Roger has worked with quite a few talented folks over the years, most of them are still working with us today on projects that bring our talents together under one roof. Then there are those that move on, literally, to like Brazil, and start a motion graphics school. We recently caught up with our friend Paulo Silva “Blob”. who did just that.Tap in to his brain and read all about his journey here…
Where and when did you first discover motion graphics?
It was back in 2000 when I was majoring in Business at a local college. My classes were at night and I had a part time job at the college working with networks and computer maintenance. I was spending long days on campus researching everything from understanding networks to how to build websites using Adobe Flash and of course business related subjects. In 2000 one of my class assignments included an exercise using Powerpoint to create a visual presentation that would showcase a new business. I hated using Microsoft Powerpoint, so instead I used Adobe Flash. The result was a 2 minute animated commercial for this new business idea, you can see it here <http://idea.It> It was a hit among the students and more importantly, among the professors. They had never seen Adobe Flash used in visual presentation assignments before this one. They were so impressed that I started getting A+ grades as a result. I still have the animations but they look really, I mean, really bad… but that was 2000. After that presentation I started creating and selling presentations for $50 to other students, so I could pay for my college, and the students could also get an A+ grades, a Win-win situation. Back then I was spending something like 50 hours a week, working day and night to deliver a $50 presentation using flash.
Where have you worked doing Motion Graphics? How were those experiences?
In 2001 a college teacher watched the demand for presentations growing and had the idea to invest some money on an animation studio. That’s how Blob was born and how I got my first real job in the industry. At that time I began working for a businessman who was also the owner of a small studio. After 3 great years of working together we decided to move on in order to pursue new experiences and change our hometown. To this day my hometown still has a really small Motion Graphics scene. That takes us to 2004 and I wanted to hit a bigger city so I moved to the South of Brazil and worked for many studios as a freelancer. After publishing my solo Reel I was invited by Black Maria (<http://www.blackmaria.tv>) to move to Sao Paulo. I immediately accepted this Invitation and for the first time since 2000 I was really working with a professional design studio dealing with big clients and brands, doing national commercials. Sao Paulo is like LA for motion graphics in Brazil.
This was a really tough time. Back in those days I wished there were 35 hours in each day. I had so much to learn in so little time. Working in Sao Paulo was crazy, really tight deadlines, 1 day basically, jumping from project to project, working 18 hour shifts, and dreaming, eating, drinking motion graphics. (A lot of drinking btw)
Still in Sao Paulo I worked for many studios as a freelancer and also for Nuyoung where I first met the meaning of ART in motion graphics. Nuyoung was driven by art, fashion and music background. Motion Design was their bet for the future. Which today I see with a lot of respect.
In 2006 I got an email from a studio in Salt Lake City by the name of Media Grabbers. They asked me if I wanted to move to the US. As usual I didn’t even think about it and accepted. I didn’t know English, except for the tutorials I was reading and from music / films. Changing countries it is an amazing experience, when I first got in Salt Lake City, my English was poor but my willingness to learn the culture and the language was bigger than me. That’s how I made it and that’s the ONLY advice I give to people when moving abroad: Open your mind and heart to a new reality, to new manners and language. Embrace the new, respect the culture no matter how different or crazy you might think they are.
That’s how I got through Salt Lake City and also gained awesome friends that I still have today.
In 2009 I finally got in LA. And it was a dream to be able to work at Roger and meet other great artists. I felt at home for the first time. I was not the only one who was dreaming about moving pixels and really believed that was an art, not a job, not a way to make a living but the art of doing great motion. (I made some good money too)
When did you first start thinking about opening up a motion graphics school and what was it that really pushed you in to making it a reality?
When I was in LA I was really homesick. For some reason I felt misplaced after almost 2 years. I had thoughts about my family and my hometown, and these thoughts were making me wonder about going back to Brazil. I was loving the job, had a really nice apartment, GREAT AWESOME friends but still not enough to keep me motivated. My dad had a heart disease and could die at any moment. I was thousands of miles away and this really hurts. That’s how I would describe homesickness.
When I moved back to Brazil it was awesome to see my family and friends. My dad got better and I was ready to leave again. I was thinking about coming back to the U.S. but then I broke my right knee ligaments. That was a cold shower. It was during the recovery I had the idea to teach. I was thinking about dropping the Mograph Scene, but realized during that decision-making process that I was willing to instead teach everything I have learned for the past 10 years. In a nutshell, that’s how I designed and created the Blob Diagram, and how I formatted this in to a 30-day training program in Motion Design.
What is it like being a teacher?
To become a teacher is really frightening. I was having nightmares months before the classes. But once I gave my first class I felt I was doing something good for other people by sharing information and knowledge. That was when I realized I had an immense responsibility by assuming that position. But I love to be challenged and I finally had motivation to keep pushing myself forward.
What is your philosophy on teaching?
I want to teach not only the technique but I really want to share the love for motion, colors, music and art. I want to open peoples mind to make they see through the mental barriers created by society and deliver experiences through motion. I need to make they see themselves as artists and achieve their full potential. Appreciating the hidden beauty in a Motion Design piece.
Did you leave behind the freelance gig, working on collaborative and creative projects for clients?
I’m still taking projects for clients abroad and I’m trying to find time to push some personal projects. I was afraid that I would disconnect from the creative realm but I realized I only had to share my time in between teaching and freelancing.
What would you tell anyone wanting to get into motion graphics?
If you want to get in Motion Graphics learn the art before the technique. Avoid reproducing awesome animations and try to create your won style. The Internet is full of tutorials that can help your learning experience BUT remember they teach you a technique, and studios are looking for artists, not tutorial robots. Another piece of advice is to love what you are doing. Love Motion graphics. Down the road you will need that love to keep pushing you forward.
You can contact Paulo with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out his Facebook page here: with any questions regarding this article or drop us a line at email@example.com
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