5 Key Questions for Ziyaad!

1.) Why is animation important to you? 
Well, as cliché as it is, my love for animation stems from me binge watching Cartoon Network as a kid. There isn’t a single episode of any of those old school shows that I haven’t seen more than 5 times (at least). Cartoons have pretty much always been around for me – even now in my adult life. Intrigued by it all – I turned to it for a career path.

2.) Who/what do you look at for inspiration?

I have a folder on my computer called “Reference” it contains the collective knowledge of the entire Universe combined. Well, maybe just from art I’ve gathered over the years. Same thing. That’s basically where I go every time to get inspired. Literally thousands of artworks.

3.) Share with us your proudest piece of work.
Kind of a tricky one – ’cause I’m the kind of person who’s taste changes quite frequently, so my favourite today might be my worst tomorrow – but if I had to choose, it’d definitely be this one.

A post shared by Ziyaad Allie (@_ctrl_n) on

Excuse the horrendous logo and font design – I did this back in 2015 in roughly 2 days, mind you.

4.) For someone finishing college/varsity this year who want’s to get into animation. What advice would you give them?
Ah yes, the age old question. My advice – quit now – just kidding. Don’t ever quit. Never lose faith in your own ability. Keep drawing, animating, making music, filming, whatever it is you do – Never. Stop. Creating. Don’t sit behind a desk in class, doodling or whatever, then go home and expect that to be enough – it never will. You have to keep working on what you do. It’s the only way you’ll get better. Also, NETWORK. It is vitally important to get your name out there and meet other artists. Social media makes for a great platform to do so from the comfort of your home! Knowing the right people in this ever expanding industry will go a really long way. Trust me. May the Force be with you, young Padawan.

5.) What has been your biggest surprise working for Studio Bolland?
The surprise definitely has to be the frequency of hilarious puns that Jake hits us with every day. How on Earth does he do it? Who writes this guy’s stuff? 11/10. (Also, momentarily breaking out into synchronized song and dance is pretty freaking amazing.)

WeAllHaveMothers

Hello Everyone!

A while back we decided that we should probably do something to advertise our animation studio. We asked ourselves the question, “What could we do that would we make people aware of who we are and what we do? What do our clients usually do when they’re in our position?”

And that’s when it hit us. We’ll need to do what we do best. We’ll need to make an explainer video.

We phoned up some web experts and asked them whether making an explainer video about making an explainer video would blow up the internet in any way, but they said reassuring things like, “Please stop calling us” and “How’d you get this number?”, so we knew we had nothing to worry about.

Here’s the video, we hope you like it!

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Simon van Wyk

What’s your nickname?
Si

Where are you from?
Cape Town

What do you do at Studio Bolland?
Basically all the things that aren’t illustration or animation.

Favourite food:
Pizza

Who’d your biggest creative inspiration?
It’s always changing, so for today I’ll say Jim Henson. He once said, “My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here.” I wish for a similar thing.

Dogs or cats and why:
Dogs, because if I wanted to look after something that would eventually leave the home and ignore me, I’d just have children.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?
The Studio Bolland Disneyland office.

Typical client feedback:
I’d like it to be more [insert vague adjective that doesn’t convey direction here].

Best year of your life and why?
2010 – I met my future wife, performed in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and much more…

Favourite project:
Either Teelaunch’s Mugs or Modern Slavery Garden’s Ask The Question.

2nd favorite Spice Girl?
If I can’t choose Sporty then there’s no point choosing at all.

evi

Evi Mulder

What’s your nickname?
Eef(je), Evert, Peef

Where are you from?
I’m from Delft, The Netherlands.

What do you do at Studio Bolland?
Till now I spend most of my time illustrating.

Who’d your biggest creative inspiration?
There is not really one person that inspires me, most of my inspiration comes from blogs, pinterest or instagram (I know, not very original..)

What’s you favorite software?
Illustrator.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?
In five years I’ll be exploring a different place on this world I’ve never been before.

What’s your favorite part of Cape Town?
My favorite part till now was the warm welcome I got when I arrived. And I can’t wait to see more of the mountains and coasts around Cape Town!

Best year of your life and why?
I think 2016 will be my favorite year so far, obviously because of this internship. But 2013 is a close second, when I started living on my, went on vacations with family and friends and met amazing new people.

Favorite food?
You are allowed to wake me up at night for any kind of pie or pastry.

2nd favorite Spice Girl?
Scary Spice.

