How would you describe what you do?
I'm an animation director at Nexus Studios, so my job is to make commercial animations. Long story short, if a client wants a commercial made, they hire an ad agency to develop a campaign. The ad agency will contact a production company like Nexus Studios to make the animation that would fit their campaign. If Nexus decides that I'm the right person in their roster of directors to do the job, I pitch an idea to the client. If they like my idea, I win the job. If not, I lose the job. Directors are not paid to pitch. And pitches are rare. I spend a lot of time developing personal work in the hope that it will bring me more commercial work. In the end, for most of the jobs I end up working on, clients ask for me which often means I sometimes skip the pitching process. I do illustration as well, once in a while.
What does an average working day look like?
I moved closer to work so my commute is now a lovely 20 minute bike ride. I usually arrive at 9am, make some tea, water the plants, and make a 'to do' list for the day. I'm not very disciplined with emails. I answer them when I find a way to answer them in my head. That can take me a few days sometimes. Or a few weeks. That's why I have producers helping me out with that. My routine changes a lot depending on the kind of project I'm on. My ideal working day is a quiet day animating, listening to podcasts. Or a day drawing, developing ideas without much stress. I love being bored and messing around in my sketchbook. That's when I find new ways to approach my work. I also enjoy directing a team of animators. I directed a team of 18 people last year and it was surprisingly fun and engaging. My day usually ends at 7pm.
How did you land your current job?
During my BA in graphic design at UQAM in Montreal, I made a short film titled 'Micromachines'. It was my first serious attempt at frame-by-frame animation. When it was completed, I uploaded it to Vimeo. Somehow, it caught the eye of Chris O'Reilly, ECD at Nexus Studios. When he contacted me, oddly, I was just about to move to London to begin my studies at the Royal College of Art. I met with him for a coffee once I settled in town. He asked me if I would be interested in directing commercials as a freelancer. I was very excited by his offer, but of course I wanted to focus on my studies first (applying to the RCA was a massive deal for me, both economically and emotionally). He proposed to meet again two years later, after my MA. And so we did, and he signed me as a director.