When we launched Vimeo Stock, we wanted to provide footage that would help our creators tell any story they wanted to tell. Because so many talented visual artists showcase their work on Vimeo on a daily basis, we searched for an exclusive stock animator.
Amy Kawabata was the perfect animator to partner with. She hails from agencies that worked with major tech clients, but her work still holds a very distinctive voice. She manages to balance playfulness with function, but don’t take our word for it.
Learn more about Amy’s process, how she works, and who she is.
How do you even get started with a visual project? Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I definitely struggle with the blank page. I much prefer being put in a box and challenging myself to push its boundaries. Luckily for me, most pieces start with a box: what are we trying to say? Who are we talking to? From there, of the many possible answers, there are usually only a few possible directions to take. If I’m really backed into a corner, I’ll rely on my peers and betters for inspiration: Vimeo Staff Picks and Pinterest are always a good place to start.
Is there a specific style you would call your animation?
I think my style is a bit of a mixture of all the ways I’ve pushed my skills to grow based on the projects I’ve done. Sometimes, the need is very illustrative. Sometimes bouncy and fun. Sometimes edgy and eye-catching. The style needs to serve the message and match the audience, so it can be detrimental to force a particular style onto a project.
How did you get into the animation world?
When I was a kid, I was always really curious about how things were made and how they worked. I think that desire paired well with my constant need to create and learn. Animation requires a lot of observation and research. What should be in the background of this scene? How does that metal-welding technique work? You get to really pick apart what makes the world tick.
Your style is very distinctive and clearly your own. How did you go about honing in your visual voice?
This is a funny question for me to answer because I’ve always tried to keep my style as flexible as possible. You never know when you’ll be handed a project that really lends itself to a particular style, and being able to adopt a certain style is something that’s really important to setting the right mood and speaking to the right audience.
Why are you excited to have your stock footage available on Vimeo?
I appreciate the reputation Vimeo has built for curated quality, and that is something I’m keenly aware of on stock sites. I’ve also worked on projects in the past where we reached out to artist on Vimeo ourselves to secure the rights to use their work, so I can confidently say there is a real demand for this.
How did you build your career as an animator?
As a career, animation takes a lot of time to learn the hard skills of techniques and programs. That being said, I think there are a lot of communication skills that are just as important. After I finished my degree in Animation, I spent three years teaching English in Japan. I think this gave me a real appreciation for how imprecise language can be, and practice in reading between the lines.
Beyond that, I’m still very much a work-in-progress, but something I try to remember is to be the most enthusiastic supporter for ideas that I think are worthwhile, and to not be afraid to take the responsibility to see them through. Great ideas are often fragile things in the sea of criticism.
What got you into the world of stock video?
A lot of things I’ve worked on relied heavily on stock. Sometimes you find yourself digging down the same search results, thinking that you could have created the thing you’re looking for in the time you’ve spent searching. And then sometimes you take the time to make it, so no one else has to keep digging.
Why did you decide to do this exclusively with Vimeo?
When I go hunting for information on a project that inspires me, links on Vimeo lead more often to the source rather than re-posts. I like that Vimeo remains creator-focused in that way.
What can’t you live without while you’re working?
I really appreciate being surrounded by creative people who are willing to champion what they care about.
Being constantly surrounded by their drive and curiosity keeps me motivated to not let them down, and push myself to do better. I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of many great teams that have inspired me to do more.
Good coffee helps. Good company is better.
Want to see all of what our Vimeo Stock creators have to offer? Browse our stock collections and preview footage from aerials to eye candy.