These sleek animations highlight the relationship between designers and clients

Deekay Kwon is a moving graphics artist who worked with clients such as Google, Buck and Huge. You may have seen his animations on the Made By Google note that introduced the Pixel, or on his Instagram, where his recent series "Designer & Client" is very important for artists everywhere who have had to deal with difficult customers.

The artist, born in South Korea and living in New York, began studying 3D animation and visual effects at the School of Visual Arts, but had to leave due to financial circumstances. Still, a year of real-world study experience and online tutorials have helped him work as an independent artist for the last seven years of his career. Now he's paying his followers, with detailed YouTube tutorials and sharing his After Effects files so others can learn. I spoke with Kwon about his favorite studios to work, how to find clients through Instagram and why art school is not always necessary.

Would you say that having experience in the study has helped you?

Definitely. I think I learned a lot more than I learned in school. Basically, the study work is a real life work. You have a lot of pressure to do things well.

So, is a school fund necessary to enter this independent career? What would you say to people who are considering art school?

I would say that school is definitely not obliged to learn animation. I did not really have a great experience at school because I took out many loans. I guess the only good thing about school is that they actually introduced me to the world of animation. You can learn a lot online by watching tutorials, and I would recommend it to you.

So, what are some good tutorials that you would recommend?

When I started, there was not a specific place where I could learn. Everything if I wanted to learn a specific technique, and I would only search on Google and then someone would have a tutorial on that. Now there are many online tutorials like School of Motion or Video Copilot. And, you know, just YouTube and Vimeo. I think you have to be really good at Google skills.


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Google screen animation for the launch of Pixel 2
Deekay Kwon

For what you post on Instagram, does that work do it for yourself? [19659012] I would say that approximately 80 percent is my personal work and 20 percent would be the real work of the client.

And, of course, your Designer & Client series has received a lot of attention. Is it based on a particular client?

I think it's based on all my experiences.

Who is your favorite customer that you have worked with so far?

I would say Buck. They have the best animators and designers, so you can learn a lot by surrounding yourself with super talented people.

Is there an artist whose work you want to scream?

The work of Motion Markus is super great. I have been watching your work since I was starting.

Any advice you would give to other freelancers or artists?

I would say that you limit yourself to what you like to do. That's what I did and it ended well. When I was in high school, I did not have a high GPA, and you know what Korean parents are like. They want you to go to an Ivy League university, and I was nothing like that. They were really worried, but I finished well. So just stick to what you like.

Would you say that your Instagram has helped you get more clients and work?

Since I started uploading my work to Instagram and got more followers, that gave me a lot of information. Opportunities to work with different studies. And customers, most of them are Instagram, but 80 percent of job offers are not really standard jobs. It's like random YouTubers who want to have an introduction. And they really do not know how much it costs, they want 15 seconds of introduction of animation for a hundred dollars, so they would not even respond to those.

But aside from that, sometimes I simply go to the studios and agencies to work with them. Everything you see on my Instagram is my type of style and what I like to do, so studios and agents know that I am good at this in particular. And they will give me something that is similar to what I like to do, which I think is really important. Because when you go to the studios without your identity or your color, they will only give you anything and they will be easily exhausted.

Do you find it hard to take breaks and vacations?

It's not difficult, because my schedule can be very flexible. But there were many times when I was very hungry and little money, that every time there is work I am now like, "Oh, I should always accept this job". So every time there is an opportunity now, I always say yes, although Realistically, I really do not need to do it. And it's one of those habits that I want to get rid of. Because now I am 30 years old and, returning to 20, I did not have much fun. I would always work, work, work. And what is the point of working too much when you have no memories? So I'm trying to take things slowly and make some memories.

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