Get encouraged by Brazilian Animator Lamek Felix's devotion to design and learning motion graphics.
Have you ever talked with a Brazilian Motion designer? Unless you live there or hire out top talent internationally, chances are you answered no. Our Alumni span the globe and their experiences, education, and upbringing are unique, country to country and person to person.
We are consistently blown away by the MoGraph work produced in Brazil so we decided to chat with Lamek Felix, a School of Motion alumni from Brazil! In this interview you'll learn how he transformed his career through a path-altering mentorship, a single question during a job interview, and by taking our very own Design Bootcamp.
Lamek has a passion for teaching and sharing his knowledge with others. We hope this small put impactful interview is an encouragement for you and your own career. So, without any more hesitation, let's meet Lamek Felix!
Lamek Felix Interview
HEY LAMEK! TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF!
Well first of all, Lamek is my real name! Just a fun fact!
I was born in Mossoró, a northeastern city in Brazil. Mossoró is known for its salt production, and unbearable heat, but we didn't stay there long. My dad changed job locations, and at the age of three we moved to a city called Fortaleza (also in the northeast) and that's where I spent the rest of my childhood!
How did you become a motion designer?
After High School I didn't attend college and I started driving for a non-governmental organization in Fortaleza. One day I found out they needed a video editor and a friend introduced me to Premiere 6.5. I found a book and learned how to use Premiere!
A year later I was working in the biggest production company in my city thanks to my friend!
In this production company I met a guy named Felipe Seabra, he was a 3D generalist and freelancer in Fortaleza. I was very impressed with what he did and after my first week he asked if I wanted to learn everything he knew, and of course I accepted. This guy changed my life in a way that I will never be able to thank him enough. We are still friends today and he continues helping people just like me.
After learning from him I kept up the pace of learning, watching tutorials, taking courses, and learning from people close to me. But I was not yet a motion designer, I did a lot of work as an editor and when I did something related to design, it was horrible!
I tried having a studio with a friend, but we ended up with some clients who did not pay. So, when I went back to work at a tv station, it felt like a great defeat. I was sad, because I wanted to give life to my ideas, but it felt like I hit a roadblock.
So without savings or planning, I decided to turn freelance.
There is a saying where I'm from that goes, "sometimes is necessary to be crazy." I think I took that saying a little too serious...
After turning to freelance I looked at my portfolio and realized that I was really crazy! My showreel was honestly not very good. So I set a goal that I would do one video per month, but it had to be a video that I could put in my portfolio.
After this project I realized that I would need a course and decided to do Design Bootcamp. I felt like I already had a good sense of animation, but I did not know anything about design!
Because of this video I got an interview with State Design at the time, and although I never worked for them, Marcel Ziul the owner, asked me a question that guides me to this day; "What is your main goal?"
Even though I didn't get the job at State Design, I started working in the motion design industry before I finished my personal project of building up my reel.
How is the motion design scene in São Paulo, Brazil? What type of clients do you work with?
I have lived in Sao Paulo for 18 months, so maybe my perspective is not the most accurate, but I would venture to say that it is one of the biggest Motion Design scenes in the world. The demand for work is insane!
I left my city which is 3000km away to do a job on a reality show nationwide, this job had a contract term of 3 months. The plans were to come back after that, but I ended up closing contract after contract.
I worked in Studios, TV Stations and then started remote work before returning to my city. Today I'm practically working for São Paulo, only remotely.
The personal projects you've done have been really impressive! Why are you doing them and not just client work?
I always reserve the first and last hour of my day to do personal projects, when I am not dealing with clients, the personal project becomes the client. Staying in the process during the week even though I am not being paid helps me maintain discipline.
I think two things pushed me to do this, my very poor portfolio (at the time) and the market where I lived was pretty bad.
The horrible portfolio issue was being solved with my one year project, but I needed to break through the barrier of my city, and doing personal projects helped me show people what I was capable of.
