Have you ever had a director say 'I totally regret hiring you'?
Our guest today was told these exact words early in his career. Andrew Vucko (pronounced Voo-co) is killing it in the Motion Design world. He's had big-name clients like Facebook, Toyota and Patreon, been featured on Motionographer, and he's an all-around great guy.
For Vucko, animation school was simply not an option. So how did he get to where he is today? And what advice does Vucko have for someone looking to get deeper into the Motion Design industry? All of these questions will be answered in this week's podcast.
So grab a snack, a comfy chair, and a notepad. Vucko's dropping knowledge bombs for over an hour.
Joey Korenman: This is the School of Motion Podcast. Come for the MoGraph, stay for the puns.
Some motion designers are just so fricken good, that they make you a little sick. Our guest on today's episode is one of those artists. His designs are cool and playful, with amazing use of color. His animation is so smooth and technical, and awesome. He's knows 2D, he knows 3D. On top of all of that, he's a super nice dude. If you're unfamiliar with the work of Andrew Vucko, spelled Vucko, but you pronounce it Vucko, you won't be after listening to this. He's been featured on Motionographer several times, he's done some incredible work for Facebook, Toyota, Patreon, many other cool clients. And in this episode, I ask him, "How did you get so good?" And he answers me. I'll think you'll really like this one.
Andrew is an amazing guest and he shared a ton of great tips for improving your career and your skills. If it's skills you're looking for, by the way, you should check out our courses. Head over to schoolofmotion.com and you can find out about all of our great training programs. Like, the upcoming After Effects kickstart. This is the best way ever to learn After Effects, seriously. Or, you could also check out Character Animation Bootcamp, which is a deep dive into the world of pose to pose animation inside of After Effects. That one's a lot of fun. Dates for the next sessions and prices for all of our courses are on the site. So head over and don't hesitate to let us know it you have any questions.
And now, let's jump in and talk to Vucko.
Andrew Vucko, not Vucko, thank you so much for coming on the podcast, man.
Andrew Vucko: Thank you so much for friggin' having me. This is like ... I've listened a couple of your episodes, and I'm just like, "Man, I have to do this. I have to."
Joey Korenman: Oh, thanks, dude. You know, the first time I actually heard your voice was recently at Blend. For anyone who hasn't been to Blend, it's the most amazing motion design conference in the world. You have to go it you can get tickets. But they did this cool thing the last time, where they had a bunch of people get up and basically give two minute quick tips. Pretty much everybody got up there and showed some little After Effects trick, including myself.
But then Andrew gets up there, and you had this whole pre-animated thing behind you, and it was basically this big manifesto that you basically were trying to get people to write shit down on post-it notes. And I was like, "This guy interesting, we gotta get him on the podcast."
Andrew Vucko: Aw, thanks man. Yeah, that was a really ... I purposely took that approach because I didn't want to assume what people were doing, but I just felt like reading into it a bit that people would want to show how they worked within the computer. I felt that it would be good to mix it up a little bit and kinda just throw something out there that's unexpected. But also something that is more just about, this is how I sort of tweaked my life a little bit rather than tweak my work flow. Because it was more of a broad stroke life change, as opposed to something minimal about like, "Oh, I use this expression."
When you're talking about something that broad, it can change a lot more for you rather than just your work. Because the whole talk was essentially about how to make your life more efficient, right? It's not about speeding up a couple clicks here and there in After Effects, it's more about a life thing. So I thought, people could take away something just outside of the computer. I thought that was great.
Joey Korenman: I love that. And I bet we're gonna get into that a little bit later, cause I want to talk to you about your own growth as a motion designer. But let's start out, just in case anyone's unfamiliar with you and your work, where do you live, are you freelance, do you work full time somewhere? What's your role in this industry?
Andrew Vucko: Yeah, man. Hello to everybody that is listening now, get ready for probably the longest hour of your life. Or not, you never know. My name is Andrew Vucko, I'm a director and animator. I'm from Toronto, not always from Toronto, just a bit north of Toronto, but I'm okay, I love the city. I'm freelance, and I love it. And I think that ... I'll just go out and say this now, I will be freelance for the rest of my life.
Joey Korenman: Wow! Lets just take a minute and unpack that a little bit. Why did you say that, cause I'm also very much pro-freelance. I actually just wrote a book about freelancing. I'm curious why you said that so loud and proud.
Andrew Vucko: Oh, you know what man, I have always been freelance. I didn't really have the option of going full time, in terms of coming right out of school. We can dive a little bit deep into that. Just right out of the gate, in Toronto at least, it was a very heavy via effects industry. So I didn't really have the option to go full time.
So, I got thrown into the fire immediately, and it's been about, I'd say, eight to ten years of forced freelancing, as I'll put it. Now that I've kind of callused up a little bit to it and learned to love it with all its ups and downs, so to be able to ... Let me rephrase that. I will be freelance forever, but the only way that might change, if more self-initiated came up. I don't want to say I'd be starting a studio or anything like that, but I think that I always envision myself as an independent, and I think I would like to keep it that way for the foreseeable future.
Joey Korenman: There's this word that I've heard a lot of. I haven't heard that many freelancers use it, it's mostly sort of entrepreneurs, people who go into business for themselves. They say that they're unemployable. Once you've tasted that freedom, it's hard to go back. So basically, you're saying you want to do your own thing. You don't want to be a cog in a big machine.
Andrew Vucko: Yeah, yeah. I would say ... I mean, I don't want to throw the cog in the big machine thing out there as a negative thing, because I know a lot of people who would love it and it works really well for them. But just having spent some time in the past eight to ten years of, again, forced freelance is just really been eye opening for me. I can't really imagine living a different way right now.
Joey Korenman: Awesome. Alright, well lets go back in time a little bit. So, I looked at your LinkedIn page, and I didn't see any animation or graphic design degrees on there in your schooling. I saw you spent some time at Seneca College and Toronto Film School, but it seemed like you were there for more like film production and visual effects. Is that accurate?
Andrew Vucko: Yes, that is correct.
Joey Korenman: Okay. So, lets take something fairly recent. The Power of Like. That has beautiful design, really strong animation, and you didn't go to school for those things. So how the heck did you learn to do both of those things that you've become very proficient at?
Andrew Vucko: Yeah. I guess ... Fuck, I probably used just one word like perseverance. Yeah, yeah, probably perseverance, I think. I got into design animation in the same way a lot of other people did. I'll go way back, and it was about when I was a tween, and I bootlegged a copy of Photoshop messed it around for the majority of high school. I think we've all been there to some degree, there's no shame. I think, that's where I really started developing and eye for design. I wasn't doing any strict graphic design, but more just flexing, maybe a little bit of composition muscle and this and that, and just experimentation.
