Fresh off the back of returning from parental leave, I sat down with Eryn Sivak, one of the motion designers here at Storm & Shelter, to have a chat about how it feels to return to a growing Motion Graphics Team, what gets her excited about design, and generally how she feels about #StormieLife (still a working title).
Hi, Eryn! Thank you for agreeing to be the first of our new Meet the Team series
You’re welcome, I’m more than happy to! I told you that I was going to be much less of a dick this year when it came to contributing to our content.
<< Jardine: Well it’s never felt like you were, but it’s still very appreciated. >>
Imagine you’re at a family gathering, and you’re making small talk with a very distant family member and they ask what you do for work. How would you explain it to them?
To be honest, knowing my family, there is usually someone who jumps in and says it for me before I get the chance and the way they describe it is ‘It’s like Pixar’.
So then I go ‘It’s not like Pixar’.
Usually, if I don’t want the conversation to go on that long, I’ll go with something like ‘It’s graphic design that moves. You know when you’re watching an advert and there are some titles, text and shapes that move — it’s that’
It’s not like PixarEryn Sivak, Motion Designer
When it comes to animating, are there any particular styles that you like to work in? If so, how would you describe that?
That’s pretty difficult, to be honest. Mainly because as a team, we all really love being generalists. One of my favourite things about the job is being able to approach a client’s brief with a variety of styles to really focus on what works for them and what they’re asking for, rather than being really set in one or two approaches.
But if I really had to choose, then I really enjoy working with a lot of texture, and rough edges. That nice 12FPS style. Or the exact opposite, I also love working with smooth 60FPS clean animation styles — think Apple Idents.
See what I mean… variety!
Where do you get your inspiration and influences?
I like to be constantly changing where and from who I’m drawing inspiration. I tend to follow lots of different creatives on Instagram & Dribble to make sure I have a lot of variety on my feed, but some people I’m really enjoying at the moment are Mat Voyce for typography, Ameen Shahid for mixed media & We are Batch for character design.
Has there been anything recently that has got you inspired, that really gave you the feeling of ‘Oh I wish I’d done that’?
I love a strong mixed media project. As we’re a production company which works both in Motion Graphics and Live Action I always love something that brings us all together so I can work with members of the team I don’t normally collaborate with.
This video from the Minnesota Timberwolves does it so well.
Colourful, lots of energy. Just great.
You’ve been at Storm & Shelter for close to five years, have there been any stand-out moments for you so far?
Is it bad, if I say that I’m one of those sad people who genuinely just love their job so it all stands out? I think generally speaking it’s just been my progression. I started as a freelancer, then as a junior, and now as an animator and line manager within the team.
It just feels really great to have had the space to grow and develop, and I appreciate it a lot.
How about when it comes to projects, any projects that are super close to your heart?
That’s hard! We are the Welsh School of Architecture is the first big project that I worked on so it has a special place for me, but I would probably say RAPID as it gave us a lot of creative freedom and I love designing for projects with a good cause.
Plus, I’ve been off for a year and already working on some very exciting projects that I can’t wait to be delivered 👀
Speaking of… How does it feel to return to a team double the size you left it?
Honestly? At the start, a little daunting.
I was a bit worried that I would have to catch up, but that feeling went away on the first day. It’s very exciting having a bigger team as it means that we can just do more and take our work to the next level. We all have very different and complementary skills and I can’t wait to see what we do this year.
You mentioned in your 2023 Achievements video that you were working on a project that you couldn’t say too much about — can you reveal anything about it yet?
Honestly no, not really. But things are moving along really nicely and you’ll know more about it soon.
Thank you so much for your time! Anything else you’d like to share before we go?
[laughing] I don’t think you know this about me Jamie, but I’m not a massively sharing person. Just that I missed it and I’m really excited to get going again.
Fancy becoming a #Stormie? Too bad, you can’t just yet because we’re not hiring. But in the meantime, we’re always looking for freelancers — you can fill out the form here.