Respect The Process

“Respecting the Process” was an on-going motto I’d lived with all throughout my time at VFS Digital Design.  I knew, even before arriving at VFS, that process was something I needed to refine and work on; it was a part of my production that I was not very good at and I noticed my work was not living up to its potential because of this. Anyway, throughout my time at VFS Digital Design, it was process that got me through all the long, arduous late nights and the days when I thought I was going crazy. When things go insane or insanely horrible, I would repeat the words “Respect the Process” and I would get through my work just fine.

‘Process’ has pulled through for me yet again. These last few weeks have been very exciting for me. I moved away from Vancouver to head back home to Toronto where I was beginning my job hunt, which was stressful and intimidating at times. I arrived on Monday, January 30th and landed two interviews with motion graphics studios that week — CTV on Wednesday and Crush Inc. (my dream studio) on Thursday.

At CTV, I was interviewed by 3 Creative Directors. (Yes, I was pretty intimidated! But they are amazing people!) I walked them through my work, my grad project, side projects and even my Branding 2 piece! They really liked it all but I felt like they were most impressed by my case-study on my grad project and my museum branding! They liked that I started on paper, sketching and working out basic animation before going to the digital realm.  They even said it was refreshing to see that I was not just a technician. This really made my day! They gave me an offer that day, but I had to ask for some time because I had an interview with Crush Inc. the following day.

My second interview was with Gary Thomas, the Creative Director of Crush Inc. First off, he’s one of the coolest guys I’ve ever met. I was really, really nervous at this point because I was finally meeting the guys whose work I’d been following for over a year. The meeting started with Gary looking at my sketch book. He liked seeing everything from my doodles to my sketches, and, of course, my storyboards. He watched my grad project (Behind the Curtain) and said he really enjoyed it. But what really rocked him was the video case-study! It’s what, I believe, put me ahead. He loved seeing my process and everything that went into my graduate project in 3 minutes. I showed him some side projects (RH Bill infographic and Impact Award animations) and even my title sequence but I made sure to couple those with the storyboards for each so he could see my design process.

He really enjoyed my stuff and gave me a tour of the studio. He asked me to come back for a second interview on Friday where I met the rest of the design team and Executive Producer. In the second interview, I basically showed them what I had showed Gary the first time around and they were thrilled to see how much work I had accomplished in one year and were really surprised I was able to do all of that in 12 months. One of the senior designers was floored when I told her my grad project was only 9-10 weeks long. I told them it was really process that got me through the year and that “respecting the process” was really important to me.

I left the interview feeling very happy and, at that point, even if I didn’t get the position, I knew I was happy with how things had turned out. Suffice it to say, I was thrilled when they presented an offer to me the following Monday. The work and folks at CTV are incredible and I was definitely torn. In the end, I accepted the Crush, Inc. offer because the opportunity felt like the chance of a lifetime to work at my dream company. Now, a few weeks into my role as Motion Designer/Storyteller at Crush Inc., it feels like an extension of what I had learned throughout my year at VFS Digital Design so the transition was quite smooth.

Anyway, I guess my parting words of wisdom are to ALWAYS respect the process. From Term 1 until your dying days because your process will take you places and will put you ahead of the pack. I felt like my work coming out of VFS Digital Design was good, but it was my process that really got me those job offers. Save your sketch books, storyboards and do NOT take your case-study for granted.

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