Ahead of this week's Light Bytes events, we spoke to motion design specialists Werewolf about the importance of technology in the arts
Ahead of our upcoming Light Bytes events, we spoke to Edinburgh based motion design specialists Werewolf about the importance of technology in the arts. Werewolf will be taking part in Light Bytes [Edinburgh], an informal mixer event aimed at discussing the digital connecting theme and supporting the growth and amplification of digital leadership and innovation within the cultural sector. Events will also be taking place in Dundee and Glasgow.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR CREATIVE BACKGROUND?
Ha, that is a long story! I’m originally from Vancouver, Canada. I started off as an illustrator, designing for local comic books and brands and then got my first position at a mascot company in Edmonton, Alberta. At this point I was really into music production, so I decided to go into a career of composition and recording. I kind of forced that path but every time I got a job within the music industry, I always ended up doing their branding, packaging, brochures and catalogues. When I was in the music industry I started doing much more audio-visual stuff for events across the globe. I realised at that point that what I was fighting, which was graphic design and moving image, was actually my calling. And rather than fight that, I decided to go down that route rather than focusing on music which was proving to be a little more difficult than I anticipated. Now I’m here doing motion design and 3D!
CAN YOU GIVE US AN INSIGHT IN TO YOUR PRACTICE AND WHAT YOU DO?
Predominantly, Werewolf is a motion design studio creating animations for large and small clients. Since starting last April, we have delved deeper into technology to expand our motion design skills across multiple platforms. So, a year on, we are now expressing our creativity by expanding our field of vision to things like motion tracked projection mapping, Augmented and Virtual Reality, digital ink surface and much more. The future of Werewolf will be full of harnessing new technology to showcase the moving image medium over a wider set of platforms which will make it more accessible to a wider audience. This is the future of motion design and integrating our ideas and skills with technology is always at the top of our list.
WHAT ROLE DOES TECHNOLOGY PLAY IN YOUR WORK?
Technology plays a huge part in what we do from applications, the software we use to develop our animations or 3D assets, all the way to different broadcast channels and application usage; coming up with new ideas on how to harness moving image on different platforms such as digital ink surfaces, transparent screen, holographic, augmented reality and VR technology. All these new platforms will help us push the boundaries of what we’re capable of producing. It allows the company to explore new horizons and grow and develop into new areas. Technology is at the forefront of our minds when we’re developing any kind of asset for our clients. It plays a massive role in what we do as this is the way things are moving forward.
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE USE OF DIGITAL MEDIA IN THE ARTS?
As we’re a society that uses different technology, whether it’s mobile, computers or signage, I think it’s really important for anyone in the design or art world to explore new technologies; whether that’s sensor-tracked gismos, projection technology, augmented reality or anything else that’s coming out in the future such as tangible interactive installations. I think these things are really important to explore because it allows people to separate themselves from the traditional digital medium, which is just a screen, and actually interact with something physically in a space surrounded by their mates or colleagues or just a random person who is interested in this piece of work. It allows for further engagement with people’s artwork. I think that everyone should explore and experiment with digital technology in all forms and functions because this is where we’re heading in the future.
ANY EXCITING PROJECTS OR EVENTS YOU HAVE ON THE HORIZON?
There’s actually quite a few projects we have coming up. Light Bytes is just around the corner, an exciting event where we'll be exploring the digital connecting theme. There’s a big animation project we’re working on at the moment, which we can’t speak too much about. But it will be launched soon and we’ll be putting it out through all our social media channels and sharing the process of how we work, what we’ve been up to and the experimentation with the actual animation itself. We have 3D animations coming up as well and a couple of events we’re involved in, including speaking at Creative Mornings. There are some augmented reality and virtual reality projects coming up as well. Generally speaking, we’re trying to push ourselves down multiple avenues and see how much we can get in terms of engagement with our clients. There’s plenty of work coming up, so keep checking our website and social media channels!
WHAT MAKES EDINBURGH A GOOD CITY TO BE BASED?
From my point of view, I think Edinburgh has a lot of talent from students, freelance artists and a lot of gifted people who are kind of under the radar in the industry; those that are doing their own thing and practising what they do at home. There are loads of technology start-ups happening within Edinburgh, from online applications for the financial sector to 3D motion track speech companies. There’s a plethora of offerings happening in Edinburgh and it’s great because it’s such a small town with such a great vibe. There’s so much energy here for design, communication, digital development and the arts. I think that it’s a hub that has started out fairly small and is now growing a lot more popular internationally. People are coming here to be involved in a lot of events happening in Edinburgh. I think it’s a great place to start out and develop as an artist.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE THINKING OF PURSUING A CAREER IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES?
Continue to do what you love to do regardless of what anyone ever tells you. This is an industry full of critics and people who like to analyse your work without giving proper constructive feedback. There are times when you’ll feel disoriented about what you do and maybe lose a bit of belief in your creative ability or your process or your capacity to work with people. But regardless of those situations, continue to persevere, work really, really hard to become as best as you can be and everything will work out in the end. So just stay true to yourself, basically.