4 March 2024
Meet Tom, one of the illustration & animation maestros here at Little Motel. We chatted about getting into the industry and what makes up an average day in the studio.
What does your role as Animator involve?
My day-to-day changes a lot. But the most consistent thing is constant collaboration and communication with the team. Deliberation and bouncing ideas off each other is fun as well as very useful. Some days I’ll be compiling style references, others I’ll be animating and sharing shorts with the team. It’s always very diverse, every day is different with new challenges around the bend.
How did you get into this field?
I’ve doodled since I was four years old, and have never grown out of cartoons, even now. One of my favourites is The Amazing World of Gumball. It’s stylistically diverse, and most importantly daft.
I didn’t think you could study animation or even get a job in it, until I realised there were a ton of university courses. I studied a Master’s Degree at Sheffield Hallam. There wasn’t a huge focus on specific software packages so I taught myself a lot of what I know, with very little to go on! It doesn’t matter what level your illustration skills are, or if you don’t know a specific software package. Creativity, passion and a good work ethic shine through every time. You can be an expert in After Effects, but if you don’t have the right attitude, enthusiasm or an open mind it’s much harder to tackle briefs and develop ideas.
I worked at an e-learning company for quite a few years. I learned a lot about timekeeping and client interactions. But I knew I was ready for a new creative challenge. As soon as I saw Little Motel’s work, I knew they were like-minded people with the same goals and ambitions. It has been such a pleasure growing with the team here. In the time I’ve been here I’ve learned so many valuable lessons, and feel more creatively liberated than ever.
What do you like most about working in the creative industry?
I never really agreed with growing up. Fortunately, in the creative industry you don’t have to (to some degree anyway). There’s a sense of fulfilment in someone listening to your weird ideas and then being given the chance to translate them into some pretty cool stuff that people enjoy.
What has been a highlight while working at Little Motel?
It’s refreshing to work with a team of people who respect each other creatively and are very open-minded and receptive to ideas. There’s never a wrong answer. Each point raised, rather than being dismissed, grows and becomes something else, through collaboration and discussion. There’s a real sense of community and teamwork here.
What do you do in your spare time?
I ask my partner to physically drag me away from a screen. Nothing clears away the cobwebs like hiking in the Peak District. I’ve recently gotten into board games and have really been enjoying Everdell because it has really lovely artwork, even if I always lose. I’m also working on a short film at the moment, but when I say working, I mean going at a snail’s pace.
Sum up working here in 3 words
Engaging, challenging (in a positive way), enlightening