Animator and designer Gonzalo Menevichian tells us about his “psychedelic, refined, and sophisticated” work
Born in Buenos Aires and now based in New York, this animator knows a thing or two about combining slick visuals and compelling sound design.
- Ruby Boddington
- 11 August 2020
Animation was never something Gonzalo Menevichian considered a viable career, it was just something he started exploring at home, playing around on his computer for fun. He learned through online tutorials, as well as sharing his work with others and getting feedback from them. “I remember being really motivated by a DVD of Michel Gondry’s music videos at that time and being very excited about the techniques and what could be possible,” he tells It’s Nice That. But it was the “immense possibility of combing visual languages, editing, synchronisation and music” which left him “speechless”, inspiring a career in the animation field.
Originally from Buenos Aires, Gonzalo is now based in New York where he works for Buck as a designer and animator. His works, both made at Buck and in his personal practice caught our eye for their impeccable blend of visuals and sound design, with one always supporting the other. When asked how he’d describe his visual language, Gonzalo says: “I’d say it’s a bit psychedelic, refined, and sophisticated.” He always pays attention to shapes and what they’re doing when he designs or draws, adding that “I always try to do something that is clean and easy to read, like if I’m doing typographic design.”
This approach translates to his animation work, where each frame is treated with the utmost care, with Gonzalo ensuring that each is a “good frame, paying real attention to the composition, to what the arc looks like, how it enters the screen, and how it goes off.” The result is slick but it still allows room to play, something which particularly shines through in Gonzalo’s transitions.
Take Gonzalo’s project Time, for example, an ongoing project which he has begun to share on Instagram. It sees him creating a short film that talks about how time could pass inside the mind. Within the film, Gonzalo employs The Kuleshov Effect, a film editing technique by which viewers derive more meaning from the interaction of two sequential shots than from a single shot in isolation. It makes for a compelling and intriguing watch, where you’re never quite sure how an object or scene will morph into something else.
In another work titled Jazz, Gonzalo displays his incredible ability to combine visuals and sound, experimenting with creating work for social media and how music could be a central aspect of the animation. “Most of the time, music plays a supporting role for the images and even in many cases, it is created after the images are created. In this case, I thought, how would images react to music?” he explains. He, therefore, began by creating four melodies (as a musician himself) that could live in different parts of a song – “the intro, verse, solo, ending, all done on the same musical scale.” He then translated that visually, communicating the song via an animation of an instrument “that can be easily read in this format and at the same time be able to display visual interactions.”
On the kinds of projects which excite him the most, however, Gonzalo explains it’s animations that empathise with something or invite viewers to have an experience with a concept or idea. “I love the unconventional – experimental design and animations – where I can see different points of view or when I challenge myself to have another way of seeing things,” he says. He’s also excited to work on projects that improve peoples’ lives in some way, whether that’s by “sharing knowledge, scientific facts, culture; designing and animating things that could help people to have a better understanding of ourselves and our surroundings.” So looking ahead it’s these kinds of projects Gonzalo wants to focus on, where the “end result connects and improves our future as a collective.”
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.