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01 Oct 2019

Interview: In Conversation with Omer Qayyum

Featured image by Omer Qayyum

Omer Qayyum is a video editor and motion designer. We chatted with Omer about working in different creative feels and evolving his artistic style. Read more:

As a video editor, do you feel you get challenged creatively? Or does that come through more so in your own work with different creative coding platforms? 

I wanted to put myself in a place where I wasn’t restricted to video, animation, design or even illustration. For the past couple of years, Ive been given roles to edit videos and create animations at the same so it really gave me more freedom. However, that was also the challenge because of many reasons. For instance, there may be a scene where the person that we are interviewing for a documentary is talking about statistics. I had to start asking myself certain questions. Does this scene need video b roll? Should we show the person that we are interviewing on screen? Would the statistics be easier to comprehend for the viewer through an animated graph? Taking the first 2 routes would be easier since the footage has already been shot. If you need to take the last approach, you’ll probably be adding some extra time to your production schedule. The challenge was doing it all on my own, but as of now, the payoff has had so many rewards.

We love how your recent animations have a clean, simple, yet sophisticated aesthetic. How did that come about? Do you see them changing in any way?

Thank you so much for the kind words! My most recent animations went through lots of trial and error. I started experimenting with different programs, colors, styles, etc. My goal was to have a minimalistic feel. As you said, something with a simple and sophisticated aesthetic. I started to study the animated loops that have really taken over the internet. Simple and smooth motions that almost feel therapeutic. I also started studying different abstract designs in logos, paintings, and illustrations. After some time, taking what I had learned and turning it into something that would fit my style became the hardest part. The change began when I shifted to a black and white look. This was the missing piece of the puzzle. I played with different black and white textures on simple shapes. Those turned into movements that began to loop continuously and that’s when I began to gain a nice flow in my style. Recently, I have been taking a different approach and turning away from loops. My animations have had more drastic and dynamic cuts lately. I’ll also add the word trippy. I still love the loop style that has taken over social media, it’s just something I’ve grown out of. In the next couple of months, my plan is to introduce more designs and hand drawn animations. It’ll be a tough shift to get back into illustrating again but this is a step I’m mostly excited to take.

You’ve shared a lot of work from Motion Design and Animator. Are there any other favorite programs that you would recommend to artists? 

After Effects is a program that I highly recommend. It’s capabilities are endless and it’s one that I rely on for many different things.

Is there a particular artist who inspires you, or whose work you’re excited about?

ASH THORP! He’s a brilliant artist that I encourage everyone to look up.