I’m Motion Graphics Designer here at MakeMatic. I couldn’t live without Photoshop and After Effects, and my Cintiq drawing tablet. I enjoy the working environment at MakeMatic, the team are really welcoming. I’m based in our Belfast office and it’s a really great place to work.
I was studious as a kid. I went to a Gaelic-speaking school, Bunscoil Bheann Mhadagain, in North Belfast and was the only member of my family to learn the Irish language. I’m fluent. Art and IT were my strongest subjects but I learned everything – even math and science – through Irish. I’m glad I did although I wish I had more opportunity to use it in everyday life.
I was mainly into art at school and was always creative. I loved to watch Art Attack, the children’s programme that taught viewers all sorts of amazing art techniques. I picked up so much from that and I was always doodling and drawing when I could.
I studied Graphic Design and Illustration at the University of Ulster in Belfast. I dabbled in lots of things as part of my degree: animation, photography, film, but I enjoyed illustration mostly. I specialised in my final year and made a film and created part of a children’s book.
I did my work placement in Ardmore Advertising and that’s where I got my first professional job. I worked on billboards, branding, brochures, lots of print stuff, but I was happiest when I got to do a bit of illustration, animation or video. I left to do an animation course and then got a job with the Whitenoise agency and stayed there for a couple of years. I learned really quickly on the job.
I worked at the Belfast-based production company SixteenSouth for a year on the children’s TV programme Pinkalicious. I always wanted to work on kids shows. It’s an ambition of mine to one day write and illustrate my own kids book.
While working at SixteenSouth, I learned how to manage people. I was head of prop design and that involved breaking down scripts, delegating tasks, reviewing other people’s work, giving feedback and juggling my own workload at the same time.
Outside of work, I love going out on my inflatable paddle board – one of my many impulse buys. I love to travel too. A couple of my most memorable trips were to Egypt and Iceland. I remember swimming in Egypt with all the amazing tropical fish – it was like a desktop wallpaper – and seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland. And I love my furbaby, Bobby, a bison frise. I find it hard to leave him behind when I go away.
I’m really happy to be doing what I’ve always wanted to do, from a career point of view. Moving image is my thing but I do like a bit of filmmaking as well, although I don’t really watch many films. There are loads of pop culture films that I haven’t seen and I’ve never watched a full episode of Friends. I don’t think that’s weird at all.
At MakeMatic, recently I’ve been working on animations for one of our clients, Participate, about the amazing things that kids around the world are doing to combat climate change, poverty and other global issues. I’ve enjoyed getting back into After Effects and hearing the stories that the school kids tell. It’s inspiring stuff.
Motion Graphics Artist