(guess post by James Mulligan, DD36)
On a Sunny afternoon, September 29th our class, the DD36s, left school to go on an industry visit to the renowned Giant Ant studio. We walked excitedly through the streets of historic Chinatown until we eventually came to their building, a storefront off the beaten path.
As you enter the nondescript front, you enter a small hive buzzing with activity. The world we entered was warm and inviting. It was well-lit and the hardwood surfaces were polished. Staff were busy at their Macintosh workstations. We were welcomed by Jay who had a friendly casual demeanor and we didn’t realize until he told us that he is the co-founder and partner of Giant Ant. He ushered us into what looked like a glass-fronted log cabin nested into the larger room. Once inside, Jay showed us some of their projects and spoke about their creative processes including the inspiration and direction that went into each piece.
As he showed us some of their recent work, some themes emerged. Giant Ant uses positive framing, and they incorporate aesthetic beauty. They have a unique and original way of framing their subject matter; this allows them to prioritize creativity over following trends. Giant Ant has earned its reputation among clients, and this keeps the phones ringing. Many of their clients are from Silicon Valley and they have to turn many down. Giant Ant is a self-described family of animators and creatives who pick and choose their work, they are happy with the size of their team and feel no need to expand.
“Everything we put into the world is a statement of our taste,” Jay told us. He and his wife got into this business by making videos on YouTube originally. They showed us one of their charming originals. Seeing their skill level develop in earlier work was inspirational for the motionographers in our class.
As we left the building, I think we shared a general impression that Giant Ant is what a successful business can look like. They can be choosy with their clients, the workplace subs in as a family, and they get to use their creative skills. It gave our class something to aspire to.
The accolades for Ainara Sáinz Gutierrez continue to pour in. Her graduate project, FRAME, was named the winner of the Web & Mobile category yesterday by a judging panel of The Rookies, an international competition for young designers, creators, innovators, and artists. Judging criteria were based on Overall Impression, Creative Skills, Technical Skills, Range of Skills, Complexity, Presentation, and Industry Employability. Congratulations also to Ignacio Flórez and David Rivera for being selected as finalists in the Motion Graphics and the Web & Mobile categories respectively. 479 schools from around the world (77 countries) were also ranked, and Vancouver Film School was named the School of the Year in the Web & Mobile category and the Runner-Up for Motion Graphics.
Five Digital Design graduates were named winners of the 2016 Applied Arts Student Awards competition yesterday. The work was judged by a panel of senior communications professionals, and the winners were selected based on creative merit, technical excellence and suitability for end use. The following is a list of the six projects and names of the winners:
Ainara Sáinz Gutierrez
Maggie (Juei-Hsuan) Wang
Maggie (Juei-Hsuan) Wang
The winners will receive the following:
- Their work published in the November/December 2016 Student Awards annual
- Their work published online in November
- A complimentary copy of the November issue
- Digital tear sheets of their published work
- A personalized award certificate signed by the founder of Applied Arts, noted graphic designer Georges Haroutiun
- Their work displayed at the Creative Futures Expo, November 8-9 at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, where more than 1,500 aspiring creative artists, high school students and their teachers will visit
Congratulations to all the winners!
(guest post by Dylan Endicott, DD35)
The Digital Design 35th class at VFS was given the opportunity to get an inside look at everything Giant Ant. When Louise Lee, the heart that pumps blood through the DD program, told our class that we would get to visit Giant Ant, there was an eruption of enthusiastic proportions. There is a reputation that Giant Ant holds as one of top-notch studios in the motion graphics industry.
Our impression of them only improved after our visit. Seeing and learning a bit about their process really solidified for us the fact the money doesn’t drive this studio — It’s passion. Collectively, the class now knows that big things truly do come in small packages. What Jay and Leah have built in such a competitive industry is not only impressive but incredibly inspiring. Jay led the class on an adventure through Giant Ant’s files and process, which, to some, may not sound like fun, but our class could have stayed all day.
Congratulations to Ignacio Flórez for winning a Salazar Award last night in the Video & Motion category for his project, Foxy Matter, a title sequence for a fictional animated movie. He was presented with a cash prize and an award certificate. Ignacio follows in the footsteps of a long list of VFS Digital Design graduates who have won this award. The Salazar Awards are presented by the British Columbia Mainland Chapter of The Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC/BC) and founding sponsor Metropolitan Fine Printers to promote the work of students from design programs in BC. Hanna Cortés was named a finalist and honourable mentions were also given to Adriana Ogarrio and Jay Lee for their motion design projects.
Congratulations to everyone!
The evening also included a panel discussion, moderated by Johnathon Vaughn Strebly, President of GDC/BC, between Roy White (Subplot Design), Nancy Wu (Nancy Wu Design) and Katie Maasik (Lululemon) addressing topics related to agency, freelance and in-house design career opportunities.