James is Squeezed Media’s resident cat-fanatic, junior motion graphic designer, and video producer. We took him aside for a chat about his career so far.
- How did you end up at Squeezed Media?
I originally used to work at a school as a marketing production manager doing all the school’s promotional material. It was fun but it wasn’t really fulfilling. I found Squeezed Media on Google and sent them an email asking if I could have some work experience or an internship. They told me to come on in for a chat. I showed them my work and they gave me two weeks of experience. This was around December, so I designed the annual Christmas video. I learnt so much because I had never used Adobe Illustrator before. I guess I proved myself to the team because they gave me freelance work for the next 5 months. And at the end of that period, I was given a permanent job. So that’s my Squeezed Media journey.
- Which skills from working as a marketing production manager were transferable to working at Squeezed?
I had a lot of skills from before that I wasn’t using when I was working at the school. It was only meant to be a temporary job for me to develop my portfolio until I thought I was ready to move onto something serious. Moving to Squeezed Media meant I could use and improve my already existing skill-set.
- So how did you get that skill-set in the first place?
At that point, everything I knew had been self-taught, really. I started making videos when I was like nine or ten, so by the time I was eighteen my skills were at an employable level. I started with video production, specifically stop-motion animation. Then when I was twelve or thirteen I heard about this software called After Effects. That’s where it turned into a very serious hobby.
I was basically a sponge for anything digital and media related. I began to teach myself web design, Photoshop, 3D stuff, and a lot of 3D simulations.
At Squeezed Media I do video production, editing, motion graphic design, and a bit of 3D motion graphics. I also do web design and web management.
- Is there one bit you particularly want to focus on? What’s the dream role?
I’ve always found this hard to answer. I think motion graphics is my main thing because I know I’m alright at it. I’ve still got a lot of room to develop and progress, though. I’ve learnt so much already from working with everyone at Squeezed Media. I’m excited about becoming a faster artist and developing a more solid and varied style.
- What’s your advice for those wanting to get into the industry?
I don’t know – I’m not exactly a pro, am I?
- Ok. Do you have any advice for those who want to become a junior motion graphic designer?
First of all, always practice your craft. The more you practice, the better you’re going to be. Don’t be afraid to work for free. Try and get work experience and stuff like that because you’ll be more employable in the long run. When I did work experience at Squeezed Media I learnt so much in such a short amount of time it was insane. Throwing yourself into the deep end is usually the best way to learn because it’s so hands-on. Also, make sure you develop your show-reel and get your portfolio looking the best it can. And don’t give up!
- What’s your favourite thing about motion graphic design?
My favourite thing about motion graphics is the fact that you can do it all from a computer and you don’t have to go out. It’s also cool how the possibilities are endless. The only limit is your imagination. It’s all down to you really.
- And your least favourite thing?