Alex Donne-Johnson (above) held a presentation for the hothouse talk. He is Creative Director of design company Dazzle Ship. Dazzle Ship use film, animation, lighting, photography and 3D effects to produce work for their clients. The company have produced work for such commercial adverts as Adidas, Asics, JD Sport and Heineken. They do charity work, involving themselves with WaterAid. They also do visual production and motion graphics for such computer games as James Bond and SAP – The Future of Big Data.
Alex gave a brief into of his own background and interests, which consisted of the space in the universe, conspiracy theories, and being a generalist, not focusing on just one type of design.
He went through slides of showing how he has grown as a designer, and what Dazzle Ship has been involved with. Alex showed sort video clips of different commercial work, but also he showed what happens behind the scenes. This was great to see as it felt more real. I got insights of these people being creators and not just sitting at a desk on computers. The not so glamorous 3am pizza, in the cold, preparing for another camera shoot.
What I took most from this hothouse talk was Alex’s enthusiasm for design. He spoke about always taking on challenges, about how you should never back down from a project. Always learning and achieving new things. Striving to make the next project even better than the last and using the last project you work on as way to portfolio yourself.
“If someone asks you if you can do something, even if you don’t know how to do it, say yes, and then work out how to do it.”
That is an old saying, that he phrased when talking about projects he’d taken on and thought they might have been to big, but persisted.
The strive for excellence and diversity shows through in the projects that Dazzle Ship have produced. Finding new ways to show something, look at something, zoom in on something, to even work around mishaps or mistakes. They are a company that is always looking for the new trends, and setting trends where they can.
It was a very inspirational talk! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and made me realise that there is a whole world of design out there. Adverts and marketing will always want new ways of looking, seeing and showing, and it is up to us designers, illustrators, storytellers to give them that! Seeing the work Alex showed us, gave me a new insight to different medias, and materials, which I hope to venture into such as; Cinema4D, Motion Graphics, and animation, all which will hopefully improve my ideas, development, research and outcomes as an illustrator.
Dazzle Ship showreel below.
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