5 Questions with motion & graphic designer duo Visualsinternationals

We met at a music competition. Jonas won, Wouter was snubbed. After that, we both went our separate ways as a motion designer and a graphic designer. It took us 6 years to realise that collaborating would be a lot more comfortable for the both of us and it results in more diverse work. 

When did you first get involved with design?

It never occurred to us that design or animation could be a legitimate career until we saw it on some school leaflets. We both come from similarly small towns. All of our design-experiments were performed while others were killing their brain cells and spreading their DNA. Being rooted in a music scene our work still is influenced by gig posters & music videos.

Is there any work you’re particularly proud of? And why?

Probably the latest video we did for B-Classic. For their Russia themed edition, the classical music festival wanted to reach out to a different audience. Being fans of weird stuff in general, and Russian history and subcultures specifically, we made our interpretation of 100 years of Russian culture, folklore and western stereotypes.
So we chose to use stop-motion because it always looks a little cooler than regular animation because you can show unreal things happening to real objects. We topped it off with a Russian voice-over.
It gave us an opportunity to experiment a lot in the preproduction and lots of adrenaline rushes on the day we shot everything. I guess we’re proud because we wanted to show ourselves we could de the Visuals Internationals jam outside of our comfort zone.

In the words of Bananarama: It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it. We really got to focus on the ‘how’ rather than the usual ’what’, and that was a great experience.

In your view, what were your biggest challenges?

It might be a cliche, but balancing the financial and the artistic side is not easy as a motion designer. Making the coolest stuff you can think of while paying the rent.
We’re reflecting on what way we want the company to go, like what makes us so special, why do we exist. We don’t just want to be tools, we want to be the toolbox people go to. We’re starting to realise that also means saying no at the right moment and that’s not always self-evident.

What inspires you as motion designers?

We use upwards of 350 GB of bandwidth every month, I’d say the internet is a great source of inspiration and procrastination. Can’t tell one from the other anymore.

Published by

Timothy Helmer

Designer, curator of Let's Talk Design and founder of Creative Network.