Brooklyn-based animator and illustrator Sylvia Yang has art directed and designed a short for Bloomberg Businessweek. Exploring the subject of bitcoins and the way other cryptocurrencies are becoming more popular, the film also shares ideas on where the technology may be headed. “My producer Raymond Schilinger and I initially pitched the idea to create an animation in conjunction with the launch of Bloomberg Buinessweek magazine’s The Year Ahead special issue,” explains Sylvia. “I worked with a great team. They gave me tons of freedom while I was building the illustration style and creating visual storytelling. The only constraints were the tight deadline and maintaining accuracy with the script.”
Sylvia describes her style as “fun, colourful and quirky” often scattered with “cute” elements. “I am usually inspired by many things I like to do, such as watching animated gifs, weird videos deep on YouTube and cooking,” says the animator. The short, bright, bold imagery is used to communicate the abstract ideas of the narration, and the simple shapes and familiar, everyday images used throughout help the viewer “easily find a strong connection between the story and their lives”.
The creative worked closely with the writer and producer in order to make sure the complicated economic and technical jargon of the script was understood, in order to allow the visuals to be aligned with the story. She then collaborated with an “all-star freelancing animation team” made up of Andrew Embury, Ricardo Mendes, Ronaldo Serrano, Daniel Elder and Kyle Martinez, who pulled it all together in just a few weeks.
“Cryptocurrency has been one of the most popular subjects on the website and social media this past year, so we thought that animation would be an excellent way to both summarise the current state of the news and look to what’s coming in the future,” says Sylvia of the drive behind the project. “There is a lot of misunderstanding out there about bitcoin, and we wanted this animation to help educate non-technical and non-financial experts on the topic.