Hothouse Talk: Russell Weekes

 

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Russell Weekes’s sense of humour comes through in a lot of his work

Russell Weekes studied illustration as a student, but found himself ultimately ending up working in moving image. He gave us an overview of his career progression through his slide show. He made music videos for bands like Franz Ferdinand. He sent them a demo video of him doing some of the transitions the video is built around, like ,the clap, where one member of the band claps and shrinks the image preceding him, while terrifying the band member who’s about to get ‘clapped’. Another example is the ‘sweep push’ where someone literally sweeps the last scene away with a broom.

Weekes taught himself through trial and error. Having to work with moving images also allowed for flexibility in his thinking and broadened his horizons as a creator.

Weekes was very eloquent both as a public speaker and as a creative. His sense of humour is very apparent in  the majority of his work. I struggle to incorporate mine into what I do most of the time, and I don’t think it should be that way. It’s very hard to be insightful and innovative at the same time.

 

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Still from another music video I can’t find where the song is sung by various user interfaces and things like Sony Walkmans and stuff.

It was clear that Weekes has taken his own path and it is leading him to some very interesting places. It seems to me that his journey has more in common with an artist than a designer. He cold calls clients offering his style and creative vision, they take him up on it and the next thing will probably not be so similar to the last. Juxtapose that with the agency graphic designer who applies for a job with a CV, has a boss, gets a wage, etc. It’s liberating and alarming at the same time, but the more people I hear speak, the more I come to think that the price you pay for being your own boss is never having job security.

As a guy on an illustration degree wanting to move into video for self initiated projects and wanting to be witty and funny in the work he makes, there are a lot of similarities between me and Russell. Definitely food for thought.

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