I basically had to be self taught because that high school that I went to was for maths and sciences. It's not like I intuitively said, "I need to start working creatively or with art, because that isn't available." It was just a natural inclination, where there wasn't something there for me, so I had to create it myself.
But yeah, a lot of patience, a lot of having fun, and a lot of CraigsList ads. Thank God for Craigslist, right? At that time, oh, man, that was a life saver. I had to essentially work lower than the ground up, because I had no formal education on it.
Joey Korenman: What sort of things were you learning when you went to college? So it looks like first, you went to Toronto Film School for film productions. So what was that program like? What did that teach you?
Andrew Vucko: So I'll just go back a little bit more before that, just to give you some context.
Joey Korenman: Sure.
Andrew Vucko: I went through a few different schools before landing in motion. The first place I went was York University, and I went for communication arts. And that's where I got some background on advertising and some of a bit of the process behind broadcast. It was just a generalist course on communications.
From there, I gravitated towards the film aspect, so I thought that would have been a good avenue for me. So I dropped out of the four year course, spent only on year there, to Toronto Film School. Toronto Film School was a one and a half year course. And it was just incredible. It was basically where I learned how to start projects, work on projects from start to end. And I think that's the one benefit that I took from that, but it was essentially a crash course for film.
From that, I really got into the editing aspect. For some reason, I just gravitated towards that, and I think it was one editing class in particular, where somebody started setting up these key frames in this weird fucking program called After Effects. I was like, "What the hell is this?" I raced home, picked up a Lynda book for After Effects 7, or something like that, and basically spent the next year learning out of that book in my parent's basement.
It was after that year where I'm like, "Okay, I've been jumping around quite a lot education wise," so I had to make one last call. This will be the final school that I go to. And that's where I jumped into Seneca Via Effects.
Joey Korenman: It's funny to hear your story. I'm sure a lot of people listening can relate to it. I certainly can relate to it, it is very, very similar to the way I got into this field too.
So you got into the Seneca post grad ... I'm just going by LinkedIn.
Andrew Vucko: Yeah, yeah.
Joey Korenman: My [inaudible 00:11:38] folks. Visual effects for film and TVs. So, was it really specific visual effects program, or was it more general post production?
Andrew Vucko: It was general post production. There was one course, which was just for ... One class in that course, which was just for pure motion. Funnily enough, I went to school with Zack Lovatt, which I heard you had on the podcast before.
Joey Korenman: Great dude.
Andrew Vucko: We were literally sitting beside each other in the same class. That's both where we kinda jumped off. They only had one motion course there. So it was just like an easy thing for me to go into right after that book, because I still didn't have a firm understanding of what I wanted to do, I just knew I wanted to be able to create.
There really were that many options for me either in Toronto, during that time, for post production besides this course. There wasn't a school of motion then, but I guess I missed that boat, right?
Joey Korenman: [inaudible 00:12:49]
Andrew Vucko: But, yeah. It's true though. What I wouldn't give for something like that to be during that time. You know what I mean? Because, not just Seneca, and I'm not just calling out that course in particular, but school is very expensive. I have a firm belief that people shouldn't be paying for school at all. If there is a way to make that a little bit cheaper for somebody who just has uncertainty about what they want to do, and they just want to poke around, I think that this kind of stuff is the best option for anybody.
Joey Korenman: Yeah, you're absolutely right. There's a lot more online resources now than when we were starting out. It was basically Creative Cow and MoGraph.net when I was learning this stuff. It was never an option for me to go back to school and pay $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 a year, depending on where you go.
So, you get out of school, and it sounds like you left school with a basic set of skills and you had gone through, I'm assuming it was like the Trish and Chris Meyer's After Effects book that everybody learned from. Right, right? So then, right out of school, were you doing more visual effects or were you doing actual, I guess it probably still would have been called MoGraph back then? The stuff on your reel, the earlier stuff, looks a little more via effects-y. Is that kinda what you were doing?
Andrew Vucko: It was. Again, I actually didn't complete my course at Seneca either. About two months into it I got picked up for this job at this local studio called Big Studios. They are great. They did more broadcast and show bumpers and package, a lot of sports graphics type stuff. They picked me up ... I was really fortunate that they picked me up before the school ended. I guess that didn't really matter, cause the point of doing that was to get a job.
Going into that, that was kind of like a happy marriage for me, because sports graphics kind of shared both worlds. There was a lot of design to it, but it also had a very heavyweight on the via effects end. So that was a great avenue for me, I guess I spent a few years just kinda still figuring things out in between that. I guess just because the course that I was in was predominantly via effects, so those were the skill sets that I had to utilize.
Joey Korenman: Right, right. So nowadays, it seems like visual effects and motion design, at some point you sort of split and you pick one. There are big studios like [inaudible 00:15:43], for example, that does both, and they do both very well. I'm curious what your experience was like being in the middle of these two worlds and sort of straddle them, and doing some jobs where it looked like you were doing probably a lot of compositing and tracking, and things like that, ut then also having to design a sports bumper. How did that work?
Andrew Vucko: The way I kind of ... How I've started to separate both of them, and I'm not sure if this is gonna answer your question or not, but is how you manage the scale of a project. That's kind of like ... Because for me, I've always loved to be able to handle a lot of the creative myself on my end. When it comes to via effects, unless you are a wizard and there are some people like that, it can be very hard to manage, to be the master of everything.
Joey Korenman: Right.
Andrew Vucko: I guess it comes down to scale. And I feel like there's way less overhead with motion, and you get a lot of this external pressure off of your back when you're doing motion graphics as opposed to via effects. Like saying, for example, "You can't animate that, is has to be quads you idiot," you know? There's a certain level of respect that you need to pay to working in 3D, cause you're gonna be, again not to use the cog in the wheel, but you're gonna be summoning a chain that you have to pass down to different artists. So there's a certain respect that you have to have towards that stuff.
This is one of the reasons why I switched to doing strictly 2D work, was just that I really just wanted to be more about the ideas and less about those small little technical details that I had to worry about. Does that make sense?
Joey Korenman: That does. That actually makes a lot of sense. And it's interesting, cause, you know, one of the first things you said so far was, "I will be freelance forever," and it seems like you really like being lean and mean and being able to move quickly. And you're right, if you're in a via effects pipeline, let's say you're an animator, you still can't animate without a modeler and a texture artist, and a TD or a rigging artist giving you something. And then you're gonna hand what you just did off to a layout person or something.
There are very few one man bands that can do really high end via effects.
Andrew Vucko: Oh, dude, totally. And they exists and, man, respect to those guys, right?
Joey Korenman: Right.
Andrew Vucko: Actually, off the top of my head, that kinda leads me to something else, where there was this one local studio in Toronto who does great work. Essentially, I really wanted to work for them, and I thought they had a lot to offer me in terms of how I could grow. Right off of the top, I threw my hat in the ring and said, "Listen, I want to just do strictly 3D work for you guys. Let me prove to you that I can do it."
