We spoke on 20th November 2020
Hey James, first of all, How are you doing?
It's strange times indeed but I'm doing alright thanks, Morgan. How are you?
Great thanks, for anyone that doesn’t know, who is James Holland?
I'm a motion designer and 3D artist from 'the north', currently living in a small town outside Manchester called Ramsbottom. I've been doing this for about 10 years now and have worked in various industries from broadcast to virtual sports.
What got you into motion graphics?
I was originally just a straight-up graphic designer but when I started working for a digital signage company in Blackpool and began working in After Effects, it became clear that was the direction I was heading. It wasn't exactly the most glamorous job but I worked with some great people, had a lot of fun and my client skills developed substantially.
I also remember being in a bookshop in London and picking up a book called 'Moving Graphics' that came bundled with 2 DVD's full of motion graphics project clips that blew my mind. It's a great book, so I recommend that to anyone starting out in the industry. It was from there I was made aware of some awesome 3D designers like Twisted Poly and studios such as Man vs Machine.
Everything snowballed from there and I began developing my 3D skills using Cinema 4D and have just continued to develop and learn.
What do you think you have learned during your time as a motion designer?
I've learnt that you need to be challenged and happy doing what you do in order to develop and improve. Try to take your inspiration from other sources as well, not just from other motion designers, be that sculpture, architecture, food, movies, nature... the list goes on.
I noticed you attended Explainer Camp in 2019. How important do you think brushing up on skills/learning new skills are as a designer?
Explainer Camp was pretty fun - I enrolled mainly because my project management/organisational skills needed finessing somewhat and I really wanted to see what a School of Motion course was like. Can't say I've done any explainer videos since but that's mainly through choice. It's worth doing anyway, especially if you are starting to take on more direct-to-client work and you want to make sure the project runs smoothly.
On the same score do you have any advice for aspiring young creatives hoping to break into industry?
Work hard on your showreel as that does most of the talking when applying for jobs. Don't worry if you're starting out and don't have any commercial client work on there, fill it up with personal work that you love doing and would ideally like to get paid for. Stay up to date with trends and styles and the industry in general and get on social media to mix with other designers, share work and give/take advice (you can also get work on there too...)
For my final question, what is next for James Holland?
I could really do with finishing off decorating the house!