Creative Lives — Doing your best “even in the tiniest of tasks” with Uniform motion designer, Beatriz Diogo

Posted 14 August 2018 Interview by Marianne Hanoun

Originally from Porto, Portugal, Beatriz Diogo moved to Uniform in Liverpool earlier this year. “Moving to another country without looking back has been my biggest challenge,” she tells us. But as well as getting to grips with different accents, in her first professional role as a junior motion designer, Beatriz has been able to fully immerse herself in all aspects of the work. Collaborating openly with the rest of the team, on any given day, she could be working on animations, editing and colour grading or making films for social media and even augmented reality. Here, she tells us about making a film for Liverpool Football Club, learning to ‘wing it’ when things went wrong and working in the ‘massive mix of different cultures’ that is Liverpool.

Beatriz Diogo

Job Title

Junior Motion Designer, Uniform (January 2018–present)

Based

Liverpool. Hometown: Porto, Portugal

Previous Employment

Video Editor, Toda-a-Prova, Porto, Portugal (2016–2017)

Education

Motion Design Postgraduate study, ESAD, Porto (2016–2017)
Communication and Multimedia Design, ESEC, Coimbra (2012–2014)

Website

Beatriz at work

Day-to-Day

How would you describe your job?
I work as a junior motion designer supporting the film team in the delivery of projects, such as animations, film pitches, social media films, promos and even augmented reality projects. Sometimes I help with editing, colour grading and creating assets like style frames. I’ve also had the opportunity to explore briefs, generate ideas and produce content, for example the Scout film or Track.

What does a typical working day look like?
A typical day starts at 9 and ends at 5:30. Depending on projects, my time is split between different tasks and projects, sometimes I can be working on the same project for weeks or I can be filming in the morning for one project and illustrating for another in the afternoon. My time is scheduled by the project management team that organises my time according my skills, avoiding pressure and stress during the tasks. 

What do you like about working in Liverpool?
It’s a massive mix of different cultures, creating a sense of joy for life, variety and the people are really kind. Every street and shop has a different feeling. I think it is affordable and would definitely recommend it!

“Every day I leave with the certainty that I’ve done my best even in the tiniest of tasks.”

How did you land your current job?
I found it on one of my favourite motion graphics website, Motionographer. I think I got the job because I’m a hard worker, a considerable person and passionate about my work.

How collaborative is your role? 
Uniform has a very open concept, which allow me to collaborate with every member of the film team as well as the augmented reality team, brand designers, web designers, project managers, among others.

What are the most and least enjoyable aspects of your job? 
It allows me a good life-work balance because every day I leave with the certainty that I’ve done my best even in the tiniest of tasks. I leave work with a sense of job well done and that makes me feel comfortable and available to connect with myself and others.

Inside the studio

Inside the studio

Inside the studio

What has been the most exciting project of the last twelve months? 
The most challenging project was the European Cup film for Liverpool Football Club. This was a case where the whole film team was involved: Laurie Jones on direction and Ben Potts, Charlie Pastor, Deepesh Patel and I on animation. We developed this animation in a very tight deadline – it was a good challenge as we managed our time, shared tasks, and helped each other out. Since they planned the animatics, I worked as researcher, animator and sound designer.

What skills are essential to your job?
It is essential to be able to take a simple idea and turn it into a complex and great film or motion design piece. That involves everything from creative thinking, graphic design, storyboarding and illustration to animation and filmmaking. Being a motion designer brings all these areas together. More than technical or creative skills, a motion designer must have the willingness to learn and be open to new approaches. Nowadays changes in motion design are faster than ever, and you need to keep learning new tips, styles, artists and ways of working if you want to keep growing professionally.

What tools do you use most for your work?
Illustrator, Photoshop and a Wacom tablet for illustration and graphic design; After Effects, Premiere, Davinci Resolve and Cinema 4D for animation, video editing, colour grading; and finally Audition to work with sound. 

Video for the Harrow 3D map

European Cup film for Liverpool Football Club

How I Got Here

What did you want to be growing up? And, if you went onto university, did this have any impact on what you studied?
When I was younger I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to be. I just knew I wanted to be surrounded by creative and good people, working with cameras, photography and film. I ended up with a degree in communication and multimedia design and later a postgraduate qualification in motion design.

What were your first jobs? 
My very first role as a video editor was at a small creative company in Porto. It was a very challenging experience, where I had the opportunity to work on promotional event campaigns for McDonald's, Hyundai and Solverde Casino. I had to be my own project manager, which taught me about responsibility, organisation and how to wing it when things go wrong. It allowed me to understand the power of pre-production and how important motion graphics are for film. That’s the main reason why I decided to go into a motion design postgraduate study right away.

“I just knew I wanted to be working with cameras, photography and film, surrounded by creative people.”

In the studio

Was there a particular person that helped your development at the start of your career?
My parents always taught me to keep my standards high and to choose who I surround myself with wisely. In 2015 I was also lucky enough to join Dharma5academy team for an academic internship where I worked with incredible and inspiring people. They taught me everything about being the best person and professional I can be, how to “be the change you want to see”, how to deal with other’s opinions, the importance of working with passion, and of finding meaning in every task. I’m sure without their teachings I wouldn't be here, embracing fears and learning at any opportunity I have.

What’s been your biggest challenge?
Personally, my biggest challenge was moving all by myself to another country without looking back. Since my first day in Liverpool, everyday has been a challenge. Speaking english all the time, understanding different accents (still not getting the scouse one!); and having my first professional experience as a motion designer among other situations have put me completely outside of my comfort zone. And despite feeling uncomfortable at times, being at Uniform has shown me how strong and resilient people can be when they’re pushed outside of their little box.

Is your job what you thought it would be? 
Yes, and more. At the beginning, I thought I would be in a technician position, doing the ‘boring’ work beyond After Effects or Premiere, as I’m a junior. It has been surprisingly good to have the chance to follow projects from the beginning, being in client meetings, being challenged to create, and interacting with different areas and people. It has allowed me to grow so much in such a short period of time.

Character animation by Beatriz, done on a workshop with animator Emanuelle Colombo

bumpum​​​​​​​ – a short animation about connection and union between different beings

Words of Wisdom

What advice would you give to a young creative wanting to do the same kind of work?
Nowadays, you can learn everything online. So there’s no excuse to not learn motion design skills if that’s what you want to do. You just need to practice, practice, practice. Make mistakes along the way and learn from them. Find your own way of working, work hard, and feel proud of every detail.

Ask for help, listen to people who have more experience than you and what they think about your work. Fill yourself with inspiring experiences, thoughts and work. Absorb everything you can and apply it.

Posted 14 August 2018 Interview by Marianne Hanoun
Photography: Pete Carr
Collection: Creative Lives
Disciplines: Animation, Film, Digital
Mentions: Beatriz Diogo, Uniform

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