Interview with Peter Quinn, Creator of Shit Showreels Say

This post first appeared on and was sent to us by Peter Quinn

There’s an art to the showreels. It’s really difficult to craft something that represents a brand, manages to tell a story and tries to build a connection with the person watching it. It’s easy to fall into using a number of trendy techniques and incorporating it into our work. Motion Graphics Artist and Art Director, Peter Quinn created a tongue-in-cheek rendition that’s all too true for anyone who’s ever dabbled in showreels or anyone that’s taken a shot at Motion Graphics – really. YouTheDesigner manages to get the opportunity to ask Peter a few questions about himself and the project.

If you want to check out more of Peter’s stuff – you can look at his Portfolio here. You can also follow him on Twitter and on Vimeo.

Hey Peter, thanks for agreeing to answer a few questions for us. How’s your day been so far?
Peter Quinn: Well hello, as I type this, I’m waiting on a massive render that’s been cookin’ for 3 days now, and needs to go to the client before I leave, so it’s going to be a long day – but there’s beer in the fridge so life could be worse.

What was your inspiration for the project? How did the idea come to you?
Peter: My inspiration for the project was fuelled by the necessity to update my own reel and I’m continuously watching showreels, and other mograph work from folks on Vimeo etc… So I try to keep my finger on the pulse of what the industry is doing. This ultimately led to finding trends and commonalities with showreels from all around the internet.

Do you have some favourite Demo Reels?
Peter: I’ve got lots of favourites, but it changes on a daily basis. I try to keep a blog for my own reference, but there are a few obvious superstars out there like Giant Ant, and Buck.

Interview with Peter Quinn

How did you get started in Motion Graphics?
Peter: Like lots of people, I’m self taught, and had a few lucky breaks. I was working in Ireland, but took a job at Blink in Vancouver, a video production place that I’ve found I really fit into as the graphics guy. It’s fast paced, requires me to push myself, and I’ve found my style really works here – so I’m always sharpening my tools.

So out of all the cheesy effects that you featured – do you have a weakness/guilty pleasure favourite?
Peter: Actually – although this seems like mockery, I’m taking a dig at myself. I just did a freelance project with heavy Plexus, spiny globe and wooshy graphics… As an agency guy, I have to churn out quite a lot of content really quickly, so I fall victim to using the same techniques over and over.

These are tried and tested visual metaphors that don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

Interview with Peter Quinn

What are your hobbies outside of Mograph?
Peter: I’d love to tell you I get lots of time for camping, hiking and that sort of thing, but usually my hobby is… more mograph… I’m really into what I do, so it doesn’t always feel like ‘work’.

Any advice for aspiring Art Directors?
Peter: Well, I’m pretty sure that I’m making it up as I go along, and often surprised when projects go well, or stuff gets done on time, so I’m no expert. I guess it’s a good idea to try and stay constantly inspired, and push yourself to know more technically. Without sounding pretentious, I’ve found it’s important to develop your own style, first learning the design fundamentals, then ingesting as much of the stuff you like, and seeing what sticks. Sooner or later you’ll have strong, confident opinions on what looks right. I guess thats art direction, so… ummm, do that.

What song is on repeat on your playlist?
Peter: Actually, I find music a distraction, and maintaining a library of mp3 sounds like work to me. So, I have complete silence on repeat mostly.

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About the author

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Houke de Kwant is a frontend developer from the Netherlands and the creator of TheArtHunters (former Daily Inspiration, which was started as part of his study).

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