They were amazing. They said, "Okay. Just do one small project, five seconds, show us you can do it, and we'll work together." I did just that, and for the next year and a half I was permanently inside a studio just doing strictly 3D work and, I'm talking as a generalist modeling, texturing, lading, you name it. And while doing that, I learned a lot of great things, and I've taken a lot of amazing stuff from there.
But there was one point where I started getting into animation there, as a generalist. And that's the point where I started feeling like I was stretched way to thin. And I'm talking like jack of all trades, master of none situation. Where I'm just like, I'm kind of okay at everything, but I'm not awesome at something.
From that, it was a really decision for me because I felt I had taken on so much, that I felt I had to reduce my scope again just to doing one or two things and try and do them really well. So I had to, unfortunately, leave that studio and was like, "Great, now what?"
Joey Korenman: Right.
Andrew Vucko: I just had to cut it off because, without even really thinking about what was next, but I knew what was not good for me and I knew that I did have a goal. So, I just had to do that quit cold turkey thing and just jump out.
Joey Korenman: Just pull the band aid off. So, what is it about being a 3D generalist that you sort of plateaued at a certain point, and you realized, I'm not gonna get to the next level? Or, maybe it was, "I don't want to do what I know it's gonna take to get to the next level. I should try a different path." What was it about 3D that caused that?
Andrew Vucko: I think, again, it was just the overhead that kind of scared me. You can go really deep into MoGraph stuff too, but I feel like the hole is so much deeper with 3D, because again, you have all these subsections within it. Modeling, texturing, lighting. But you can go deeper and deeper into. And I just felt like it would never be enough no matter how much I would give to maybe on or two of them. But just to everything, I didn't think I had that energy. I had to focus on just one or two things.
For some reason, there was also the gut feeling, where I'm just like ... It's hard to explain, but as somebody who has felt it will know, you know when something is not right and you know when you have to change. That was kind of like 50% of my decision there.
Joey Korenman: That's good that you trusted your gut. So, when you were still in that roll, and you were being a 3D generalist, were you, at that time, doing boards and ... Were you operating the way you do now, just using 3D, or was it a totally different setup for you?
Andrew Vucko: It was a totally different setup. While I was a generalist, I was able to rely on a bunch of other really talented artists. So, if I didn't feel confident in say one of the aspects, that didn't mean that I couldn't do it, it's just that I would be working alongside somebody who knew their shit. So, I could always pick up on that, and working always beside somebody who is better than you is amazing, but you can see how much farther you have to go to get to that level. And then just working next to all these specialists you could always see that giant gap of where it's like, "Oh man, I have to do a lot more work to reach this part and this part and this part."
There was a little bit of ... I don't know ... It's good to have confidence in yourself, and to be very ambitious, but you also have to be realistic with your goals too, right?
Joey Korenman: Right.
Andrew Vucko: And again, you become stretched too thin, that's not good for anybody. That's not good for you, that's not good for the team.
Joey Korenman: In my experience, I never got deep enough into 3D to kind of see the bottomless pit it can become. It makes a lot of sense, what you're saying. To be a good motion designer, you can have a great career and direct beautiful things. Like the things you've directed, being able to make well designed but pretty simple line art and animate it well. You can get a lot of notoriety that way, whereas a 3D artist, even just to be a top level 3D monitor, I can't even fathom how many years it takes to learn all the skills necessary to do that.
Andrew Vucko: Oh, it's ridiculous. Again, huge amount of respect for those guys.
Joey Korenman: Absolutely.
Andrew Vucko: The thing is, there's no ... I don't want to throw this word out, I hate this word, but it's very difficult to get status with that in terms of a tension or rock stars status with that. Because you gotta give yourself to the project in terms of the larger scale, the feature film, or something like that. You just have to like, "Okay, I'm gonna be part of this team and I'm gonna give everything to this ..." Again, this big machine.
I feel a huge amount of respect to those people because they're thinking about the big picture and not themselves. And I think that's super important.
Joey Korenman: That's an aspect I never really through about. It's a good point. And it sounds like you're fairly ambitious, not that that's what's gonna drive the creation of the projects in the work you've been doing. But it does make it a little bit easier when there is some sort of mechanism out there to get recognized, to see if you're progressing and to see if you're getting better. "Oh, more people actually responded to this thing than the last thing." Whereas if you're modeling Transformers, your supervisor says, "Yeah, it's good enough to go to texturing," or whatever.
You're right, you're right. I couldn't name off the top of my head a rockstar 3D lighting person. Maybe they're out there-
Andrew Vucko: Oh, there's a lot. There are plenty. I just think that their ratio, in terms of how many amazing, talented people are working for big houses is astounding. And you would never know those people's names, because either they don't showcase their work, they're super humble, et cetera. You'll never know. There is an insane amount of talent out there that you don't see.
Joey Korenman: Yeah, I think that's true with our industry too, but our industry, I feel, and it's hard to say, but I would imagine is smaller than the via effects industry. A film might need 300 or 400 via effects people on it.
Andrew Vucko: Totally.
Joey Korenman: Alright, now we're gonna move a little bit forward in your career, Andrew. So, I went through your Vimeo account, and I recommend everyone listening do this, cause it's like Beeple and you go all the way back to the beginning, and you see these very crude little cinema 4D phallic things he used to make, and to see what he's doing now. Every single day, there's some feature film level piece of concept art on Twitter.
When you go back, there's a piece on Vimeo, it's called Flash Interac, and it's this little 3D talking wallet with these little coins and dollar bills and stuff in it. I watch it and I'm like, "It's pretty good." And then five years later, you have The Power of Like, which, as soon as I saw it I'm like, "This is an instant classic. This is really, really, really good." Everybody, hopefully, gets a little bit better in five years, but you got an order of magnitude better at doing this motion design thing.
So, I'm wondering just in broad strokes, how did you get so much better in five years?
Andrew Vucko: Oh, man. Thank you so much for that, man. That's really great to hear from you. I think, I would say the most important thing during this time was focus and trying to find confidence in yourself and committing to something. Confidence is a big thing, because I think a lot of people, by nature, are self conscious, as am I. Easier said than done.
But you have to have a certain level of belief in yourself to see something through, and I think that's where the improvement really became apparent. Because we tend to back off seeing something through to the end because of a fear of failure. For example, there's all these new technologies and mediums that come up, like VR or Mobile, or other types of novelties that come and go. People do a lot of jumping around specialties. So, they feel again, they gotta be the generalists, maybe to please everybody, I don't know. Maybe to have so many fingers and so many pies that, if they fail at one of these things, that they have other options.
