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We caught up with El Ogorodova, the very down to earth and talented motion graphics designer for a recent interview in between her busy schedule.

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We spoke to her about her love for being creative, getting out into the real world, as well as her tips to aspiring artists. Here is what she had to say: Please introduce yourself to the readers and how and when did you first get into this area of work?

Hi, my name is Elena Ogorodova, although I go by El. I am an award winning designer, animator and director in the Motion Graphics industry. I have worked on numerous high end brands including, NFL, HP, Google, Chevrolet, Wells Fargo, Lexus, Fox Sports, IBM, among many others. I have also worked on award winning film titles, sports graphics opens and commercials. My work has been continuously displayed in NFL stadiums nation-wide for several years in a row.

I first got into Motion Graphics while interning at The Famous Group in Culver City while completing my BA of Fine Art at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Up until that moment I had only worked in print graphics. The internship dunked me into the motion world and it was either swim or drown. I learned quickly on the spot and realized that I absolutely loved this animated side of graphic design. Once the internship finished, I went back to school knowing that I would have focused the rest of my education on motion graphics. 

What inspired you to get into the entertainment industry?

Storyboarding class at the Art Center College of design. I enjoyed typography, photography and illustration; I loved composing work out of mixed media both in 2D as well as 3D form. 

Storyboarding class gave me a glimpse into a world where I could add yet another creative element to my work –sound! I was suddenly designing to music. This was very exciting to me, I was no longer limited by physical barriers and my work could move into all sorts of directions. Size, weight, color no longer had permanent restrictions. Everything was relative, nothing was static. My instructor had noticed my interest in the class and ended up hiring me at my first Motion Graphics internship. 

What kind of training have you had, if any?

I have been taking higher level art classes since high school. I have always had a passion for visual creativity. I took graphic design courses at Northeastern University in Boston and have interned at renowned companies such as Italdesign Giugiaro in Moncalieri, Italy and The Famous Group in Culver City, California. I received a Bachelor of Fine Art with Honors from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. 

What has been your favorite job to work on, so far?

One of my favorite projects has been Ubisoft’s E3 Social Media War Room back in 2015. I was part of the Good People Agency team in LA. We spent a weekend creating live personalized graphics for fans all over the world and sending them out on social platforms. It was the definition of organized chaos. A huge amount of people working perfectly in sync. It was fast, exciting, challenging, loud, and so rewarding when you got instant feedback from the fans! 

What has been one of the most exciting achievements of your career so far?

I think what I consider my most exciting achievement is the balance I have managed to reach between work and leisure. This balance is what makes me the designer that I am.  

I have made it a rule to travel at least once every year. This is great because I get to spend time with friends, family and I get to meet many interesting people. It is also educational. My off-time has inevitably become an essential part of my work. Everything I bring back with me is used in my projects. My photographs become references, textures, patterns and mood boards for my clients. Traveling energizes me, so when I am back at the computer, I am back at 110%. I stay positive, energetic, focused and work fast. 

The lifestyle I love fuels my career and my career thrives on my lifestyle. That to me is as exciting as it gets. 

What projects do you have coming up?

Holiday season is here, so this means tons of fun holiday commercials and films. This is my favorite part of the year because most projects that come my way are bright, cheerful and goofy. It also means I get to watch all the films I design titles for! 

Who would you most like to work with?

After being part of the industry for years, I have found a curiosity for design outside of mainstream entertainment. I would love to work with a team on educational projects, in particular, with concentration on the environment and animals. I’d love to get my hands on more documentaries, or awareness projects. Projects that require travel on-site? I’m in! 

What are your plans for the future?

I would love to go back to teaching. I miss being surrounded by budget free possibilities. There is a creativity that shines in students that you won’t find in the fanciest design studios. I can also see myself opening my own design company. I have made enough connections throughout the years of my career to put together a real A team. 

What is your advice to aspiring artists?

Step away from the computer and be part of the real world. You are designing for the real world after all. Spending your extra time learning new techniques is great, but you need to know your audience if you want to use your knowledge at its maximum capacity. Go out, travel speak to people outside of the industry. Stepping away will make you happier and your work better.  

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