Experimental animation and visual narratives by director duo BLND
BLND are Daniela Uribe (VE) and Fran Marguez (SP); a directors duo that chop the standards, liquify ideas and mix techniques until they get that matchless creature; the one that stands with a willing heart among the crowd.
Blending a strong visual aesthetic with a playful approach, the duo work across stop motion, 2D animation, illustration and GIFs for clients such as Converse, TNO, WMF Functionals, Epsilon and Klick! BLND are represented by Inkygoodness sister agency WE ARE GOODNESS.
Can you tell us a bit about BLND – the vibe, philosophy, your visual approach – what makes you different?
BLND is based on a constant experimentation and on the unlimited ways to tell a story, both narrative and visually.
BLND is based on a constant experimentation and on the unlimited ways to tell a story, both narrative and visually. We tailormade each idea according to the needs of the client. Besides all this, design drives our taste for colors and textures, and that’s what unifies everything.
How did the two of you meet?
We met at the same animation school in Barcelona, about 7 years ago.
Can you tell us about how you came up with the idea for “Ultimate Guide to Inspiration” and the driving force behind getting it made?
It actually started as something completely different. We realised that BLND needed a reel, but we didn’t really like the typical reel idea, so we thought that the best thing we could do is make an actual movie that could works as both a reel and short film – a calling card. That’s why most of the sequences are different from each other. We took the chance to show what we are capable of, and the story line connects each sequence. This was the driving force too.
Today, many companies approach us to make projects because of the styles and details that they see in the movie.
About the concept itself, inspiration is something that always made us curious. The common idea is that you’ll get inspired by divine intervention. But reality shows us that it’s not true, or most of the times at least. So we started to think, to research, meditate and to write. At the end we came up with a whole script.
Inertia is the biggest enemy of inspiration, that’s why you feel blocked so often. The only way to defeat it is to put yourself in any kind of motion. Do something. Do, anything, and trust that inspiration will come back to you
Animation involves a lot of components, can you tell us a little about your creative and the early stages of storyboarding a project?
We start with the idea/concept that sometimes is already given to us, and others we come up with it ourselves. After we have a solid idea we start brainstorming of visual solutions for it and storyboard the actions/transitions. Then we go to the visual style, depending on the client/project we try to find the style that better communicates the idea. And finally we move to the animation process.
Inspiration is something that always made us curious. The common idea is that you’ll get inspired by divine intervention. But reality shows us that it’s not true, or most of the times at least.
What do you think is the main challenge of telling a story through animation?
Animation is a lot of work, so first of all you have to be sure that is the way to go. And then inside the animation spectrum deciding which technique is the more appropriate for your message. But the real challenge is to keep the excitement during the whole process, that’s why it’s important to be sure from the beginning about the idea and the technique.
Do you ever have periods of creative block and if so, how do you overcome it?
Absolutely. Our answer to “how to overcome it”… well, watch “The Ultimate Guide To Inspiration” (02’04”). “Inertia is the biggest enemy of inspiration, that’s why you feel blocked so often. The only way to defeat it is to put yourself in any kind of motion. Do something. Do, anything, and trust that inspiration will come back to you”
How has your style evolved? Much of your early work is quite different to the recent output.
I think when we started we wanted to do it all, every single technique, post production, etc…and those were crazy times but it allowed us to try a little bit of everything, experimenting with a lot of different techniques, styles and clients, that helped us understand better what we truly love to do which now, after 7 years of experience, is a more illustrative style.
Since the leader of KLIK! We kind of found a graphical/clean style that we really like because it can be translated to a lot of techniques, so even if the results are very different from each technique you can still feel a connection between each project.
Can you tell us about your professional work? What kind of clients typically commission you and for what kind of projects?
We listen to any kind of company that comes to us! Most of our clients are production companies that commission us to make animations that belong to campaigns for (normally) big brands. On the other hand we also receive many projects from small companies and organisations to make explainer animations. Here the work teams are smaller and we have direct contact with the client.
We believe that real materials and textures communicate directly to the viewer’s soul. Is a combination of this animation world full of possibilities with a real touch, that makes some weird connections in your brain and makes you feel closer to what’s happening and the message you are receiving.
Alongside your traditional animation work you also experiment with illustration, stop motion and paper craft – how do all these skills mesh together?
Actually I think is the other way around, we try to focus on the handmade in every project we tackle on. We believe that real materials and textures communicate directly to the viewer’s soul. Is a combination of this animation world full of possibilities with a real touch, that makes some weird connections in your brain and makes you feel closer to what’s happening and the message you are receiving.
Do you have a favourite project / career highlight from the last few years?
Every single project is special, for one reason or another. We only know that the leader animation for KLIK! 2015 was a key project to BLND. It meant a lot for many reasons and it changed the way we see our careers and this industry (to better, of course)
What do you typically get up to when you’re not working?
Mmmm a cup of coffee and avocado toasts? Nah, that’s everyday haha.
We try to keep moving all the time, we are a bit addicted to work, so if we don’t have commercial projects we try to come up with projects of our own, that can be from an animation/illustration idea to an event we want to host, to a new recipe or exciting collaborations with friends. And if nothing interesting comes up then we plan a small trip or something 🙂
What are you currently working on / hoping to do next?
We are developing right now a couple of projects with some friends from us in Barcelona. We are also making what it’s gonna be a character animation reel. And we never stop doing illustrations that nurture our portfolio and our Instagram account.