Michelle

What’s your nickname?
Juju Bear / Juru

Where are you from?
Zimbabwe, Harare

What do you do at Studio Bolland?
Illustrate style boards

Who’d your biggest creative inspiration?
I don’t have one per say but i do follow the Aisle One and Creative Bloq blogs

What’s your favourite software?
Adobe Illustrator

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Cape Town / Canada

What’s your favourite part of Cape Town?
Camps Bay Beach and V&A Waterfront

Best year of your life and why?
2016 – because it’s first year away from home, meeting new people, making new friends experiencing different cultures,growing emotionally and mentally as an individual and creating awesome memories.

Favourite food?
Burgers, Potato Chips(tonnes) and Pizza

2nd favourite Spice Girl?
Ginger Spice lol

Kai

Kai Van Vuuren

What’s your nickname?
Vuur which means fire in Dutch, pretty bad-ass

Where are you from?
Borculo, the Netherlands. Well known for the fact that no-one has ever heard of it.

What do you do at Studio Bolland?
Drawing things and making them move.

Who’d your biggest creative inspiration?
Caspar David Friedrich

What’s you favorite software?
WinRar. Fits my budget.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?
At Old Trafford, where Ajax is playing the Champions League final against Barcelona.

What’s your favorite part of Cape Town?
So far it’s the top of Table mountain. But there is still so much more to see.

Best year of your life and why?
In 2015 I went to China, hiked my way up to Pulpit rock (Norway) and finished the 1st year of my Arts & Technology Bachelor.

Favorite food?
Airline meals

2nd favorite Spice Girl?
Sweet

Internship

Studio Bolland’s interns are fully integrated members of our studio with the freedom to pursue any and all interests in a professional environment. Accepted applicants work side by side with our studio team and collaborate on all projects operating in the studio. They are full time and paid with hours ranging roughly from 9:00am–5:00pm.

The length of the internship is 3 – 6 months depending on availability. It will run from 1st February 2017 to 30th November 2017.

Studio Bolland is seeking an Illustrator/Motion Graphics Intern. This is an excellent opportunity for design/animation students to experience first hand the commercial production process.

Candidates should be very strong designers and illustrators and/or 2D/3D motion graphics animators with a great sense of humour.

For more info and to apply for the internship click here.

 

Bringing spoken word to life.

RecordingDevice

With the rise in popularity of radio podcasts, we are becoming recaptured by the artful and very magical world of spoken storytelling that our grandparents first enjoyed when radio was the broadcast medium.

Here we find amongst narrated fictional stories, a rise in the retelling of real life memories and excerpts from the lives of real people. These stories are emotionally rich, carrying that raw human element that captures our imagination and hearts in a way that is missing from so much of what we see on TV.

Popular podcasts such as the very popular “This American Life” by NPR have created compelling stories with a recorded narrative that is beautifully textured with candid conversations and telephone dialogue.

As visual content producers this captivating storytelling demands our attention, and inspires us to want to create the visual narrative to complement this. Some really beautiful stories are making their rounds.

Here are some of our top picks:

This delightful series called ‘Modern Love’ produced by Nick van der Kolk for the New York Times.

This quirky animation ‘If the Cuckoo Don’t Crow’ by Steve Kirby as told to BBC’s Nick Pandolf by Brian from Melton.
‘Videos for You’ a fun 8 part series, borne from a collaboration by NPR’s ‘This American Life’ with Bianca Giaever.

Katy Davis (AKA Gobblynne) animated and directed this beautiful hand drawn animation, for RSA shorts, the audio is of Dr Brené Brown who spoke at the RSA on The Power of Vulnerability.

Written by Jess Hopley.
Illustration by Richard Bolland.
Videos sourced by Richard Bolland.

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Win at crowdfunding with video content.

Less than 50% of crowdfunder campaigns reach their monetary target.

The biggest reasons for this failure to launch are listed as:

Over saturation: there are just too many similar products on the market.

Lack of awareness: often campaigns will kick off with a bang, but don’t have the momentum to keep up on top of consumers’ new feeds.

Poor product marketing: products aren’t marketed adequately, so consumers are undereducated about the value and attributes of the product.

This all sounds like doom and gloom. But fear not! Some delicious video content can kickstart that kickstarter, and make your indiegogo go. Statistically, crowdfunded platforms with visual content perform better than those without. With up to 50% of page visitors moving on to view the video. Thats better than youtube! With viewers 64- 85% more likely to buy a product after having watched the video, I think we can confirm that content didn’t get that reputation as king for nothing.