Again, I'm not meaning to bash the generalists, there are insanely talented people out there, but I think if you specialize and focus while understanding other people's crafts, not necessarily doing, but understanding, that's where that sweet spot is for maximizing yourself and seeing that rate of improvement. So again, like going back to what we were talking about before, I think there's a lot to be said for being a specialist nowadays.
Joey Korenman: And when you say specialist, cause you design and you animate, so already in the MoGraph world, you are kind of a generalist, cause you can do those two things. Or am I incorrect? You actually prefer one over the other?
Andrew Vucko: No, you are spot on. That's a conflict for me right up until now is, how do I reduce how much I am focusing on right now? It's definitely a battle between animation and design for myself. The problem is, I'm in love with both of them.
Joey Korenman: Right.
Andrew Vucko: So it's definitely a balance that I'm still trying to figure out up until this point.
Joey Korenman: So, when you left 3D, and you realized, "Okay, I need to go into a sphere where I can have a little more control over the process," and you want to start improving. When you say you need to have focus and confidence, are you talking about imposter syndrome? I'm sure you had that in the beginning, but are you basically saying you just need the courage to push through that, or are there some tricks to trick yourself into getting over that?
Andrew Vucko: Yeah, it's easier said than done. Have confidence, great, thanks for that.
Joey Korenman: Thanks, Andrew. Great advice.
Andrew Vucko: Feel more confident, you're great. I just think people, and again, myself included, tend to read into how other people are gonna judge you for your work. So let's say you just work on something for a day, and you think it's shitty, you should still show it. The worse that's gonna happen is nobody's gonna remember it, or pay attention to it, or like it. And you have to think about what that's doing for you. It's essentially just an exercise to see if this is an avenue you want to explore.
People aren't going to judge your character based on what you post, you should be able to share these things with the world without feeling bad about yourself, right? I think that's, in terms of building confidence, is just taking that risk to show work that you might feel embarrassed about.
Joey Korenman: You know, you mentioned building ... I think you used the word callus, which I think is great, in terms of being okay with the ups and downs of freelancing and the uncertainty there. I'm kinda seeing a parallel between that and what you're saying here, which is, I'm sure this has happened to you, you put something out there and maybe someone shits on it, but at the very least ... No one responds, it just doesn't resonate, no one cares. Maybe the first time that happens, you feel awful about yourself, and you go and you get some Gentleman Jack, and you make yourself not feel for a little bit.
But then, the 20th time that happens, you're like, "No big deal." And you've built that callus up.
Andrew Vucko: Oh, dude. I've been shit on, a lot. Very early. And I won't name any names of course, but one of the first jobs I had after exiting Big Studios. I was really fortunate to be at this place, because I was working predominantly as a designer. But the first project I had did within the first week was this pretty bad music video. But it was my first week on the job and one of the directors there passed by my screen, and took a look at what I was doing, and said, "Wow, I totally regret hiring you as a designer." They said this behind me. It's insane. I was just done, I was like, "Holy shit, I can't believe this happened."
It was, again, the first design job I had ever had and, right out of the gates, it was just like a shit storm. But I was there for another four to five months just building up my portfolio, and at that point and time, I was like, "Well, I guess this is the industry that I'm in, and I guess that's how people talk to each other." It's not. People should never speak that way to each other, but I just callused myself and like, "Okay, I just have to toughen up and this is how it is."
This is one of many tough times that has happened over my freelance career, and again, you just have to toughen yourself up. Unfortunately, shitty people exist like that in the world and you just have to deal with it.
Joey Korenman: Yeah, it's true. I feel like it's a rite of passage to encounter your first dick art director.
Andrew Vucko: Yes!
Joey Korenman: I remember when I met mine. I bet a few people listening know who I'm talking about too. So, some people are built in a way where they have this inherent self confidence, where someone can do that. And I'm sure that since you went into death spiral momentarily, where you're like, "Whoa! I guess I'm not gonna have a career in this."
But then you bounced back and you actually stayed there for a few months. Have you always been like that, or have you figured out any ways to help yourself bounce back from those uppercuts?
Andrew Vucko: Well, I would say I don't have patience for that stuff anymore. At that point, it was pretty early in my career, and I was just happy to have a job, designing nonetheless, because, again, I didn't have any formal background. The people trusted me to design spots for them. I was just happy to be working.
I guess I had kneeled over a little bit during that time, but ... I should stress that people should not do that. If somebody talks to you that way, you leave. That's it. If you can leave that job, you have enough confidence to do whatever you want. But yeah, during that time I just felt really lucky to be working in this industry. So I just put up with it.
Again, as the years went on, I just toughened up to the point where I'm like, "Well, I don't have time or have to put up with this shit anymore."
Joey Korenman: It's a good place to be.
Andrew Vucko: Yeah. Well, I think that you can be in that place no matter where you are in your career now. You shouldn't have to bend over backwards for somebody just to climb up this invisible ladder that is our industry. Because you can just do this by working on your own passion projects to prove yourself, which I've done in many cases. I think that having a lot of client work on your portfolio as a junior is not really so important these days, more just that you flex your muscle through personal projects.
I think personal projects just say so much more, because they're self initiated and there's no bank behind them. Whereas this person spent their time and energy from their life and put it into something beautiful. I fel like I can respect that a lot more than seeing an end tag or a logo on somebody's reel.
Joey Korenman: So, let's come back to design for a little bit, because, I mentioned earlier, I blew a little smoke up your ass, and I was telling you how great you've become, I mean it by the way. But your designs specifically, is pretty strong. You're a good designer. I know everybody listening wishes that someone would tell them they're a good designer, designs very hard.
And I look at your work, and I see what appears to be a good understanding of color and composition and use of grids sometimes, and you've even sort of developed a style that is almost recognizable, that it's something you've done. And you said you don't have a background in graphic design, that's not what you were taught in school. So, I'm curious how specifically relating to design, you've improved that skill?
Andrew Vucko: That's a good question, because it's been since I was a teenager, it's been 15 years of just slow perseverance and just fucking around in Illustrator and Photoshop. That it was just a really, really slow burn for me. I'm just messing around. I guess people want things immediately now, in terms of like ... Let's say they go to college and they spent two years doing illustration. And they expect themselves to be rock stars right out of the gate, it's like, well, you've only been doing this for two years. This was a really slow burn for me, again, 15 years. And I feel, even now, in terms of the design aspect of what I do, I do that imposter syndrome like, "I have no fucking idea what I'm doing."
I have just very recently been told that I do have a style, which is shocking for me. I guess I'm super fortunate that this is happening, but I guess it's just starting to blossom a little bit, at this point. Whereas the past 15 years have just been figuring it out. And I really am still figuring it out, but I guess it's just starting to show a little bit of personality now. From what people tell me, I can't see it myself of course.
It's a really simple straightforward answer, but it's just hard work, man.
