*Above: Two illustrations prior to working for Stanley Chow and two more recent ones.*
Yesterday marked an exact year since I started working for Stanley Chow, and conversely, it also marked the conclusion to my time as his assistant and animator.
In the past 12 months I’ve experienced the life of a seasoned illustrator first hand, one that has found immense success on a global scale. I started my time there in the same headspace as a graduate (I finished university the year before that) and have left with a much more rounded body of knowledge (and thanks to some buffet/McDonalds Wednesdays, a much more rounded body in general). It’s something I can’t pin down or describe but I’m now able to say I think like a professional, which is the most important aspect of anyone’s career (talent doesn’t come into it). My technical skills haven’t particularly improved (they’ve focussed) but I feel like I’ve had an instantaneous 10 years of experience and my grasp of the creative industry has surfaced to a place where I’m confident and analytical. For this I can only thank Stanley Chow for giving me my first big break, and my year within the orange walls of his studio will be remembered as the major development of my career from toddler to teenager. It’s now my job to Sherpa it into a fully grown adult, with wisdom teeth and taxes to pay.
I still consider myself extremely fortunate to have been selected for the job, especially after speaking to the abundant competition in the small, perfectly formed creative community of Manchester. A community without which I wouldn’t have discovered the job in the first place, or found a sane congress in a career that traditionally makes no sense (getting paid to draw??). The quickest route into said community would be @DrawNorthWest, look at its follower list for the myriad of gruesome ghoulies that make our little city a great place to start as a creative.
I’m very pleased with where my illustration is heading. I plan on further exploring anatomy and colour theory by way of improvement but overall I’m excited. However, I find it impossible to ignore animation. Nothing can grab me like the magnificent beast of story, illustration, music and motion in tandem. (That said, Illustration alone can do this on occasion, but I’m wired for that).
Starting next month, I will be based in the lovely Kilogramme Animation Studio working remotely for creative agency Pale Blue Dot. I’m very excited to be animating and illustrating for their various top tier clients, hopefully adding my own spin to an already brilliant portfolio of work. A few exciting projects are on the table already and I’m looking forward to digging into what will be a wonderful future (disclaimer: freelancing is along for the ride too).