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Today, we are joined by Chris Ballard .he is a Motion Grapher You can view his portfolio here.

  •  How would you describe your style of work?

I do my best not to have one consistent style, but to let the brief dictate which visual approach I should take. My job as a designer  creative is not to project the same style into all of my work, but to act as a catalyst for the specific needs of the client and/or project on a case by case basis. That being said, I do have certain design philosophies that I use to govern my work. For example, I believe strongly in consistency, simplicity, and personality. Simplicity makes the message immediate, consistency makes it cohesive, and personality makes it visceral. There are countless ways to approach these needs in the context of each client.

  • What advice would you offer to creatives hoping to follow a similar route?

Creativity and awesome work does not happen in a vacuum. No matter what type of work you aspire to do, it is important to surround yourself with the best teams, and talented people you can learn from. Collaboration and dialogue are very essential. It is here that you learn how to improve your skills, and combine them with the strengths of others to produce the best work you can. Over the past 5 years, I have been fortunate to be surrounded by very talented people who constantly challenge and teach me things. This has been integral in helping me to grow stronger as a creative.

  • What creative designers inspire your work today?

I have diverse interests, and there are many amazing creatives who inspire my work. However, I also believe that nature is the best designer. I get a lot of inspiration from looking at the natural environment, micro-ecosystems, organic topographies, taxonomies, and geology. I love conceptual art, and following tropes of pop culture. As far as people go, a lot of the creative directors I have worked with in the past have mentored and inspired me. At B-Reel РPetter Westlund, Patrik Blohmé, Ian Bauer, Mark Wheeler, Karl Ringman. At Mirada РMathew Cullen, Mark Kudsi, Jesus de Francisco, Kaan Atilla, to name a few.

  • What has been your favourite project to date? Why?

IBM Centennial was probably my favorite. It was a large team full of stellar creatives. From the directors to the designers, to the coders to the producers – everyone brought something unique to the table. I had the opportunity to be involved in almost every aspect of the exhibit, and learned a lot as a result. I also love that the exhibit was guided by a more genuine idea – which was to celebrate human innovations that have worked for the betterment of society and the world at large.

  • What software do you use?

For software I use primarily the usual set of Adobe Products – Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, etc.

  •  Do you have any hints for people interested in the industry, any ideas on how to get started in motion graphics?

Find someone who’s work you really admire and ask them questions. Ask them to lunch, and have them review your work. Try to find mentors. Get feedback from many people in the field to cast a wide net. When I first started out, I was fortunate to have people who believed in my potential, and gave me chance to grow and prove myself. It was these opportunities that built a foundation for my career.
Always stay true to the work you want to do, as this will keep you inspired and actively engaged in your goals. Money is important, however in the beginning it is more about the projects you get in your portfolio, rather than how much you get paid. It is these projects that will draw attention to you, and set a healthy foundation for the rest of your career. Don’t undervalue your work, but also never let money stop you from doing the type of work you want to do. The most interesting jobs aren’t necessarily always the most profitable ones.

  • Are there one or two things you wish you had known when you were just starting out?

When I was first starting out, I felt like I needed to over work in order to prove myself. Production is a very fast paced industry, and creatives are expected to churn out beautiful and cinematic work at a colossally rapid rate. It can be very intimidating for someone at the very beginning who might not be as fast at the programs, or have set methods of how they work. If I could talk to a younger me, I would remind myself that it is essential to manage time wisely, but not overwork yourself. It is important to get up from your desk and go walk around every several hours. Take breaks to regain your thoughts and your strategy. If you spend every day completely glued to your computer without getting up once, you will tire yourself out and not perform up to your highest potential. Stay active, stay focused, and stay inspired.

  • What is the single most important thing you need to do or be to excel in our industry?

There are many great traits that make a successful creative, but if I had to pick one as being most important, I would say that being very interested is essential. This might sound very basic at face value, but is a fact that interested people tend to make more interesting work. There are many components to being a person who is genuinely interested. An interested person immerses him/herself in information about what they want to do. They love problem solving, envisioning, and refining. They love sharing their knowledge with others, and in turn tapping into the knowledge that others possess. They possess a genuine  intellectual curiosity and look for inspiration in unexpected places. It is this deep interest that will guide a creative to develop to his or her best self.

  • If you could have a dream job in the industry, what would it be?

I currently work with a very amazing team of directors, designers, writers, technologists, and producers at B-Reel, who continuously amaze me with their genius. All together, they form one of the most specialized and highly respected bodies in advertising today. My dream job at the moment is to continue to grow and develop with these talented people. To work on meaningful projects that tell stories, shape culture, and hopefully inspire others.

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