Animator Nicolas Ménard on Late Night Work Club
Nicolas is a Canadian artist and animation director working and living in London. He makes — amongst other things — short films, GIFs, prints, books and interactive art.
Can you tell us a little about your journey into professional creative practice as animators?
I studied graphic design in Montreal, Canada. In 2012, moved to London, UK to complete an MA in Animation at the Royal College of Art. I’m now represented as an animation director at Nexus Studios, where I make commercials, short films and GIFs.
Illustrators often collect ephemera – sketchbooks, drawings, objects, what’s your work space like?
I have a desk with an iMac on it, along with some books by people like Alan Kitching, Karel Martens, and so on. A frame from my friend James Graham is close by. I also own a bunch of pens I bought in China, and empty amazon boxes I never took to the recycling bin.
We understand it’s been four years since the first LNWC collection was released (“Ghosts”in 2013) – how did you first hear about the collective?
I heard about it for the first time when they released the trailer for Ghost Stories. I thought it was a wonderful initiative.
Can you tell us about Late Night Work Club and you got involved? Did the LNWC founders approach you directly?
Yes, I got an email from Charles Huettner inviting me to make a film for the new project. I was just out of the RCA when that happened.
For me, it was a good way to enforce a deadline on a personal project. I also thought that sharing ideas with the members was a great opportunity to get to know them.
Creatives frequently try to make time to explore new ideas through experimental / personal projects alongside client work – what was it about LNWC that appealed to you?
For me, it was a good way to enforce a deadline on a personal project. I also thought that sharing ideas with the members was a great opportunity to get to know them. We’re such a small community, after all.
What was the brief for ‘Strangers’? It seems like everyone involved was encouraged to have total creative freedom – where do you start with a project like this?
The brief for ‘Strangers’ was: make a short film around the theme ‘Strangers’, and it has to be longer than 2 minutes.
Can you tell us about your idea / contribution?
I made a film titled Wednesday with Goddard in collaboration with Manshen Lo. She made the complicated pencil drawings, and I made the simple, graphic ones. The film tells the story of Eugene, who’s inspired to look around for God after witnessing the beauty of the rain.
Social media (twitter, Instagram specifically) has played a significant role in raising the profile of LNWC, and the response to the “Strangers” has been incredible. What else have you gained from being involved in the project?
I wish it would have made me rich.
How can animators get into LNWC?
Do good work! You might get an email…
Finally, what do you have planned for 2017? Can you tell us about anything you’re currently working on?
I have a few projects under the hood, but it’s too soon to talk about them.