Paweł is someone who already had managed to put his roots down at Trzask. For the past 7 years, he has been constantly making it so that the characters in our ads come alive and start writing their own stories.
At Trzask, Paweł animates, cooks great spaghetti and… outplays the boss at ping-pong. In the meantime, he agreed to answer a couple of questions and bring you closer to the specifics of his work, which is brimming with challenges.
A chat with Paweł Grabowski, a motion designer at the Trzask studio.
Do you remember your first day at Trzask?
Sure I do! It was the summer 2011, 26th of May, I think. It was the Sigma Tower. That’s how we call that building here in Lublin. Trzask is located on the 5th floor. I remember a story: I entered the property, and there was a barrier, closed, no entry. I thought then: nice way of starting our cooperation, huh? I had to put some effort to get in there. Luckily, I’ve managed to do it and our joint journey could commence.
How did your adventure with animation begin?
I’ve dealt with graphic creation early in childhood. The first thing that I’ve done was cutting out Shaquille O’Neal’s face from the newspaper and pasting it onto my own picture. Effect was so cool, I had a photo with Shaq! Two years later, Adobe lunched its first Photoshop.
My first Photoshop was version 6.0, so I began using it to work over images, laying back the analogue work. It was still not enough for me, so I became acquainted with Macromedia and later with Flash. My first Flash was installed by Piotr (Bielecki, the founder and head of Trzask Studio – note MP) – prehistory; we knew each other because we lived in the same street. Thanks to him I seriously got into animating. When he offered me a job at Trzask, there was no way I could’ve refused.
What makes it that, for the 7 past years, you’ve always been ready and waiting to begin the next day that is full of challenges?
Good question! Maybe my congenital ADHD? I think that my expressive personality and the diversification of challenges at Trzask cooperate with each other is some way; they’re a great match. This is a really good question, I’ve never thought about this. I simply wake up and here I am. I doin’ my job.
Seven years is a long time. In your opinion, what is the extent to which the world of digital advertisement has changed?
By 180 degrees. I’m not sure if it’s for the better or for the worse. Animation, in general, underwent a major simplification, not so much from the technical side, but from the visual one. Now, all that matters is the simplicity of the message, minimalism; it used to be different in the past. I think that this is the result of the fact that technology is widely available – everyone can acquire knowledge on animation thanks to all the available tutorials. This, in turn, has an impact on trends because those are not always created by specialists. In the past, getting to know software was very challenging; currently, it doesn’t pose much of a problem because the awareness of solutions is high – all you need is to want something, and it’ll be at your fingertips. Seven years ago, it was definitely much more difficult.
Were the projects as a result of which you’ve questioned the point of your job?
There definitely were a couple of such projects. There were times when I’ve finished a project only to find out that it needs to be done again from the ground up. It’s frustrating, especially that you’ve spent many hours working on it, and in the end, it turns out that that’s not what the client had on their mind. When the storyboard changes completely during a project, the whole project is turned upside down. The whole motivation is shredded into pieces. There weren’t many such projects, but in the span of 7 years, I’ve dealt with a couple. Standard alterations for the client are easy to handle, but when we need to create an entirely new projects as part of those alteration, it is then that the battle begins.
On the other hand, is there a project, which makes you feel better when thinking about it?
Each one that doesn’t cause trouble! I’m the proudest of projects that pose a challenge – one that appears difficult and has many side elements that you have to remember. Or one with a “for yesterday” deadline; in other words, someone needs something done for tomorrow before 5 PM. We sit down, and we do it. The satisfaction that comes from delivering a good project in such a short time span is enormous. You can feel as though you’ve just saved the world.
Do you have your own daily rituals, which help you organise your work at the studio?
Coffee and JoeMonster – I wouldn’t be able to function without these! It’s cool to have a game of ping-pong from time to time, just to relax, lay back, clear your mind. At Trzask, we have a special room in which there is a ping-pong table and all the required equipment. I can highly recommend it to everyone, it’s great fun!
How you ever wondered about what you would be up to if you weren’t a motion designer?
I would probably be building a Supra in my garage. I would go with my interests, and everyone knows that I love cars. But apparently, for me, things were to go differently, and instead of building a Supra, I build the ads. I’m not complaining.