Crowdfunders are often there for your unique story as much as your product. People want to be part of something real, so telling a story thats authentic, emotive, and meaningful, will not only give them what they’re paying to be a part of (and differentiate you from similar products on the market), but it will also give the media something to share, and create the necessary momentum that your campaign needs to keep you rolling all the way to the bank.

Some top tips for your crowdfunder video:

1. Tell it, and sell it.

Tell your personal story, but be sure to describe your product expertly too. describing and explaining your complex product or service, with the additional support of sound and video, gives your consumers a better understanding of what you offer. This way your video is filling the gaps that pictures cant tell, and making up for the copious copy that busy people just wont read.

2. Keep it short.

Do your best to keep your video punchy, this will insure that busy people not only click through, but watch to the end.

3. Invest in Quality.

If you want people to believe that your product is great quality, your video needs to reflect that. This is one instance where your audience will most certainly judge your book by its cover. Investing in a professional animation studio or video production company should be a non negotiable when it comes to marketing your product.

4. Consider Animation.

Animated explainer videos provide the perfect marketing tool for products that are still in the beta/concept phase, and are the perfect solution for services for which no actual product material might exist. This gives your target market something tangible to base their purchase decision on, and gets you one step closer to that final sale.

  • This article was written by Jess Hopley,  who is a producer at Studio Bolland.

 

 

Darren_Blog

Nickname: Mr. Brown (my friends severely lack creativity)
Hometown: Cape Town
Favourite Food: Creme Brulee
Worst Colour: Yellow. Don’t care what off-shoot you give me, lemon, canary, mustard or Tuscan Sun. I’ll have none of it.
Dogs or Cats and why: Cats. Not anti-dog, I just find cats are quieter, don’t smell as bad, and are more mysterious.
Biggest influence: Love, and in turn art, design, music, the human psyche and sociopolitics
Most annoying musician: The list is pretty gargantuan, but I find the entire YMCMB movement is probably the most nauseating thing the “entertainment” industry has ever spawned
Favourite Place at the Exchange: WetInk. Really cool to see such talented local illustration
Where would you like to be in 5 years: The hippy answer would be in a state of general inner peace. The corporate answer would be somewhere in Europe most likely.
Favourite project of Studio Bolland: Common Ground New Hope. Really great cause.

 

FreeWork

When clients hit you with “We’ve got a really exciting project, but we don’t have any budget” or “I cant pay you, but this job will get you great exposure”…along with vague feedback, like “I’ll know when I see it”, and requests to “make the logo bigger” do-me-a-favour jobs tend to make us all feel a little antsy.

Despite the inconvenience of having to field off the perpetual stream of family, friends, distant connections, and even total strangers asking for help and freebies, there are some big benefits to taking on pro bono projects. Here’s how to make sure you’re choosing the right one, and how to make it work for you.

Finding the right fit.

Identifying the right project is key. Its essential that both you and your client reap benefits. And that you both enjoy the process as much as the final outcome.

Does this project give you the feels? If the answer to this is not a “hell yes!” then its got to be a “no”. This is a passion project after all. To make this work, it needs to be something that really interests you, makes you feel damn good, or that your client is so mad about, that they’ve infected you with their joy.

Do you love ‘em? Seriously though, do you? Since you have the choice, this should be a client that you actually like. Not just the product or organisation, but the individuals that you will be working alongside. Not only will you feel less resentful down the line when you are sacrificing lunch breaks and youtube time to make this thing happen, but you will have made a strong ally. Someone happy to give referrals and grow your businesses reputation.

How (and when) to say no to the wrong project.

For as much as a beautifully chosen pro-bono job allows us to hone skills, push the boundaries, liberate our creativity, get recognition for doing good, and generally be awesome. Every now and

then a job comes along (for your uncle’s pie shop) that really isn’t going to be worth your while. Perhaps its the sheer amount of time it will take, the difficulty involved, or its just not something you feel very passionately about…. but we need to know how to say no when pro-bono isn’t really for any good.

If you’re suddenly faced with having to turn down free pie for a year and disappointing your favourite uncle, its going to help having a rational response to ease your guilt. I’d recommend choosing one of these avenues:

The truth hurts: Tell the client that the job doesn’t align with your company’s vision. If this isn’t the kind of work you love to do, you shouldn’t be doing it. Taking on a job that not the right fit causes frustration and pressure, and can have a negative impact on your teams creativity, working hours and stress levels.

Time/Studio availability: Tell the client that you simply just don’t have the time right now, or that your studio is at capacity with existing work. That you, therefore, are not able to take any additional work on at this stage without incurring freelance costs.

