Hello Anders. Please tell us, what is your current position for now, where do you work and where are you located? I currently work as a design director for Transistor Studios in their Los Angeles office. Our offices are conveniently located a block from the beach which is awesome.
As we know, you were designing mostly web and graphics before, now you turned into broadcast. Why?My background for getting into design was electronic music. I have been making electronic music for many years and love the way you can tell a story with music due to the timeline factor. For many years I was really inspired by the cd cover artwork of my favorite music artists and I decided that I wanted to get into design. After many years in design I started to miss the time aspect of design, the evolving timeline, the room for a narrative. So motion graphics was a natural progression for me. I made the transition into motion graphics in 2002.
But speaking about the future, what are the goals? I really want to get into commercials more. I find the commercial world exciting and fun. I like working to a brief and love writing treatments. Ad agencies are usually a pain in the neck to work with but apart from that I find the business from a creative point of view very rewarding. My style, even though I would call it diverse, always incorporates large amount of 3D and that is very costly to make.The budgets for tv commercials are usually much higher than broadcast design so you have more resources to flex you creative muscles. So thats my long term goal, to get more involved with that.
But you work for clients like MTV now, some people are dreaming about that. Will you do the same for MTV, for example when you will be doing mostly commercial ads?they usually give you lots of creative freedom in exhnage for low pay. But its all good. Its not all about money. In an ideal work its all about doing the work because you love to. Ofcourse the reality is a bit different but its what motivates me. I have a really hard time to get motivated by money-only jobs. If a job hasnt got room for experimentaion or trying somethig new i usually do not find it very interesting.So to answert your question, i woudl always love to do stuuf for MTV since you can usually get away with doing quite crazy stuff.
Do you surf on the net on the design magazines for now? Where do you think its going, lots of similiar sites… Some designers already think that nobody can make creative and unique web stuff these days. What is your opinion aboit it motion graphics then, is that the same as online design?I do not surf design sites very much actually. Hardly ever. Not that i dont care about the community but because my best inspiration is usually found elsewhere. So its hard for me to tell where its all heading web-wise. But i do think that more and more stuff is startig to look the same in motion graphics. When a ceratin style gets trendy and hip then all the tv stations and ad agencies want that exact thing everytime. That kind of sickens me. Its very unoriginal and its very pronounced in the US. Europe seems a little different even though thats a harsh generalization. The European market tends to want high qualtiy designs based on traditional aesthetic values – less is more. In the US its all about quantity and the whole maximalism style with millions of cutouts and tons of stuff slapped on top of each seems very popular.
Ok, speaking about your offline life, what do you, how do you rest? Sports? Hobbies?Its not secret that I work alot. Too much probably. But the little time I have left I spend working out in Gold's Gym Venice. Its entertaining working out next to The Rock, Lou Ferrigno, Hulk Hogan and Mickey Rourke. The last 10 years of abuse of my body from all the late nights, bad food, no sleep and stress made me realize that I had to do something. Now i'm in awesoem shape and turned into a total fitness gimp. I love it. Apart from that I still make music on the side whenever I get a free moment, which is rare. I'm also a die hard Formula1 fan. I want to get into motorcycle and hope to make that my new hobbie.I try to keep my life simple and uncluttered, some my say I live a very monotone life but it's what make me the happiest.
Speaking about your work process, how do you start? Do you animate it by yourself, or you just create the idea and stills? As a design director you usually create the idea or concept then you design and direct it all. Sometimes I help out on the animation side but its getting very rare these days.
But if you would turn into commercials, what position would you take? What would you do then?Same thing. Design direction. I would never just do straight up live action, i'm a designer by heart and that would always be my approach.
Ok, if I would go on the same way, Id love to be a designer and then a director like you. What would you suggest me to do? How to start and how to make it happen?There are so many way to get here. The way i got into this position and many others like me was to get really good at design. Get good an fast at design. Get good at conceptualizing. Learn how to animate well and you're basically there. Get lots of practical experience in teh business as a juniro designer/animator and then move up because you grow out of your role. That's it. Its easy, it just takes LOTS and LOOOOTS of practice and hours spend infront of the screen.
Do you have such situations when you are not inspired enough to do your job? If yes, how do you make work happen then?See thats the golden question. But usually I just try to submerge myself into the job. I try surf a lot of sites on the subject, buy some books, go somewhere nice with a sketch pad and doodle around. Try to get away from teh screen i sometime even stay at home. The worst thing for me if i'm in a creative block or just plain uninspired is sitting infront of the screen trying to come up with something. Sketchpad, ipod, books and coffe usually does the trick.
Work in office or home – what is the difference for you? Where is better and why? Why i think that works is because you chnage your surroundings. If i was always working from home i bet i would be inspired by going to work.Its a matter of change of pace and space.
So you awake early morning easly? Even if you went to sleep lately.I don't go to bed late anymore. I try to make the most of my time. but ofcourse it happens during crazy deadlines. I go to bed at 11:30pm and wake up 7:15am.
Do you still get a lot of email regarding – how did you make it and blah blah blah? And of course job opportunities I guess, right?Yes i still get emails like that but i havent updated my site in a while so it has slowed down a bit. I've had quite a few headhunters contacting me lately too. Its always fun to hear whats on offer these days.
Working as a fulltime employer you never take any freelance, right? No i don't. I'm believe that if my fulltime job cannot satisfy my needs creatively and financially then its not the right job for me. And for now I'm happy at Transistor.Also as i get more into the role as a design director i realize that its much more fun having a crew of animators than doing it all by your self. When lots of creative minds gets together great things usually come out, and as a one-man-band i find it hard to create work that can be animated by myself only. Most of my ideas are too complex to animate myself and i love working with talented animator and 3d artists, so working as a freelancer doesnt give me the same satisfaction.
Do you think communication is important between designers? Do you have friends/designers who can help you and you communicate with them? If some of them are well known on the net, tell us!I have a few people i trust for their feedback and critique. People whose ideas and aesthetics that i admire and that i know will give me honest constructive feedback. Graphic design is all about solving a problem visually not just about creating eyecandy, and i find that this topic is what is interesting to discuss with other designers in the brainstorm phase of a project.
Ok, and the last. You are mainly from denmark, right? Do you like to live in states? What is better and what is not?I'm danish yes. 100% danish. And the more I'm away from Denmark the more i realise what it means to be Danish. I get more and more patriotic as time goes by actually. I have travelled a lot with my job and experienced a lot of cultures and each place their own pros and cons.
I love the way danish people socialize and not so much how they do it in the States. But love the way people do business here. Its very aggressive and proactive and people take chances. Usa is a fun place for me to experience but its seem like a differnt planet to me. I keep thinking that I find it all so backwards here but i'm sure they would say the same if they ever tried to live in Denmark.