Filippo Marchetti is an Italian animator who’s now based in Aarhus, Denmark. He’s currently working as a freelance motion designer, but also enjoys illustration and art more generally. We spoke with him about his work as an animator, his inspirations and freelance work for clients.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
My name is Filippo Marchetti, I was born in Italy and I currently work as a freelance Motion Designer in Denmark; I specialise in the design and production of Motion Graphics, but I also enjoy crafting illustrations and general artwork. I have been animating on a constant basis since 2009, but I only recently managed to make it a profession.
Arts and Design always had an important role in my family; my father worked as a professional lighting designer and painter throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s and all my brothers and sisters share the same artistic inclination as me, although they tend to express it in their own ways. I first came to contact with the Motion Graphics world in my teenage years, thanks to the miracle of wide-spread affordable internet, and from then it was love at first sight and I instantly knew that was going to be part of my future.
Can you tell me a bit about your work and inspiration?
Most of the work I upload on Twine is part of my stylistic research and artistic development. I’m always eager to learn new skills and showcase what I can do to make myself more employable. I also proudly display some paid work from time to time, like the “International Art Baton 2016” project, which was commissioned by the Aarhus VIA University College, here in Denmark.
Oddly enough most of my designs come from a musical track I was thinking about or listening to in that precise moment; some of the ideas end up becoming static illustrations but the creative process behind most of my designs is similar. I simply love to celebrate my passion for music with the magical world of animation. As far as stylistic influences go, I always like to take a look at the surreal, the futuristic and the magical, mixing everything up with a sharp cartoony style, which can be seen in the intense stretching of the characters featured in most of my animations.
Do you have some tips for other creatives and animators?
I only have one big creative tip: Feed your brain with images. Learning technical skills is good but it’s far more important to build the visual database you’ll eventually going to draw from, consciously or not. Watch as many videos from other designers as you can, dissect every cool piece of advertisement you find, watch movies, read design books, check out as many portfolios as you can and don’t be afraid to copy other artists at the beginning. We all start imitating somebody else but, with time, we all unknowingly develop our own style.
Invest as much time as you can into the pursuit of becoming a designer; it’s a very hard job and the competition is fierce, but if you really strive to excel you’ll eventually find success. The first years will be underwhelming and you’ll rarely get a chance to work on cool projects, but just keep carrying on and be patient. Expertise is good but experience is even more important for most employers, so I’d suggest working as much as you can as soon as possible, even if you have to do it for free, and keep improving your skills in your free time or during the weekends. If you follow these tips you’ll have a perfect mix of skill and experience that serious employers love. Of course, while doing all that, make your work as visible as possible; don’t be afraid to open as many profiles online as you find necessary.
Some designers disagree, but I’d suggest specialising in a specific type of animation and getting very good at it (for example 2D Motion Graphics, traditional animation or 3D etc…). You’ll most likely be employed as part of a specific hierarchy of designers, and you’ll probably be employed for a specific role, at least in the early years.
How can clients help make their projects a success?
Simply put, clients need to know what you do in great detail in order to avoid misunderstandings; it often happens that you’re approached to do something you aren’t qualified for or, even worse, something that goes completely outside of your creative field. They should also be sure their vision is compatible with your style. Of course we are required to adapt to the client’s requests, but there’s only so much you can do and you’re not going to perform efficiently if you’re requested to go too much outside of your comfort zone.
The biggest misconception among clients is that design work doesn’t require much time and that we simply have “fun” while taking care of projects. Of course we enjoy our profession but the amount of time spent working is no less than a standard job, if not more, and it requires a great deal of mental and physical energy. A skilled designer is as much of a professional as a lawyer, shop owner, doctor or electrician and should be respected as such.
The most important thing is that the feedback comes back quickly and sharply so that the designer can optimise the working hours as best as he can; feedback also needs to be clear and precise to avoid misunderstandings. Of course the designer has the responsibility to keep the client regularly updated, even when there are some issues with the project or when production slows down for whatever reason; sincerity and humbleness is always appreciated by clients.
I had a lot of very pleasant experiences with clients, and it’s hard to pick one. Every time the people you’re working with express their sincere appreciation for your work, it is a true joy. I only had one bad experience with a client in the past but, to be completely fair, it was all my fault; I simply took a job when I clearly didn’t have the time to finish it by the deadline and that caused unwanted tensions. Fortunately for me that was a valuable lesson and I never made the same mistake again.
Ultimately, working in the design industry is all about reaching compromises with clients, but the most enjoyable experiences are when the clients themselves trust your artistic vision and allow you to be as creatively free as possible.
What’s your creative process?
Hard to say. My mind is simply in constant activity; every single thing I see or hear triggers something into my creative subconscious and i usually come up with 3 or 4 ideas a day for small animations. I always write down every single idea I come up with and, as I said earlier, my coolest concepts come from songs. Once I have written down all the ideas I start working on the one I have the most precise plan on how to tackle. Unfortunately I don’t have time to work on all the ideas, and so only the ones I can clearly plan how to make see the light of day, but you never know…I often dig up old ideas from my notebooks.
There are usually around 10 drafts of a finished project. I often work on different approaches for the same idea and then choose the one to carry on with around the middle of production.
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