Joey Korenman: It's interesting that other people can see your style, but you have trouble recognizing that it's there. That's fascinating. Let me ask you this. I get that you've been messing around with Photoshop and Illustrator for years, and all of that. But to me, it seems like in order to get better at something, there sort of has to be some kind of feedback loop where you do something and then either someone else tells you it's better than the last thing you did, it's worse than the last thing you did, or there's no change. Or, you have to develop that ability yourself, to look at your own work and say, "This is shit, and I need to work harder on the next thing."
I'm curious, how do you know when you do something, if, "Okay, I've gotten better," or not? How can you tell?
Andrew Vucko: I don't think you can. Sorry, I'm just looking at myself and how I worked. I still dislike a lot of the stuff that I do, even up to this point. I think that that's where the real drive comes to create better work. Cause usually on the tail end of a project, you're like, "Ah, this looks like garbage. I'll do better on the next one." And that's just gasoline for the fire for the next project.
Going back to what you said, having a great feedback loop is essential. It really is, and I think a really important aspect, again, easier said than done, is to really connect yourself with the community. And either just coal call email people that you respect and maybe you'll get one reply out of 100, and that's great. But even going back to what I was saying before, the confidence to being able to show work with the fear of people judging you as a character. Your personality. They're only going to be judging your work.
This is where we can get into the whole social media thing later, cause I have some strong beliefs on that, but this is where one of the benefits are to getting like of Instagram or Vimeo, is you can see how people are responding to your work via that. Because you won't always have the access to talk to your heroes, or people you really respect, right?
Joey Korenman: Yeah.
Andrew Vucko: So I think there's a lot of different ways to go about doing it, but the feedback loop is essential and I don't know where I would be without it in my career.
Joey Korenman: That's really good advice. And again, it's easier said than done. You need to separate yourself from your work, you are not your work. And whatever mental tricks you need to play on yourself to do that, because if you can get your work out there, then you've got that feedback loop. Even if it's imperceptible and takes 15 years, you can get a lot better just by exposing yourself to stuff like that.
Andrew Vucko: Totally. And I don't want to contradict what I just said, or you just said, but I think having a certain level of yourself in your work is healthy, because it drives ... You know what I mean? You're making stuff for yourself, and you want to be able ... Its self expression, right? Even if we're doing it for big brands, it's still self expression to some degree.
So you want to put a bit of yourself in. There's a certain point in a project where you put it online, you have to let go. It's your project up until the point where you let go of that project. And then it's not your project anymore, it's the world's project. The way that a project grows is, of course it grows during production, through design, animation, you can see the development. But the visual development that you don't see is past when you put it online. Cause you have to see it through ... That project is being seen through other people's eyes.
So it has this whole other life cycle that you're not aware of. That's where you have to separate yourself, is between those two life cycles. Between the one where you're involved, and the one where it becomes other people's projects. So it's not your baby anymore, you've given it up to the world.
Joey Korenman: Right. It's like the bird and you've got to set it free.
Andrew Vucko: Yeah, exactly. Classic.
Joey Korenman: That's awesome, and I've heard other people say that, and I don't know if I've ever truly looked at anything I've done that way. It's a really good way to get over that initial fear of sharing something. It's like, "Well, I've done what I can, and now it's up to the world." And it's interesting, cause there's a lot of amazing work out there that never gets a Vimeo staff pick and doesn't seem to resonate with as many people, even though it's still great.
So some of that is kinda out of your hands anyway, and you just ... I don't know, maybe we all just need to let go a little bit more. Zen out a little bit.
Andrew Vucko: Yeah, exactly.
Joey Korenman: So, let's get into the specific projects you've done. I think Original, that's the first piece I saw of yours, I believe. And I probably saw it when it got a Vimeo staff pick and got featured on Motionographer and shared all over the place. So, before we talk about all of the accolades it got, I'm curious about something.
You started out as a visual effects artists, which, in my limited experience with it, it's a far more left brained kind of discipline, where sometimes there is a right answer and know that Rodo isn't good enough. Stuff like that. And then in motion design, it's far more conceptual. And there's a lot of really interesting little visual metaphors in Original.
So, if you haven't seen it and you're listening, we'll link to it in the show notes. It's great, it's brilliant, it's hard to explain what it is, but it's really cool. There's all these little moments where you're showing little moments of originality by showing a Polaroid camera taking pictures, and then these little Polaroids with little shapes on them hanging on a clothes line. It's a lot of visual metaphor. Coming up with those visuals to fit a script is a big challenge. And everyone does it in different ways. So I'm curious, when you had the idea for Original, I'm assuming you started with the script, how did you figure out what I'm gonna show here? "I'm gonna show an alarm clock turn into this big elaborate steam punk cuckoo clock." How did you come up with those moments?
Andrew Vucko: Yeah. To give a bit of history on that project, and even to go back to when I just left that company where I was essentially permalancing 3D, I had to prove myself. I'm like, "Oh, shit, I don't have anything to show anybody." So I spent about a month to two months trying to figure out an original idea that would really be a vessel for me to show people that I can do this. I can do 2D work, I can design, I can animate.
I couldn't come up with anything. I couldn't come up with a looks and idea, so, I just looked within myself and said, "Hey, why don't I just talk about the shitty feeling that I'm having right now." I developed a script through a bunch of different quotes that I had found online, wanted to flesh that out a little bit more because I thought there was more to it, more to be said. But in terms of the look, that was something that ... I had gone through a bunch of different approaches in terms of how do I want this to be stylized, what will be the aesthetic? And I wanted to make it as simple as possible, in terms of the visual language, so that I could let the script A, either focus more on what was being, but B, that it would become more approachable to a wider audience.
Not everybody is into ... Like with fine art, not everybody is into cubism. It's a very select niche for people who enjoy that type of art. So I was like, "Okay, I'm gonna make this really basic so everybody from painters to chefs to my mom could watch it without being offended by the art style." I essentially designed frame for frame all the visual references in terms of the Polaroid, I designed the camera, I designed all those frames individually, but I didn't really put much thought into the transitions, which now, looking back at it, was kind of a blessing in disguise. Because I had all these design frames and, when it came into animation, I was like, "Oh shit, how the fuck am I gonna animate ..." Like what you are saying, a suit to ... A camera to ... I was like, "Ah, man, I've really painted myself into a corner."
But I've gotten so far that I can't turn around or revisit this. I spent so much time on it. So, I just had to figure it out. Essentially, from that point, you keep planning so far until you need to start improvising. And sometimes you can really surprise yourself, and there's a lot of magic in improvisation. Just by going ahead and doing something without overthinking it too much. That was essentially every single transition in that piece, was just like, "Okay, I think this is gonna work, but I won't know until the end."
It was a number of different processes going through that, I would say.
