NERD Productions Welcomes Illustrator Amanda Lanzone

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Catching up with Amanda, we took a peek into her creative journey and explored her sources of inspiration, her favourite work,  and found out she really is a true NERD!

What has been the most exhilarating source of inspiration shaping your bold and playful style in illustration, and how has it evolved throughout your career?

I have always drawn from my own life and interests. I enjoy drawing the things I love, things I think would be clever, my surroundings, things inspired by memories, current happenings, or things I wish existed. Inspiration can really come from anywhere at any time. I have taken pictures of trash in the street because I liked how the colours looked together.

I think it’s very natural for an artist to continuously grow, and at the same time hone in on what makes them consistently and uniquely themselves. Over time, my style evolved naturally. I pretty much use the same base formula when I make new work, but expand it by tweaking things here and there. I just do what feels right to me at the time.

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Could you share with us a memorable project where you offered a clever creative angle to a concept, and how did you approach the process to achieve it?

Vice had me come up with some unique banners for each of the astrological signs for their horoscope section. This concept was inspired by a big corkboard I had in my childhood bedroom that had a bunch of my stuff stuck to it. (photos, drawings, stickers, tickets, small toys, crafts, trinkets, etc)

The creative process for this was very involved, but also very fun since they really let me run wild with this idea. I worked closely with an astrologer to come up with specific items to fill each sign’s ‘cork board’. Putting these together was meticulous since each item had a specific purpose behind it, which I still think is really cool when I look back on it.

As both an illustrator and a professor at the School of Visual Arts, how do you balance your creative pursuits with teaching and mentoring aspiring artists?

You have to make time for the things that are important to you. Both creating artwork and teaching are very rewarding to me. With my art, I do my own thing, and I guide each of my students to do their own thing, too.

I remember what it was like and how it felt when I was a student at SVA, I learned so much while I was there. And over the years, my career experiences and personal work have taught me things, too. I’m grateful to be at a point where I can pass my knowledge and help young artists blossom. Even as someone who now teaches others, my learning and development are constant.

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And finally, tell us a NERDy fact about yourself 🙂

I definitely have a bunch of niche interests, but some of my more ‘nerdy’ ones revolve around Japanese media. I have a few different old video game systems still plugged in. I never gave up playing games like Katamari Damacy and Dance Dance Revolution. I also still take care of Tamagotchi. I read manga and watch a lot of anime, too. ✌️

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See more from Amanda here.

NERD’s Black Stories: Animation Director, Corinne Ladeinde

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Although our peers feel that efforts for a more diverse industry are being made; we still think that the actions taken are surface level, and black people are a rarity in our industry.

We spoke to black creatives who contribute significantly to their field and have asked them words of advice for current and future artists of colour wanting to break through the creative industry.

Next up is Animation Director Corinne Ladeinde.

Corinne is an award-winning animation director with a passion for storytelling, design, animation and illustration. After working as a lead compositor on projects such as The Snowman and the Snowdog and We’re going on a Bear Hunt! for Channel 4, Corinne further pursued her directing ambitions and has since directed a range of commercials and online films for clients such as Dove, Bach, Bonjela and Liz Earle amongst others.

When did you decide to become an animator/illustrator?

From the age of 6 and growing up, I had in mind that I will become an animator; but once I had graduated and dive into the professional world, I realised that I love storytelling and from then on, started directing.

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How has your upbringing influenced the work that you do today?

My mum is a true stoic. She is my inspiration to always investing my time in the things I truly enjoy. My mother used my brother and me as an excuse to watch the latest animated Disney films at the time. I grew up on a diet of animation from the Lion King to Aladin and The Nightmare Before Christmas. When I was a kid, I was reading a lot, attended regular arts and crafts activities, theatre and galleries. All these things have influenced my vision as an artist.

What advice would you give your younger self?

“To act as if it’s impossible to fail”. This is an Anthony Hopkins quote, that I have learned to live by.

How has it been transitioning from composing to directing?

Directing my first spot was challenging and also very rewarding. It was such a pleasure to work with a team committed to support and nurture young directors.

Working with NERD Productions has allowed me to work with other directors of different disciplines which have helped me to broaden my horizons and offer clients a more varied approach to their work.

Click here to view Corinne’s portfolio.

Want to work with Corinne Ladeinde or another NERD? Click here.

How To Build Your Own Visual Identity

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Illustrator Luke Preece’s guide to finding your own identity as a visual artist and turning your passion into a career.

Before I focused on illustration I was a graphic designer full time and a musician as a side hustle. I could definitely talk at length about my career choices and how I ended up where I am today. It might be beneficial to others coming up… I like helping younger generations where I can. I’m a father to two girls so the parent in me naturally wants to encourage being creative as a viable career choice. There’s never been a better time than now… The opportunities are endless.

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NERD Says: It’s #WorldMentalHealthDay And We’re Here For You.

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Mental health is something that affects each and every one of us differently, some more positively than others. To show our support of all those that may be struggling inside and outside of creative industries, we’ve compiled a list of tips from the NERD family, who’ve shared their personal experiences and triumphs in the hopes of helping others.

Continue reading “NERD Says: It’s #WorldMentalHealthDay And We’re Here For You.”

Inside My Digital Sketchbook: Skeeva

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My Digital Sketchbook – like one huge box of LEGO, where every piece is stored until one day an idea leads you down the path of creating something you hadn’t expected. Mixing, moulding, experimenting… a widespread of elements coming together in front of you to create some very cool happy accidents that you couldn’t even imagine. That’s when something magical happens.

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