As a top motion graphic designer, Chris Guyot is used to tapping into his creative side. But after years designing for clients such as Google, Adobe, Facebook and even fashion house Ted Baker, Guyot has become an expert in client relations, too.
He sat down with DesignRush to share where he finds his inspiration, the tough lesson he learned working with his first big client, how motion graphics will evolve in the future and more.
"Make things that you love and then share them"
DesignRush: How did you discover motion graphic design and decide it was what you wanted to pursue?
Chris Guyot: From an early age, I've always loved music and art. In high school, I discovered rudimentary video editing that allowed me to pair images with sounds in an artful way. As I explored that further, I realized I wanted to make things "come alive" on screen. I didn't discover motion design as a commercial profession until very early in my college career, maybe mid-2007. For me, it felt like the perfect marriage of art and sound over time. Motion design was still in it's relatively earlier stages at this point. Even the simplest design-based vector animations felt magical to me. I was instantly hooked when I saw those early simple graphic design-based animations.
DR: Do you have any tips for networking and scoring client leads?
CG: A lot of my clients end up finding my work online, or are referred to me via mutual friends. It has taught me to not be afraid to reach out to people and make friends.
DR: How do you stay motivated in your career?
CG: For me, motion design is both my hobby and my career. I really enjoy making art simply for the fun of it. That's what keeps me motivated to complete client work. Once the client work is finished, I can resume the fun stuff.
DR: Where do you find inspiration in your day-to-day life?
CG: Honestly, being around people who are relentlessly chasing their dreams is super inspiring to me. It drives me to work harder and really pour myself into my personal work. My wife recently started a floral design company, and I don't think I've ever witnessed anyone working so hard in my life. I'm also inspired by my peers who are crushing it and sharing work on platforms like Behance, Instagram, and Dribbble.
DR: What design tools do you swear by when creating?
CG: I swear by these four: Cinema 4d, Octane Renderer, After Effects, and Photoshop.
DR: You've done some work for a lot of cool clients. What are some of the bigger names you've worked with?
CG: Recently I've worked with Disney, Google, Instagram, Adobe, and Facebook.
DR: What are some of your favorite projects you've worked on?
CG: My favorite project to date is a personal piece that I created with my good friend Paul McMahon called "All The Things." I think it's my favorite because it's currently the only piece I've worked on for over a year. We really pushed ourselves and our personal styles and had an absolute blast doing so.
DR: What are some designers or brands that you draw inspiration from?
CG: I'm massively inspired by some of the great design studios out there -- Buck, Giant Ant, Oddfellows, ManvsMachine. They are constantly killing it and putting out incredible work.
DR: How do you see businesses using motion graphics in the future?
CG: As our society continues to dive into the world of pixels and using screens in more places, I think animation will become even more of a necessity. Currently, lots of stuff is happening in the VR/AR space, but I honestly just think that animation will become a standard wherever screens are being used.
DR: Tell us about your first big project. What did you wish you had known going into it, and what did you learn coming out the other side?
CG: I think my biggest learning experience with my first large client project was severely under-estimating how much time would be required for client revisions in order to fit a budget scope. I learned the hard way that it's important to build a bit of cushion into the budget so that there's a bit of wiggle room in case things don't go exactly as planned.
DR: What advice do you have for creatives who are new in their career but looking to grow?
CG: If I were to offer myself advice about 8 years ago, I'd simply say to keep making things that you love and then share them. It's really easy to start new personal projects and be fired up in the initial phase, but it's extremely important to finish those pieces that we start and publish them online. That will not only further develop your unique voice but will also increase your online exposure.
DR: Any final thoughts, comments, or words of wisdom you'd like to share with someone in the industry?
CG: For me, personal projects are the lifeblood of my career. One thing that I heard someone say once that I find extremely relevant and useful in regards to personal projects specifically is this: Take your idea and cut it in half (in terms of scope). Then, cut it in half again. Once you do that, you'll have something that can actually be finished in your spare time versus something that will never be seen to completion.
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