Joey Korenman: Well the transitions ... It's really interesting to hear that, cause the transitions are, I think, one of the coolest parts about that piece and they're very clever. And a lot of times when I see stuff like that, when I was running a studio and animating a lot more, we would always try to at least have one transition design board. Some rough idea of how we were gonna transition, just so the animator wasn't left thinking, "Oh shit, I've painted myself into a corner."
But you're saying that at some times actually doing that can ... I don't know, it's like a test. It's like, "Alright, now we'll see how creative you really are."
Andrew Vucko: Yeah, yeah. Just to go a bit off base, but this has really helped me in terms of my designing, animation, and my philosophy on that is, I took, and this is pretty recently, I took about a year and a half of straight up improv. I don't know if you've ever tried it before? Have you tried improv before?
Joey Korenman: I've never tried improv, no.
Andrew Vucko: Aw, man, it's amazing mental exercise. Basically, what improv is is you work on a stage, and you make up a scene on the spot in front of a large audience. And you just have to ... Essentially there's this ethos of a "Yes, and." So you present an idea, say, "I'm a bus driver and here's your ticket." And then the other person in the scene has to be like, "Yes, and I'm a student and I left my lunch back at my house, so you need to wait." So there's this "Yes, and," playing off of each other in the scene that I found has really made itself apparent in the way that I animate and design.
Especially when collaborating with other artists. I think you're definitely gonna butt heads on projects in terms of agreeing with a certain direction, et cetera, what's a good approach? But there's a lot to be said, not to bending over backwards, but just saying, "Yes, and I'm gonna take whatever changes you think are necessary, and I'm gonna bring something else to the table." And if two or three or four people all work in that regard, you build an entire scene, and entire beautiful thing.
You'll hear a lot of ... Not to keep getting deeper into this, is a lot of movies are being filmed right now, a lot of the directors have their actors just doing improv. Because that's where some times they get the best results or their best jokes, the best scenes come out of that stuff. There's something to say about working in that regard that I feel very strongly about.
So anybody who's listening, I definitely implore you to consider trying improv. It's a really good thing for your self confidence, that I found, as well in terms of just being vocal about things and putting yourself out there.
Joey Korenman: I really love this way of looking at it. It's one of these things where I can now, in hindsight, spot moments in my career where I have essentially been improvising. I never looked at it that way. As a framework, it seems like a really smart way to go at projects like the ones you do.
So I guess my next question is, how much planning do you need to do to set yourself up for a successful piece? So lets take The Power of Like, for example. Another beautiful piece with a lot of really neat little visual metaphors in there, and really cool transitions and smooth, killer animation.
So, you have to have some beats and some planning to even have a shot at success here. When you come up with a script, what's the next step? How do you get these images to pop into your head that can become, at the very least, like a point on a map that you can sort of figure out a way to get to?
Andrew Vucko: Yeah, that's a great question. For me, when I develop a visual script, or just a storyboard for something that I'm working on, I like to use a lot of wordplay. Let's take Power of Like, for example, and let's find a ... Let me just think.
There's this part in Power of Like where it's talking about dividing the voice of your soul. I don't know if people remember that part, but you look at that line, "divide the voice of your soul." How can we visualize that? So, what we want to do is, what I usually do is, pick out some single words from that, so divide, voice, soul, cycle through each one of them and see if something can come from that.
So what do I get from divide? Dividing, I cut something in half. This might not be the way I went about it, but cutting something in half, dividing amongst yourself, half. Glass half full. Air versus water. And then it becomes a battle between breathing and drowning. So, what do I get from that? Is there something visual in which I can play off of that? So that's where the characters essentially swimming like a dolphin through water. So, we're talking about the division of air and water, and feeling free versus feeling suffocated.
That's the route that I take in terms of word association. Also another really great resource for people is just going on Thesaurus.com and throwing divide in there, and just seeing what other words come up.
Joey Korenman: I love it.
Andrew Vucko: It's totally true. You just put it in there, because sometimes the script and the words in front of you is all that you see, and you get tunnel vision. So by doing that, it just throws a bunch of shit at your face, and then you get to see what all your options are. I found that was a really ... Both of those things, word association and Thesaurus.com, have been really beneficial.
Joey Korenman: Yeah, oh man, that was really good advice. It kind of reminds me of the process of mind mapping. Have you ever done that?
Andrew Vucko: Oh, yeah. Yeah, totally. 100%.
Joey Korenman: So, we have a course, it's called Design Boot Camp, and in it, one of the lessons is sort of about what you just talked about. How do you get from words in a script to visuals? That's my favorite way to do it, is to sort of play the word association game. I think the example we used was, if you were trying to come up with a visual for a roller derby TV show, or something. And you go from, roller derby is a violent sport, and when there's violence, a lot of times, you need protection, like a helmet or something. But then also violence, some times people bleed, and what if the blood was a different color, cause it's kind of an 80s themed. And all of a sudden, you get from roller derby to athletes with pink blood on them.
And you'd never get there in a straight line. You have to kind of bounce around to get there. And then the ideas you come with, they seem so brilliant when you go from A to Z. But when you just go A to B to C to D, each of those little leaps isn't very much, but the sum of it at the end is like, "Whoa, that's so conceptual, bro."
Andrew Vucko: Yeah, no kidding.
Joey Korenman: Let me get back to the thing you did at Blend, where you talked about writing stuff down. That's something that I've seen a lot of copywriters and creative director types do, because the truth is, and I've heard people say this and I believe it, I think your brain is just this idea factory, but most ideas, they're there for five seconds, and if you don't capture them, they're gone forever.
So, when you're coming up with ideas, I kind of imagine you mad scientist style, putting up post-it notes and stuff like that. Is that kind of how your process is, or is it very organized and neat, and at the end you just got your boards?
Andrew Vucko: You know what, it's funny, I didn't really intend to start writing on post-its. I didn't go out of my way like, "Oh, I really gotta try this method I heard. It's really great for efficiency."
Joey Korenman: I read it in a book.
Andrew Vucko: Yeah, yeah, exactly. This is many years ago, but we just happened to have this really thick pad of post-it notes. And it just happened to be beside my desk. And for whatever reason, I just had to start making little notes like, "Do the laundry tonight." Little minuscule things like that. And it just happened to be that what I was writing on was a post-it, right?
And from there it just grew and grew and grew, and then I had a shit ton of post-its on my desk, and I'm like, "This won't do, this is so disorganized. I gotta put this up somewhere." And now, like my back wall here in my office, is just ... I've organized it all by day of the week. I can totally link you up with a picture to it, because that's a lot more self explanatory. But yeah, everything's by day of the week, and I also have thing separated by medium term goals and long term goals.
Basically, my short term goals are the week that I have ahead. And all the post-its that I have under medium term goals are thing that I want to do within the next month. And then everything under long term goals is something that I see myself doing in the next three years. And it could, again, be life stuff, it could be like, "I want to get a dog," or, "I want to go learn how to salsa," like that. You know what I mean, it could just be pretty much anything.