Sometimes studio owners don't care that you've done work for Coca-Cola or if it's just for your local bakery. They typically care more that you have good design and animation skills and principles.So if you are reading this, do a personal project! They really help a lot!
What has been your favorite personal project so far?
The Fucking Idea and Cabra da Peste, mentioned earlier, are my favorites. They are the first and last project from my month by month attempt to build a good reel. The hold a special place and are milestones in my professional development.
I really like the look of the wireframes behind the scenes I posted too. Maybe you can see something I did and it'll help!
I spent a good bit of time doing research and development for this project as well. I made sure to document the process so I could make a video showing some of the RnD!
Design seems a heavy focus in your 3D artwork. Care to dig in to what makes that such an important aspect in your work?
I think when your work is beautiful, the animation is just the icing on the cake.
Sometimes a good video resolves only with a good design and a simple camera movement. I do not want to say that animation is not important, but I believe design comes first.
Another problem was the market in my city, and to be honest the country. It was going to be very difficult for me to get work only being an animator. I had to fall back on design if I had any hope of selling my skills in video. Over time, and without setting out to do so, I became art director for a few movies! And, of course, I got to work on animation for them as well!
YOU SEEM TO USE MOSTLY 3D IN YOUR WORK! WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS ROUTE OVER 2D? WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE CLIENT PROJECT SO FAR?
The reason for wanting 3D is only personal, I really enjoy working in 3D!
A production company from Toronto booked me on a project for Coca-Cola Canada! I got to work with a high-end brand, got treated like a professional by the whole staff, and they paid well. So, I'd have to say that was my favorite project so far! It was also a project that I could use many techniques! It was really fun to work on!
I did the icons Design, 3D animation and Motion Track for all 3D Icons.
If you want to check out this really cool case study on Behance!
What are some of your career dreams?
It's always complicated to talk about the future, and my dream may sound a bit impossible, or even pretentious, but I want to be a Creative Director. I can not imagine myself owning a Studio, but some day I want to be a creative director.
In five years I want to be working in an awesome studio. Maybe even one of my favorites, like State Design or Elastic. They produce a whole range of different projects, from 3D to 2D, and I love it. A city needs limits, creativity does not!
There may be a continent worth of distance, but dreaming is free, and I'll keep trying! And if it does not, that's fine too.
If you learn that your dream may never come true, but you keep on looking for it anyway, you'll end up having a great journey.
Plus, I think working in a big league studio is a natural step in the process of becoming a creative director!
Another thing that bothers me is that I have never been able to positively transform someone's life through my work. My wife is a physiotherapist who gives people a better quality of life and helps them recover. I think this is amazing.
So this year I decided together with a friend to do a job that positively impacts people. It's about an evil that plagues the whole world, diabetes. Keep a look out, unfortunately I have nothing to show right now. We are in the pre-production phase of this project right now.
How did you like Design Bootcamp? Did it help your career?
I think there are 3 pillars supporting my motion design career. The teachings of Felipe Seabra, the question Marcel asked me, and taking Design Bootcamp.
Here are my style frames for my Design Bootcamp final project!
I'd like to take a moment here to thank Joey Korenman, Michael Fredrick, and Emilia (my Design Bootcamp TA). In addition to them, I'd like to also say thank you to my whole class, I have been incredibly lucky to fall into this group and be together with these wonderful and creative people.
This course really changed my life a lot! I would always laugh when Joey would imitate a stereotypical customer! My head exploded with Michael's teachings and with Emilia's feedback and patience I really understood what I was doing; Seriously, this is a great course!
The course helped me understand the importance of design. Design is everything. Design matters. Good design pays the bills!
The course structure of simulating real projects helped me a lot. I was able to learn how to set up a process for my own work, which I'm still improving.
Did Design Bootcamp go well with Advanced Motion Methods?
Yeah, because sometimes we need to do Design, so knowing a little AI / PS and design helps a lot. Another aspect is, if you take the concept of design to your animation, like camera positioning and respecting the rules of the thirds, you will certainly elevate your work.
