You either wait for luck to happen, or you go and make it happen yourself. Motion graphics designer Matt 'Mograph' Richings belongs more to the second group: headhunted by an Adam&EveDDB senior creative at a networking event, Matt has always created his own luck and he's still dreaming of brighter and brighter days for his career.
Jumping between his Pinterest boards and a bunch of sports to keep active, Matt loves his job and you can tell by the amount of incredible projects he's worked on, including one for Virgin Atlantic.
For this Member Spotlight, we are learning more about the career of an ambitious designer, who dreams that clients could trust artists a bit more and let 'magical things' happen more often.
How did you get into the industry?
I always wanted to learn how to animate so I studied animation at uni. After gaining my degree in animation I helped develop a few iPhone games with an app developer where I created all the artwork and animation.
From that experience and various freelance jobs, I had enough in my portfolio to get a full-time position as a motion designer in London working at an inflight entertainment company. The experience taught me a lot about branding and design for motion whilst working with brands such as Emirates, Qatar Airways and Air New Zealand.
I went to a networking event where I ended up being headhunted by a senior team member at Adam&EveDDB. A few months later I joined their in-house production agency creating motion graphics for a range of awesome brands. (So, keep going to network events, you never know who you might get talking too!)
Where are you based now and who do you work for?
I’m now based in my hometown of Nottingham and currently work for an agency called Skeleton. I’m fortunate enough to have a lot of creative control over the motion projects I work on, including pitching concepts and initial designs to clients. I have a passion for art direction so I enjoy designing visual styles that push companies to think more creatively.
Can you explain your creative process?
My process is a typical pre-production process really. It starts by finding out what the client's strategic needs are and then look at their brand as a whole to see what I have to work with. I would then scour my various Pinterest boards for inspiration to then create a moodboard for the project. I then build styleframes that are inspired by the moodboard and brand assets. If I discover a new creative trend or want to try a new technique that would be a good fit for the project then I’d try and incorporate that into the design to keep things looking contemporary and fresh. Then it’s jumping into After Effects/ Cinema 4D or both to start animating.
How has technology affected the way you work (if at all)?
At the moment technology has affected the way I work hugely. Mainly because I have been working remotely since the pandemic lockdowns came into effect. Motion design software is also evolving all the time so I have to evolve along with it or risk getting left behind.
What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?
There is so much amazing motion work being created and put out there at the moment so it’s hard not to be inspired by it! Finding motivation can be difficult. Jumping head first into a project without doing the background work can lead you down a confused path full of frustration. So, I make sure to take time with the pre-production phase as it makes the creative process much easier and makes me motivated to want to bring my designs to life.
What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?
Tough question. I’ve been doing some nice work recently but when I was at Adam&EveDDB I worked on a lot of campaigns that were distributed over the country. So, I would be walking to work or waiting for the tube and something I animated would appear on a digital billboard which would always put a smile on my face.
How do you recharge away from the office?
Keeping active really as I sit at a desk for most of the day so I don’t want to become a hunchback! I like to play various sports like squash and golf and get outdoors as there are lots of nice areas to explore near me.
What advice would you give to other aspiring creatives looking for work?
If you can’t find work then keep on crafting and creating things to hone your skills. Set yourself design challenges and get your work out there to gain exposure. There are so many online platforms and social media channels available now to showcase your work and connect with other creatives. Don’t give up! If you want it hard enough and are passionate about what you do then that will shine through in your work.
What’s your one big hope for the future of the creative industries?
I’d like to see more passion projects being created by agencies. A lot of what we do is based around advertising or driving sales so the creative is always restricted by that. There are so many great artists out there who could come together to create inspired stories or provoke positive changes through design.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
I’d like clients to trust designers / agencies more when it comes to the creative process. Behind the scenes a lot of thought and strategy goes into creating a campaign / video project which is really important to the success of the creative. When designers and clients are aligned, magical things can happen.