Existing charitable interest: Tell the client that although you’d like to help with the project for their charitable organisation, you already have a pro bono client signed on and have dedicated your available time in this regard to assisting them.

Get as much as you give.

Pro bono can provide a platform for radical expression and creative growth. Make this project work as hard for you as you do for it. This is your chance to master that new technique you’ve been meaning to teach yourself, or finally get to show off some of the skills you’ve had shelved for far too long. For many agencies this is chance to feather their awards nests.

Have a conversation with your client right upfront about the amount of creative flex they’re willing to give. Its essential that you find a medium where your client feels safe, and you have the creative latitude that paying clients don’t usually allow.

In this same conversation, come to an agreement that your studio gets the full credit they deserve, in whichever way possible, when the final product is distributed. Insure that your new potential client is happy for you to add the project to your portfolio, and distribute as part of your own marketing before you agree to take the job on.

Take control of timing and project management too. Make sure that this project is going to happen on a timeline that is comfortable for you, and that the way that the project will run is a way that you love to work.

Now. You have generated a beautiful piece of content! Don’t rely on the client exclusively to generate exposure for your work. Take matters into your own hands, and use your social media network to make sure that your good work does not go un-noticed.

Go forth! And pro bono!

Office Jams 01

“Every song is like a painting” – Dick Dale

Okay I’m not sure who Dick Dale is, but that quote is epic. It pretty much sums up why we listen to music while working – it inspires us to create something visual. And so begins our first volume “Office Jams”. These are the songs that inspire us to create what we do.

JAKE
NYC Frames – Crystals
College feat. Nola Wren – Save The Day

JESS
MONAKR – Calling Out
epiglot – Loud Places (ft Romy)

DAVE
Touch Sensitive – Teen Idols
Panda Bear – Boys Latin

JURIE
Craft Spells – Nausea
Death From Above 1979 – Always On (youtu.be/cLo7VGeQZac)

RICH
Modern Baseball – It’s Cold Out Here
Darwin Deez – Bad Day

IMG_6608

Usually High School Interns are the pits. They normally don’t know how to do anything and end up scrolling through Facebook for 2 days. Not the case with Dom. He doesn’t even have a Facebook (How flipping unreal is that!)

Dom did a flipping good job at getting our website populated and perfected. Normally highschool interns twiddle their fingers in absolute boredom but he really made things happen. We awarded him with this custom print of our Tearfund project. He got to take a lekker photo with it but then had to give it back because our walls would look too empty without it. We hang our own custom Dom print in our hearts and remember the good times we had.

Flipping great stuff Dom! When you’ve finished high school, studied animation and have 5 years experience you know where to come!

dearheartphotos_Studiobolland_-55

Nickname: Dovvie, Database and Digital Dave
Hometown: The Big Dust: Johannesburg
Favourite Food: Hamburgers, but ones that you can actually eat with your hands. Not those barbaric “gourmet” tower affairs.
Worst Colour: The colour you get when your yellow koki goes over a black koki outline. I think it’s called Devastation Beige or something.
Dogs or Cats and why: I can’t choose really but I have two Basset hounds who are amazing.
Biggest influence: Hayao Miyazaki, I want to still be making art and animation when I’m 80 years old
Most annoying musician: I think this is much longer than the tolerable list of musicians.
Typical client feedback: “Just a few small tweaks”
Favourite place at the Exchange: Field Office just hands me choc chip cookies when I walk in there now, this may be a problem
Where would you like to be in 5 years: The same. Just more bad-ass.
Favourite project: There are some great moments in Choc.

 

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Nickname: Leesie, Lumbert, Lumberjack, Lumberjacka etc.., gielempje neef van teunempje
Hometown: Utrecht
Favourite Food:

450 gram pepper sirloin steak from the braai, easy marinade tendersizes sirloin mushroom pepper steak. Garlic and ginger round out the taste.
6 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
1/8 teaspoon pepper
450 gram beef top sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh gingerroot
3 teaspoon canola oil, divided
1 cup julienned red pepper
1 cup julienned green pepper
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
6 green onions, sliced
Hot Cook rice, optional

Worst Colour: Transparent
Dogs or Cats and why: dogs fur sure, hate those catlovers ; )
Biggest influence: Sveti Rok
Most annoying musician: Hardwell, David Guetta, Avicii, Nicky Romero, Afrojack
Typical client feedback: The style needs to be playful, but corporate, strict, transparent, inspiring, bla bla I know what I want when i see it.
Favourite place at the Exchange: The Bakery just around the corner on Albert Rd.
Where would you like to be in 5 years: I don’t know, I got a 2025 vision. Bicycling through a national park. Might be very fast, to avoid a bear. And celebrating the fifth year anniversary of you asking me this question.
Favourite project: Life Hack animation series was fun to work on, because of the short animations with a very diverse and interesting set of topics.

