Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays

Kyle Platts explains why teaching himself to animate was valuable to his practice

There’s no mistaking the handiwork of illustrator and animation director, Kyle Platts. Vivid and cartoonish compositions filled with strange, wobbly characters, their ballooned foreheads in profile bearing enlarged eyes, are his forte, and a long-time favourite of the It’s Nice That team. Here, he speaks about his recent dabblings in animation and the increasing desire to make his characters move, making utterly brilliant and hugely popular gif artworks.

“I want to talk about how important it was for me to learn to animate and how that’s affected my work,” he explains, showing his first attempt at a character on a “walk cycle”, which he made using entirely analog methods – but he’s since moved on to more sophisticated techniques, he says.

To spur himself on, Kyle says he set himself a goal. “Last year I decided to give myself the challenge to complete my first commercial animation job. Fortunately, MTV came forward and asked me to do this 15-second ident, Well Done Beans.” The bizarre and hilarious clip is an adept translation of the illustrator’s signature style into animated form.

Later last year he followed the project with Furniture Sale, a bump for Adult Swim. “It was another good exercise for me to put something together on my own.

“Being able to animate my own work is also great so I can create new assets for my personal work,” he continued, showing animations based on his illustration work, and vice versa. In one piece, he used the frames from the animation to create a poster. “This is something else I’m interested in, using animation techniques in 2D illustration.” Lastly, Kyle showed his latest and most extensive animated commission, a Giphy Sticker Set.

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