Meet Stew, and find out what it's like to be a Senior Creative here at Animade.
Quite a bit, but in a nutshell, I’m responsible for directing multiple projects simultaneously and managing our teams to the best of their abilities so we can exceed our clients’ expectations. I lead projects, but I never dictate them. We have such an array of talent at our studio that we can inject so much creativity into our work. We hold a lot of emphasis on everyone's voice being heard, so project meetings are always filled with everyone pitching in ideas and getting involved, from Junior Creatives to our Producers. Then it's my job to manage all these wonderful creative ideas and steer them towards our brief.
During pre-Covid times, my day would involve battling the not-so-fun commute and getting into the studio for around 8:30 am, which was a really nice way to get settled. We’d have a little breakfast club going, with more people joining as they walked through the door. We would all enjoy a cup of Stew-brew (brewed by yours truly). Since the pandemic, mornings are not as social anymore, unfortunately, but still provides a great time to strategise any feedback we may have received overnight with our Creative Directors and Producers before addressing the creative team. Two days are never really the same, but that’s what I enjoy in our line of work, it keeps you on your toes. After the morning meetings and delegating tasks, it's all a balancing act. Directing, giving feedback, jumping on calls, giving more feedback, putting decks together... and more feedback. Then usually it's rounded off by presenting some wonderful creations from the team to our clients.
Directing is very rewarding. I enjoy working with various members of our team and taking something from this to THIS!!!! I may not be as hands-on with the creative as I used to be, but being able to help guide an animator or designer and help elevate their work, even more, is a joyful process.
I always knew from a young age I wanted to be an animator - I just loved cartoons! My Mum would say I lived in a cartoon world. I’d love to create characters wherever I could. All my school books would be caked in doodles, one which included 50 evolution stages of my own pokemon (good ol’ maths lessons). It took a lot of commitment and patience, but I just kept knocking on the door.
The challenges. Every new brief has its unique challenges, and it's something I love. I enjoy gathering together with the team to work out ideas and solve these creatively while maintaining the highest standard we strive for. Having our incredible workforce makes this process more enjoyable and less painful.
It's a cliche, but there have been so many. But I would say the films we created for Google Arts and Culture about Bauhaus was a stand-out moment for me. It was one of my first big projects, and it was super exciting! We were able to inject so much character and charm into something so broad and tactile. It was a lovely collaboration with the Google team and super rewarding. So much so that our characters were printed and used to decorate the Bauhaus museum in Berlin!
Be patient and keep persisting. I used to sit in on many seminars at uni, with animators talking about getting their break. It was hard to imagine when trying to land your first job. But keep going, it really does pay off! And when you do land yourself a role within the industry, play nice. Animation is a wonderful community and so collaborative. You don’t want to be “that person”.
Being at Animade for over five years, I have had quite a few. These include: winning the murder mystery night, being a reigning Foosball champ, watching the champions league final, and having our Christmas party on a barge. There are so many wonderful highlights, but having the freedom to express our creativity through play projects is a fantastic thing. I’m in a very fortunate position to do what I love as a job, so being able to create my illustrations and animations at work (when it's not so busy) is incredible, and it gives me the freedom to utilise my own time to pursue other interests.
Fun, creative, and selfless.
Written by Stew Harvey, Senior Creative.