I’m Motion Graphics Artist here at MakeMatic. I really enjoy it. I consider myself to be very driven and hard-working and I like that there are so many projects on the go here. We’re growing all the time and it really does feel like a family. I feel very lucky.
I wouldn’t say I was rebellious or studious as a kid – I was somewhere in the middle. I kept myself to myself mostly. I think that’s why I’m into art and drawing. I’ve always been creative. I remember going through colouring books so fast, I would draw a new one just to start colouring in again.
I grew up in the city centre in Derry and there was always something going on. I went to primary school right beside my house and secondary school right beside my house too. Then, when I was 16, we moved to the country and it was really weird. It was so quiet at night, I couldn’t sleep. But I had lots more time to focus on being creative.
If you grow up surrounded by media – the books you read when you’re younger, the films you watched on DVD – I think it’s natural to want to create those kinds of things too. It was for me, anyway. I ingested as much art as I could.
After my A Levels, I did a foundation course at North West Regional College. It focussed on a wide range of artistic practices and I got to try everything, to see if there was a career for me, and it was probably the best year of my life.
After that, I went to university in Leeds, in Northern England, and studied Fine Art. We did everything independently. No-one cared if you didn’t do your work, you had that level of autonomy to just experiment and learn. I was really motivated by that. I learned that the harder you work, the further you get. At the time, I thought I wanted to be a painter but I was naturally drawn toward other things.
I’ve since worked mainly as a freelance artist during my career. I do some work with Foyle Pride, which I’m really happy about. They’re based in Derry and they have work going all year round. Some of my original drawings for Foyle Pride were published in GNI magazine, and that was a highlight for me.
I worked on a comedy game show for two years called Let’s Get Quizzical. It played in venues across Northern Ireland but we also toured to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. My role within the show was a bit like the old ITV show Catchphrase but based around Northern Irish colloquialisms and I designed the little videos we played that incorporated the jokes.
We sometimes had fifteen of those a week and I basically had a day to design them. It was tough going, particularly being part of the live show, which was pretty full on, but I enjoyed it. I learned a lot during that time.
At MakeMatic, I use my Wacom tablet every day. Photoshop is pretty essential too. I’m a Photoshop junkie. I open the programme every time I open my laptop, even when I’m not aware of it. After Effects and Illustrator are also really good friends of Photoshop and I use them all the time. I also use different varieties of pens and pencils – I still work traditionally sometimes. If I’ve got a pen in my hand, I’m happy.
Motion Graphics Artist