Guiding You Into The World of Wow-How Studio: Interview with Andrew Piskarjow, Art Director

Author: Bob Dec 29, 2021 7 min read

Introduction

Hi and glad to see you again! We continue our rubric where we get you acquainted with the top talents of the Wow-How Studio. 

Today we have a special guest ― a person who stands behind each project we release; a person with an awesome visual taste and simply the DAD of our artists ― Andrew Piskarjow, Art Director at Wow-How Studio. 

Andrew oversees the entire creative process from concept creation to production to ensure you get exactly what you wanted in the very beginning. 

 

Andrew, it’s a great pleasure to see you there. 

Hi, Bob. Nice to see you again!

 

Past Experience

Tell us a bit more about your background. How did you become a member of the Wow-How Family?

 

In fact, I was not searching for a new job when I bumped into Wow-How Studio. I saw one of their videos posted on the net and decided to check the website and portfolio. The works pleasantly surprised me ― they were of high quality, creative, and met the client’s request. 

What also appealed to me is Wow-How’s experience working with clients from the US and Europe. They have strong expertise in 2D &3D art and animation, so I thought it would be great to collaborate with them and get valuable insights into their approach to video production. 

And since the time I saw the company’s works, the thought of starting cooperation with Wow-How Studio was hovering over my head. And… I decided to give it a shot! I contacted Marina, a Recruiter at Wow-How, and asked whether they have an open position that would suit my skills and experience. We had a conversation, and soon, I received an offer. 

 

Could you tell us a bit more about your experience? Have you always been a 2D artist?

 

Actually, no. I started my career path as a director. When I was 24, my friend and I came up with an idea for a TV series. We used our skills and experience to create the first scratches for the first couple of series and sent them for a contest. 

I started as a creative producer working on a TV series, and then we moved on to working on various projects for well-known brands. 

Having grown into a Creative Director, I was actively involved in managing team leads and artists. The main challenge was to shortlist the right professional for a particular project and direct artists in the right direction while finding the right balance between creativity and a reasonable approach to work. I also had multiple projects as a 2D animator creating content for leading companies in the niche. 

 

About Art Director’s Role

Who is an Art Director? Which role does this person play in the life of an animation studio?

 

An Art Director is a person responsible for creative management. When we have a new project, a Creative Director, together with scriptwriters, comes up with concepts, creates visuals, and picks references to back them up. They also create a mood board, provide recommendations on the choice of characters, storylines, colors, and work on various nuances. 

As a client-oriented studio, we always pay attention to the request and goal to ensure we produce a video that best fits the customer’s requirements. 

A usual process of video production looks as follows: 

  • A sales manager signs a contract with a client
  • We conduct a kick-off session with producers and develop concepts that align with the client’s idea.
  • After that, we start working with artists, which takes up the biggest share of time. Artists create a storyboard, style frames and come down to animation. An Art Director manages all these processes to ensure all the assets, visuals, and animation are produced according to the concept and the client’s message. It also should have a unified style that meets the client’s requirements. 

 

A big part of the Art Director’s work is allocated to artists’ management. Whenever our employees want to grow professionally, we appreciate it and strive to provide them with relevant resources and opportunities. 

In terms of people management, I support artists in their professional development, analyze their skills, and advise on improving them. 

 

Skills & Knowledge

Let’s imagine there is a perfect universe with perfect people. How would an Art Director look in this universe? 

 

An Art Director is the person accountable for managing all the creative processes in a company. As you might have guessed, it is quite a responsible mission, which requires a set of skills and solid experience in the creative field.

Well-developed figurative thinking is probably one of the most important traits in the Art Director’s job. The person should have a solid awareness of visual styles from Renaissance works to the latest trends in NFT. 

Team management is also essential. Having the ability to manage resources and cooperate with multiple stakeholders is always helpful when you are working on the project and share certain goals. 

It would also be great to have some hard skills. Sometimes you need to make adjustments to the final work or add some details. 

All in all, the primary goal of an Art Director is to come up with the most optimal solution within budget, time, and other constraints set by the client.

 

You mentioned that having a well-developed visual taste is crucial for an Art Director’s role. In fact, there are two views on that ― while some believe it is a talent that cannot be acquired, others say it can be developed. Which one do you stick to?

 

I believe that every skill can be developed. You just need to set measurable goals and invest enough time and effort into obtaining it. 

But you should also keep in mind that visual taste is not something that can be mastered in a couple of evenings. If you’ve watched several TED videos and registered on Behance to check the latest trends and think that’s it ― you’re wrong. 

A person should have a creative background and be a part of the creative network to have this vision. When you are a part of this ecosystem, and your lifestyle is surrounded by art and creative stuff, as a rule, this vision comes naturally. 

But in general, any skill can be developed. Visual taste is not something that can be described in a particular way. Thus, you might require more time and effort to acquire it. 

 

Case Studies

Speaking of your experience, have you had any remarkable projects so far? If yes, which ones? 

 

Bearpaw is one of the recent projects I adored working with. The task was to create an animated film devoted to the anniversary of the Bearpaw brand. Our team applied a range of 2D styles to convey the brand story and values that stand behind the company. 

Our team chose the most optimal match of colors, developed characters, carefully worked on details to ensure the idea would be conveyed in the best way possible. 

I was delighted with the result as the video perfectly aligned with the project’s goal. The concept, idea, and seasoned artists ― everything was executed at a really high level. Such works motivate us to progress and grow professionally as the team can try different approaches, techniques, and animation styles. 

 

Final Words

Thank you, Andrew, for such an insightful conversation. It’s always great to speak to Wow-How talents and know more about their experience and ideas. I am sure we will meet you on the pages of our blog and see you sharing more insights into art direction.

 

So, stay tuned!

 

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