For my final project in Advanced Motion Methods I went ahead and did it in 3D! This isn't needed for the final, but I thought it'd be a unique way to attack this creative challenge.
What advice would you give people starting out in motion design?
There's a lot I would say! I'll make a list:
- Be patient
- Accept that your journey is different, and this is not bad.
- Have heroes, but do not want to take their place, look for your place in the sun.
- Be a master of the basics.
- Learn to subvert the basics after you master it.
- Doing is better than talking.
- Personal projects can be a good way out if you can start in this industry.
- Do not be discouraged by defeats.
- If you don’t know English, learn it!
- If the load is heavy and the hill is high, accelerate to the maximum. When you get to the top, rest. Look ahead and see another one, repeat the process. (This was advice my father gave me when I was driving the truck he worked for, I can not stop thinking about how it goes for life too.)
- Play a sport, having good health helps you to have a healthy mind. I suffer a lot to this day for not taking care of my health properly, do not be Lamek, haha!
- Find a hobby, over time I realized that getting my mind off work helps to improve my work, it seems controversial, but try, sometimes the brain just needs rest.
- Spend time with family and friends.
- Quit bad habits and bad people in your life.
- Try to be positive
- Be honest
- Study often, as much as you can, technology changes very quickly. What we know today, may not serve in 5 years so stay sharp.
- Do not let the business take your health. Remember you need it to work!
- If you do not have the money, that's no excuse for you to stop. The internet has a multitude of information that can help you on your journey.
- If you can, visit Brazil. My country is beautiful!
- And most importantly try to be happy! It is cliche and basic I know. But as I said above, be a master of the basics!
What are you looking to learn next?
Right now my main goal is learning and studying how to be a better father and husband!
I've been teaching 3D in my city, both Cinema 4D and Blender, it's something I want to continue. Our profession is something transformative, socially speaking. I know several people who changed their lives after they got a job in this industry, and I want to bring that change to the Portuguese language community.
We have a lot of material here, but usually the minimum wage workers here can't afford classes, even if they are valuable. So i'm going to be focusing on my YouTube channel, since this is free content. And, since language is such a large barrier I can help be a bridge for the motion design community.
In relation to my work, I'm currently studying character animation, mainly cartoon characters. Which includes designing, rigging and animation, the whole process!
Who should people be following or learning from that you've benefited greatly from?
I have quite a lot of people I admire! Here are some!
- School of Motion - Courses, awesome tips, podcasts and articles
- Chris Do - Business
- Marcel Ziul / State - Badass Works
- Patrick Clair - Badass Works
- Academia Criativa - Courses and Articles. Only Portuguese!
- Jardeson Rocha / FODA - Awesome Podcast and Breakdowns (Portuguese only sorry)
- For the Latino community that does not know English, look for Crehana and Domestika, there are incredible courses (in Spanish) and very affordable prices. If you do not have the money to invest in some better course try this guys.
- The Collective Podcast
- Division 05 - Watch everything from this guy!
What are some of your favorite inspiration sources that most artists don't know about?
I sometimes look in the Pinterest about architecture, sewing, jiujitsu, robotics or things that do not have much relation to the motion.
But, some common sites I use for motion design inspiration are:
Outside of motion design, what are some things that get you excited in life?
Jiu Jitsu, movies, and traveling with my wife are things I love doing! Jiu-Jitsu has had a great impact in my life. It's like there is a reset in my mind everyday, I am addicted.
How can people find your work online? Your portfolio/social/etc...
If you want to get a hold of me, look at my artwork, or follow me you can find me at the links below:
Do you have a project file you wouldn't mind sharing?
I can share a some of my personal project "ColorFul" for people to poke around in! But you'll need Cinema 4D to access it!
When I can not approve a project I turn it into a personal project, and this is one of them.
Learn Like Lamek!
Are you interested in taking your design skills to the next level? Check out Design Bootcamp here at School of Motion! Design Bootcamp is taught by Mike Frederick, a world-renown designer who has done work for HBO, Discover, and more!