Shay Klassen promoted to Concept Artist / Art Director at Gámomo Creative Lab
Congratulations on getting hired by your practicum placement! How's your first design job been so far?
It’s been awesome! I felt like the practicum prepared me so much for working in the industry after grad. It also helped that I was working for the same company I interned with, so it felt like a pretty seamless transition adapting to studio life. I started off as a concept artist in my first 3 months and just recently had the opportunity to art direct an animated short for a new client we got in August. So far I’m really loving the diversity of projects that are coming into our small studio.
The animated short will be showing at Spark Animation 2018, a film festival celebrating the world's finest animated films (October 25 - 28, 2018). All proceeds from this year’s film festival will be donated to Covenant House Vancouver in their effort to help the more than 1,400 homeless and at-risk youth, aged 16 to 24, who will reach out to them for help this year.
This was the final cut shown at Spark Animation Festival on Saturday under the Canadian Short Film category!
In partnership with Gamomo Creative Lab
Directed by: Efrain Perez
Animated by: ASKA Animation
Art Direction + Concept Art by: Shay Klassen
What are some of the more memorable highlights from your time at IDEA School of Design?
I remember working really hard and rarely sleeping to try to get my portfolio to a place I was happy with. Also stressing before IDEA presentations just hoping I had something good, because it was hard to know at times if it was genius or garbage! I think that’s just the arc of a student though, because by 4th year everyone in the class was producing super cool projects.
Please tell us about the awards you won.
I won a couple awards in school, both through the Applied Arts Awards. One was for an illustration I did in 2nd year, and then an Advertising campaign I did in 3rd year. Both have gotten me a few contacts within the industry for jobs, so I would definitely recommend applying for awards in school! As for awards out in the industry, we’ve just recently put our short film up for consideration in the Spark Animation Awards, so fingers crossed there!
What type of projects are you currently working on?
Right now we’re just finishing up the short storytelling video for HOPR Bike Share and Scooter Share, a new bike sharing experience launching in Vancouver. I worked in partner with the director to develop the story, and then jumped into concepting characters and environments to send to the client. After those were approved, we started on production, and I had to chance to lead a team of 5 concept artists in our development of 40 backgrounds in 3 weeks. It was a big push from all of us, and I can’t wait for people to see the final product!
Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
I hope to still be trying my hand art art direction. It’s been really fun having a say in how a project is going to look in the final product. There’s definitely an aspect of direction you have as a concept artist as well, but your work still tends to be influenced by the art directors overall vision. In a few years I’d definitely like to be still working in film and animation contributing to story and the pre production side of the pipeline.
If you could tell your pre-IDEA self one thing, what would it be?
USE YOUR SKETCHBOOK DUMMY. For real. I always struggled with using my sketchbook through IDEA. I found it too tempting to just jump into Photoshop right away and noodle around with a few ideas, but keeping a sketchbook in the animation industry is so important. It saves time and energy on the whole production to just work stuff out in the most basic way first, before building out assets. I’ve finally found a way to use my sketchbook effectively, but I had to decide to be dedicated to it first.
About Gámomo Creative Lab
We are a boutique motion graphics design studio based in Vancouver, BC. We’re passionate about engaging with the audience through art in motion. Our work includes product videos for startups, title sequences and VFX for music and entertainment, and corporate branding and events visuals.