unique style?
Diversity and exploration. I try to not do the same thing over all the time and I like all sides of the craft – from insanely detailed UI to simple photograpy and minimalism.
MW: Do you have any artist or artists that have inspired you? If so, who?
Probably David Carson and many of the early masters like Saul Bass, Paul Rand, Alexy Brodovitch etc. Right now I would say that a lot of my younger industry friends do.
MW: What software and/or hardware has been instrumental in your growth as an artist?
Same as everyone else – anything Adobe. Also Autodesk Maya. But hardware cannot create good ideas… and it can definitely enhance bad ones.
MW: Any advice for freelance motion graphic artists?
Be smart about what you are working on and who you are working for. Always be professional, learn to draw the line, and be disciplined about your “brand”, both as a person and a small company. If you perform well and are always on time you’ll have more options in the future as you gain a solid reputation. Also do not sacrifice your health for it – there’s more to life than work.
MW: Where would you see yourself in 5 years?
I want to see myself slowing down and enjoying more time reading etc but right now I’m busier than ever, so we’ll see.
MW: What would be your ultimate dream job as a motion design artist?
What I am doing now and what I have done. I have been fortunate to have been with the best companies and people and clients.
MW: What are the major changes that you see in the industry, in terms of how work is completed?
That large companies are not as necessary these days. Social networking has changed a lot of the industry in both good and bad ways.
MW: Where do you see the industry going in the future?
Autonomy will be easier and connections / distance will be more seamless.
MW: We all know that motion graphics take a lot of time to complete. What’s your favorite food to eat when staying up late to work on all these awesome graphics?
Pizza but that is not a good thing haha. For lunch I always have a salad with tuna so I dont get tired.
A big thank you Danny for taking the time to answer some questions for Motionweeknight and its readers.
Check out some of Danny’s work