Interview of Patrick Clair, motion designer from Sydney
Patrick Clair is a motion designer from Sydney, Australia. He specializes in visualizing information and directing design teams. Unlike a lot of motion designers working only for the web media, Patrick essentially works for TV He produces very efficient and original videos, with sometimes more experimental and artistic projects.
Patrick answered my questions through a little interview, in which he explains his career, his vision of motion design and design on other medias..
Could you sum up your cursus ? How did you came to motion design ?
"I was initially interested in live-action. This was back around 2002. I'd just finished studying and expected to spend my career out on set.
Then I started noticing how much cool stuff was happening in motion design. Companies like MK12 and Psyop were part of this pack of firms that were out there creating moving imagery in aesthetics that had never been possible before. I was hooked immediately and started teaching myself AfterEffects. I did a few internships and then went back to uni to study for my MA in Digital Media. By the time I finished that I was ready for the real world and I've been working in TV ever since. "
What is the relationship between your motion design / infographic work and the information it contains ? Do you consider your work as a form of journalism ? (this question is about your work for HungryBeast particularly).
"I try to let the content dictate the imagery as much as possible. I find that the more direct the relationship is then the more the audience is engaged by the finished product. On HungryBeast I would get the script and then just make up visuals from start to end. Some scripts have concepts that are hard to visualise, so for those I would really on abstract graphics to cover those bits. My studio is always covered in reference material from all my favourite designers so I use that for inspiration.
Where possible though, I try to let the visuals playful interpret the meaning and content of the information. "
You work a lot for TV as I see through your portfolio. What do you think about the future of the TV media, when Internet is growing more and more ? By the way, do you work with other medias, like print design or interactive design ?
"I stick to linear formats, cause what I'm doing is all about communicating a string of ideas - but I do use interactive media to inspire the aesthetics of my work. Lots of my videos are really trying to look like flash interfaces or websites. I think that the proliferation of internet use has prepared audiences for consuming lots of content through graphics design and animation. I imagine in the future that a lot of my work will be for portable devices, from what I've seen so far the iPad is an amazing device for combining the visual language of animation and TV with the art direction and layout of magazines - its an exciting time to be working in these media. "
Some of your projects have a strong artistic and experimental aspect (like your works for TedxSydney). Do you work on this kind of project regularly ?
"When I can. Usually those sorts of jobs are difficult, and they usually have no or low budgets. They are a lot of fun though. I like the idea of innovating when I can. Generally though, I find it easier to work on content that has a clear purpose other than just looking pretty. When you do stumble on a new technique it is fun to play with it in videos like the TEDx ones - now I just want to find a way to use that technique to create visuals for information design."
You told me you worked in France just few weeks ago. Did you notice some differences in the design approach between french and australian people ?
"I was only there for a week so I'm not sure I spent enough time to really get used to it - what I can say is that the French clearly have a passion for great design and great food - what more could you want ;) "
I really thank Patrick very much to answer my questions, even if he has a heavy workload. I suggest you to have a look at his online portfolio :