Designer Interview: Dan Ojari
We have been working with Dan Ojari, a graduate from the prestigious London Royal College of Art, since he produced our Hemp animation in 2012.
Here we learn more about award winning animator Dan:
1. Can you give us a little background about yourself and your work?
I grew up in Sheffield, a city in the UK, and was home educated up until the age of 15. I've always loved drawing, making and creating things, and ended up going to Wimbledon Art College in London. It was there that I got into making animations and I'm now working as an animator and director of short films. My most recent short film Slow Derek won several awards internationally and was selected for the Sundance Film Festival last year. I try to make films that create a visually exciting and thoughtful experience for the viewer. Hopefully that allows them to engage with the subject of the film in a subtle and personal way.
2. How would you describe your work in ten words?
A strange and subtle craft that hopefully inspires wonder and enjoyment. (Sorry that’s 11!)
3. List five things that have inspired you and your work
Neil Buchanan! Art Attack was such a fantastically creative programme that must have inspired a whole generation of children to draw, paint and sculpt and was most definitely one of them! Bring Neil back!
The Brothers Quay, they make dark, weird and surreal animated films and were a massive inspiration to me when I first started looking at what you can do with the medium of stop motion animation.
The amazing Bruce Bickford, his animations are completely insane in all senses of the word and look like nothing else. I really admire his absolute passion and dedication to his art.
Hollywood! I’ve cleverly condensed a lot of films into this one, but I love film of all kinds and take inspiration from Kubrick to Jean-Claude Van Damme!
My Peers, I find that most all it is the creative people around that inspire me the most. Friends, family and classmates, I think it is important to surround yourself with people who like making things.
4. How did you begin your career as an animator?
Whilst studying my degree in set design for film and theatre, I decided to make a short animated film, (which ended up being ‘Obscura’). Because animation wasn’t part of the course I had to teach myself most things and the project was a huge learning curve. However I found it an extremely exciting and expressive medium and quickly became obsessed with the wonderful world of animation! I then went on to study an MA in animation the Royal College of Art and since graduating have been working on a variety of projects, commissions and short films.
5. What's next?
I’m planning to spend the next month making a very short film that I’ve been developing for a while. It’s going to be technically quite challenging as I plan to film it all outside mostly in a forest. I want to combine time-lapse photography with animated elements, which will hopefully create a surreal otherworldly quality to the film.
6. Please can you tell us a bit about your work for Camira
I really have enjoyed working with Camira, each project has been a real pleasure, with interesting briefs. The first film for ‘Hemp’ really interested me because it was about telling the story of how this sustainable and eco-friendly fabric is made.
The most recent film for 'Blazer' is again explaining the story behind where the wool comes from and how it helps protect the surrounding environment.
The thing I’ve liked most about these commissions is the challenge of making everything out of fabric! As the idea from the start was that everything you would see in the films had to be made from the fabric itself.