I just happen to post all these things on a wall, and then I found out there was a way to better organize these things, and I've just been finessing it ever since. And not a day goes by where I don't put something up on that wall, including today. Including this interview.
Joey Korenman: That's beautiful. It's like a real life Trello, or something.
Andrew Vucko: Oh, yeah, exactly.
Joey Korenman: So, lets go down a little rabbit hole here. So, the Power of Like, and again, we're gonna link to it in the show notes, the message of it is, you're sort of begging the questions: What's the effect of this social media feedback loop that now gives us feedback, not on just the work that we do as motion designers, but on the picture of our sandwich we just took? You find yourself starting to do things in the hopes that you'll get some likes for them. What does that mean for society and things like that?
And I'm curious where that idea came from. You know, because before this you did your other short piece Original, which got a lot of attention and a lot of likes. And I'm curious if this was kind of a reaction to that.
Andrew Vucko: Yeah, I mean, the problem itself, in terms of the social media battle, it's still a fucking battle for me in terms of the influence that these things have. One of the things that was really interesting from the feedback that I had received from this project, was people saying, "Well, it didn't really give me a solution. Thanks for that."
Well, the whole thing was ... And that's cool, I'm so glad I got all sorts of feedback on that, it's amazing being criticized sometimes on stuff, cause it opens your mind, right? But what I had to remember is that this was more of an awareness piece as opposed to here is the solution. Because I still haven't figured it out. I feel the push and pull from social media all the time.
To go back and talk about the origin of the project, it all started when ... I guess it definitely started with Original, but it would definitely ... There was this thread through feature of Motionographer. And I am so in debt to Justin and those guys for being able to show my stuff, because it's opened up a lot of avenues in terms of getting eyes on my work. But the last project that I had put up on there, which was, I don't know if you remember it or other people remember it, but it's called Boomerang Mono. So it was animated typeface for anemography.
That was one project after putting it up and it being featured there, that I was really proud of. And that's super rare, I find, when you're a creator, is to finish a project and be like, "I still kind of like what this is." It was just a really rare feeling. Wow, I've never felt this way before. When that got launched, something really dangerous happened, where I had a little bit of an expectation when it got posted on Motionographer. No matter how much or little attention that it would have gotten, I wasn't gonna be satisfied, because I had an expectation of how I thought things were gonna go down after that.
Because I was trying to match other people's expectations to my expectations. Wow, I like this. I'm not trying to play that in terms of people liked it or disliked it, I'm sure there's people on both sides. But I just thought that I would be receiving a lot more eyes on it then I did. It just wasn't enough for me.
So, that's where in terms of I had to look within myself and see, "Why did I even make that project? Why do I make anything?" Why do I create these passion projects, what is my expectation? Why, why, why? Is this for myself or for my audience? Again, it's hard. It's like a push and pull. I don't unfortunately have a solution for this, but I want to be able to say that I'm doing it for myself.
From there, I said, "Listen, I have to do something that's gonna feed my soul free of any expectation, and I can't possibly be the only person who feels this way." And that's when I reached out and was super lucky to work with a bunch of other artists on a project who had the exact same feelings as me.
To go back on to the social media, I think it's really important for people utilize that and it's important to sell them your work as an artist and keeping up with people. And it has a lot of other benefits, but I think the lesson in terms of all of this is, moderation and keeping your mind clear on what's really important in your life. Do you feel like its benefited our industry or narrowed the scope at all?
Joey Korenman: What, the specific piece?
Andrew Vucko: In terms of just social media.
Joey Korenman: Oh! That's a really good question. I guess it's a double edged sword. I think it's like anything else, it's easy to look at the negatives of ... Social media is designed by scientists to be addictive so that there's more eyeballs, because their monetization strategy is advertising. Knowing that, and looking at it through that lens, it's pretty clear that you've got some negative side effects, right?
Like exactly what you said, you approached a project that, had you just done it and said, "Wow, this came out really cool and I'm glad that it's gonna get shared, and then I'm gonna move on to the next one, and that's gonna be cool too." It would have been a 100% positive experience, but because some part of your brain was hoping for a big burst of dopamine when all the likes came in and all the retweets came in, and they didn't come in, at least not the volume you were thinking, and there was this negative aspect to it.
It's like when you get on Facebook and you post a picture of yourself and you're like, "God, I look good in that picture," and you get no likes.
Andrew Vucko: Yeah.
Joey Korenman: Come on! It's awful, it's the worst thing ever. And of course, it isn't. But at the time, there's a huge upside to it. And I think you're a pretty good example of that, where you've been able to very quickly make a lot of people aware that you're out there and you got this talent that you can do this stuff. So, I'm not sure ... I think it's both. I wish I could just put my foot down and say, "It's one or the other," but I really think that it's both.
Andrew Vucko: Yeah. I cut myself way down, nearly 90%, on how much I browse on Instagram or Facebook. And immediately, there's this huge benefit where I'm just like, "Wow." I couldn't put my finger on it, it's just, "I just feel great. I feel free, liberated."
I think of the losses, in terms of what I've had from that, are not so much that I can keep up with work. It's not work wise, just more about, "Oh, there's this really cool bar," or, "cool band," or like, "this place is having a good food special that is only tonight." Ways of finding about things immediately. That's lost on you, if you quit that stuff. And I found that that has been the biggest battle in terms of getting that off, because I like the idea of being connected and experiencing new things. It just means that you have to look a lot harder in other places for that. So, it's definitely a convenience thing when it comes to that.
Joey Korenman: Yeah, so, one of the things that we actually ask our students to do at the very beginning at some of our classes, is install a chrome plugin, it's called News Feed Eradicator.
Andrew Vucko: Oh shit!
Joey Korenman: What it does ... We'll link to it in the show notes and hopefully we'll give a lot of people this experience. You go to Facebook and there's no news feed. It replaces it with a quote, and it's usually some ... I'm looking at it right now, it says, "If we don't discipline ourselves, the world will do it for us." And there's no news feed.
What's cool about this is if you're a member of a group or something, or your business has a Facebook page or whatever, you can still access that stuff and see it. And if you want to see what your friend, Andrew, is doing, you can go to his Facebook page and look. But you are not gonna have this scientifically cultivated Facebook feed, that's designed, not to make your life better, but to keep you on Facebook as long as humanly possible. I don't know, there's articles written about it. It's amazing how scientific it's gotten.
Man, this conversation did not go where I thought it was gonna go, Andrew, and I hope that by the end of it we have a solution for everybody that can fix all the ills of social media.
Andrew Vucko: Yeah. Oh, hey, if you ever figure that out, let me know, please.