dearheartphotos_Studiobolland_-56

Nickname:  Yuri Gagarin
Hometown: Cape Town / Hong Kong
Favourite Food: Easy Edibles. (Burgers and Pizza)
Worst Colour: Black, because I always have to use it.
Dogs or Cats and why: Both, can’t chose between animals.
Biggest influence: Giant Ant, Studio Ghibli
Most annoying musician: All fake artists
Typical client feedback: … it looks great.
Favourite place at the Exchange: Rosetta Coffee & Ocean Jewel.
Where would you like to be in 5 years: Still no idea.
Favourite project: Every project – each one has it’s own unique flavour.

 

Nickname: Jess
Hometown: Durban and before that Vereenigning!
Favourite Food:  Cashew nut smoothie. Mmmm.
Worst Colour: Beige
Dogs or Cats and why: Cats. They are furry humans.
Biggest influence: My parents, they are fine artists, and taught me how to appreciate detail.
Most annoying musician: Kanye West
Typical client feedback: Timing is tight but…
Favourite place at the Exchange: Lady Bonin’s Tea
Where would you like to be in 5 years: Here, but better!
Favourite project: Choc Foundation

 

dearheartphotos_Studiobolland_-44

Nickname: Jakkels 
Hometown: Cape Town
Favourite Food: Ribs
Worst Colour: Babypoobrown
Dogs or Cats and why: Dogs, because they’ll never tell you that you’re not good enough… unlike cats
Biggest influence: Jesus
Most annoying musician: The bassist from Korn
Typical client feedback: “This work – and you – are not good enough” – A Cat (probably)
Favourite place at the Exchange: Ocean Jewel
Where would you like to be in 5 years: Cape Town, but I would have traveled lots.
Favourite project: Animated Typeface

 

dearheartphotos_Studiobolland_-37

Nickname: Bolly, Bol. Bellend
Hometown: Cape Town
Favourite Food: Anything with mince.
Worst Colour: Lie Green
Dogs or Cats and why: Cats – they are my soul mates
Biggest influence: Giant Ant + Buck
Most annoying musician: Dj Fresh n the mix
Typical client feedback: “I’ve showed this to my great aunt who suggests…”
Favourite place at the Exchange: Rosetta
Where would you like to be in 5 years: Yugoslavia. jokes. Probably in London running Studio Bolland 2.0
Favourite project: Manenberg House

 


 

We moved into The Woodstock Exchange on the 1st of May 2015 into our own warm little 70sqm space.

Twenty Fifty had been our residence for the first year of running the studio and we were super sad to leave them but excited to have our own spot. We were slowly becoming a team and we needed our own flavour to make sure we didn’t grow stale.

It was nerve-wrecking to go into your own studio because the costs would always be so much more than a co-working space – we suddenly had a whole lot more rent to pay, electricity, cleaning, rates, new furniture, signage, internet and the list goes on…

It’s been almost two months now in our spot and we couldn’t be happier. We took the plunge and it was worth it. Now we’re swimming freely and happily in our own pool. Okay, I’m going to stop this analogy now.

Clients now have the opportunity to come in for viewings and we can host late night pokers games or stream the soccer. We love our new studio.


 


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1. Videos make your crazy complicated product or service easy to understand

Ok this is an obvious one, but being able to describe and explain your complex product or service, with the additional support of sound and video, gives your consumers a better understanding of what you do.

2. Google will love you

The longer your site’s visitors stick around, the higher your SEO rankings. A one to two minute video will insure that visitors to your site stay on just that extra little bit longer.

3. Videos are fun

Lets face it, we’d all prefer to just look at the pictures if we had the choice. Videos inform and entertain your viewer at the same time. Win win!

4. Videos are easier to share

Videos save reporters the hassle of having to decipher what you do and explain it to others. An added bonus here is that you get to make sure that things are explained the way you like, every time.

5. People will feel all warm and fuzzy

Consumers are more deeply engaged when watching a video than when they are when just reading or looking at pictures. This allows for a more human, meaningful and emotional connection with your audience.

Nuff said, explainer videos are the business. Keen to get one for yours?

Give us a shout at Studio Bolland. www.studiobolland.com | jess@studiobolland.com