Joey Korenman: Well, let's talk about one of the benefits of it. And you've certainly benefited from having your work shared quite a bit, at least in motion design terms. And Vimeo, I think, Original has over 100,000 views, it was Vimeo staff pick. It was featured on Motionographer. I've heard different things from different people, when that happens, some times it makes your whole career and you never would be where you are without it. And some times, it's like, "Well, it was great, and my ego sure got a nice boost, but I didn't get anymore work from it, it just was sort of like I got a bunch of fan mail."
So I'm curious, in your experience, has being featured, especially these big personal projects, has that helped your career?
Andrew Vucko: Yes. Absolutely. I believe it was a lot of work for me to do all these personal things, because if I'm working on something personal then I'm taking away from something else in terms of a paid project, or this and that. In terms of the opportunities that these projects have provided me, yes, I've had a lot more on my plate since that. But you have to put yourself ... You have to be willing to invest in yourself to be able to see a more rapid change in your life. You know what I mean, if you want the change in your life, so you want more work or you want more attention on your work, you have to create that change yourself.
Yes. Going back to what you said, I definitely had more opportunities because of it, but it's all been because I'm like, "Listen, I gotta make something for myself now."
Joey Korenman: So, how does it work in practice that it helps your career? Do you put something out, it gets featured, everyone shares it, it's on Wine after Coffee, it's on Motionographer, and then studios start trying to book you? Is that how it works, or is it more subtle than that?
Andrew Vucko: Dude, I think I've just been ... Oh, man, I've just been so fortunate. I'm so grateful to so many people. I think there's a lot to be said in terms of getting the right eyes on a project. A lot of it is hard work, but there is luck, just having the right person coming across your work.
I have a variety of different people approaching me, predominantly it's been just direct agency direct client work that has really been the most apparent in terms of how my work has changed. Because I used to do a lot of studio work before, but ever since, I've really been focusing on personal projects. I've been fortunate enough to have opportunities up the chain in terms of ... As an artist, I would act as that vendor. So I wouldn't be underneath the studio, or I would just be working direct to clients.
So, I would just say that I'm really happy that it's gone that way, just because it provides you more creative control in terms of the projects that you're working more on, if you're working direct to client. Then you're not going through this daisy chain or broken telephone sort of situation.
Joey Korenman: Yeah. It's amazing that it's worked out that way. And I'm sure everyone listening is thinking, "God, that sounds so great. I can't wait to go do a personal project." So, the personal projects you've put out there, Original, The Power of Like. And I know the Power of Like you had other animators helping you out. John Black's beautiful soundtrack and everything.
But it still gotta take a lot of your time up. So I'm curious, how do you make the time to do that? Are you literally turning down paid work to do that stuff?
Andrew Vucko: No, not exactly. Usually, it's just about being smart about time management in terms of, I have an hour here, so I could either catch up on Netflix, or I could work on this project. It's just about finding all these small moments in your life to kind of slot these projects into. And more about seeing the long term goals that this project is gonna bring to you.
So let's say I could put an hour into working on Power of Like, or I could watch an episode of Fraiser. Well, actually no, that's kind of a tough one.
Joey Korenman: Fraiser, good lord.
Andrew Vucko: I'd take Fraiser over anything, man. It's like what's gonna be ... I think this is a part of a larger thing in terms of looking internally what your motivation is, and then what's your intended outcome of a project. I want to be able to work more with agencies, great. I want to work more with narrative projects, great. That's your intended outcome. What are you gonna do to get there?
Is Fraiser gonna get you there, or is working an hour a day and slotting in your time is gonna get you there? You have to essentially write down your goals and your wants, and try and align your life to that. And again, easier said than done. I love Fraiser, so, I don't know, man. It's a battle every day.
Joey Korenman: Yeah. You were talking about discipline. And there's been a lot of books written on finding discipline and creating discipline, and no one really has the answer. I like the way you put it though. A lot of times, I think it's about defining your goals a little bit more clearly. So if your goals is, "I want to be a better motion designer." That's not clear.
So then when you have that free hour, "Okay, I could work on becoming a better motion designer," but you haven't figured out what that means and you don't know what concrete step to take to do that. Whereas, if your goal is, "I want to work direct with agencies." Well, that you can start to break into some little chunks. "Okay, well that means that I don't have anything on my reel that looks like what an agency would do, so that means I need to do some stuff that looks like that. Okay, so what's step one? Well, I'm not a good designer, I need to find a good designer to hire to make some boards for me." Whatever. Once you have that, then it's that over Fraiser.
Andrew Vucko: Whoa, whoa, whoa. We're talking like Seinfeld versus Friends, it's like, "What about ..." Yeah, so, I think it's really important to keep that discipline and that focus. But it's really easy to get sidetracked, where one week you're like, "Okay, I'm just gonna do this 2D illustration and I'm gonna animate it," and then a job comes up on a Friday and it's for modeling and rendering, or something and whatever. And you say to yourself, "Well, I have that skill set. I could do that."
These opportunities start pulling you in the wrong direction and offering you temptation. You know what I mean? So, there's a lot of things that come up with that, and I get it, everybody's gotta eat. But, you have to be able to check your discipline constantly to see if its aligned with your goals. Is that 3D job gonna be aligned with your goals a year down the line? Because I guarantee you, year down the line, you might not be thinking about that five days you spent on that job. You know what I mean? I think you have to think a lot bigger in terms of where you're gonna be. And I think you're gonna have a much better outcome that way.
Joey Korenman: That is such good advice, man. Well, lets end on this question. Your career's been pretty short so far, man. I mean, where are you gonna be in ten years, it's kind of scary to think. But you've had Vimeo staff picks, you've been featured on Motionographer, industry recognition. And we've talked a lot about goal setting a discipline, and kind of figuring out what your "why?" is. "Why am I gonna watch Fraiser?" Or, "Why am I going to spend that hour working on this After Effects comp?"
Now that you've gotten some success, what is it that keeps you pushing your craft forward?
Andrew Vucko: Oh, man, that's a good question. Shit! I'm not sure if I have an airtight answer for that. What I'll say is, I'm having a lot of fun right now. I think there's just and insanely cool amount and saturation of talent becoming more apparent in our world, right? So, that just makes you want to work a lot harder and work with those people.
I think the more people there are in our industry that are working hard, pushes you to work harder as well. Yeah, I just think that I'm just having a lot of fun, and I can't wait to see what's next.
Joey Korenman: Well, that's awesome. And I can't wait to see what's next, and I can't wait to see what's next Motionographer feature and everything else you're working on, man. Thank you so much for coming on, dude. This was amazing.
Andrew Vucko: Dude, thank you so much for having me, this is great.
Joey Korenman: Alright. Now, you need to go to Vucko.TV and check out Andrew's stuff. It might make you a little jealous, but it will definitely motivate you to work even harder and to push your skills. Let's face it, sometimes a push is really what you need.
Thanks so much for listening, it means the world to us, and we will see you next time.