Kent: Well, I’m a motion graphics animator, and I do some video editing as well. My role here is really to support the design team — you guys — by putting things in motion and creating animated content.
M: And we love that! It’s great to be able to add another level to our creative.
K: I’m from New York. I came to Baltimore about six years ago for college and I’ve been here ever since.
M: Where did you go to school?
K: MICA! As for how I came to Orange Element, before this I mostly did illustration, but I felt like I wanted a change. Motion graphics had always been kind of a hobby for me; when I saw the opportunity here, I thought it’d be a great chance to use and build on those skills.
M: What are three words you would choose to describe yourself?
K: I think analytical would be one. Ambitious, or at least I like to think I am. And sincere.
M: What is your favorite part about animation?
K: Most of my background was really in illustration and graphics, and I feel like animation takes those skills and ties them together. It’s bringing it to the next level by putting the design in motion and making it feel alive.
M: Where do you look for inspiration?
K: I’m really fortunate to have a lot of artists in my life. My best friends are illustrators, my girlfriend is a graphic designer — they’re all working in different design industries, and they really inspire me. Other than that, through various sources online.
M: What’s your go-to website for inspiration?
K: I find myself using Dribbble the most.
K: The people! As you know, I’m not a huge morning person, so I walk in feeling groggy in the morning, but being around a bunch of happy and energetic people rubs off on me. It’s pretty awesome.
M: Tell us one thing you’ve learned since being at OE.
K: How to work within a pipeline and within the context of a team. Most of my work before this had been just me: self-directed, freelance projects, etc. It can be hard to work alone because you don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off, but it’s definitely a transition when you have to learn to work more collaboratively.
M: I felt like that transitioning from freelance to an agency, too. In those situations, you’re executing the beginning, middle, and end of a project. Your workflow has to adjust to being a part of a team!
M: So, how about one thing about your job that you find challenging?
K: Being honest about the work I do. Since there aren’t any full-time staff members devoted to animation right now, I’m the motion graphics expert so-to-speak. I feel obligated to keep pushing myself and upholding high standards.
M: We recently did a team building exercise where we all took DiSC tests. What was your workplace personality, and how did you feel about those results?
K: My result was “C,” which stands for conscientiousness. And at first I was a little surprised by my results, but after sitting with it for a while and thinking about the way that I work, I find myself seeing it more. It’s a little uncomfortable to dig into, but understanding my strengths and shortcomings will definitely help benefit the work that I do on this team.
M: What are some characteristics of a “C” personality?
K: Being very analytical and results-driven. And I definitely see that about myself when I’m looking at my own work. For example I’ll look at a project and try to decide how to attack it in the most efficient way.
K: As soon as I walk in my door, the first thing I see is my cat running up to greet me, so I feed him. And recently I’ve been trying to get back into running… key word trying. You know how that is. But otherwise I’ll just chill out, play video games, the usual.
M: What’s your most common weekend activity?
K: On Saturdays my girlfriend and I like to go out to eat. We’re both huge foodies, which is awesome. We try different places around Baltimore to see what cool places we can find. Sunday is MY day, and that’s all football.
M: What’s your team?
K: The ravens, of course. All purple and black.
M: Blech. (Giant’s all the way.)
M: You said you like to try different restaurants. What’s your favorite spot to eat in Baltimore?
K: There’s a sushi place in Federal Hill called Kiku’s sushi. It’s a cozy little mom and pop shop, and I really like that dynamic and atmosphere. It feels like they know us when we walk in the door. That’s what I like about Orange Element, too.
M: What’s your favorite movie, song, or band? This is always an impossible question for me, so I figured I’d give you some options.
M: That’s a weird movie.
K: It is weird! But I’m really interested in the storytelling aspect and the way it follows someone’s entire life— it’s really cool.
M: Okay, so you’re a pretty chill person in general. What’s something that gets you heated?
K: Sports! Talking about sports, stats, analytics, all that. There was a time when I was watching the NBA finals at a bar in Baltimore, and I got into a heated argument with a man probably twice my size. Only sports could get me to do that.
K: I’d be in computer sciences. Even with the minimal amount of coding I know as a designer, I like the logic of figuring something out and making it work. It’s a different kind of creative outlet, and if I wasn’t working in design, it’d still give me a feeling of accomplishment.
M: Morning person or night person?
M: Coffee or tea?
M: Reese’s pieces or cups?
M: Dogs or cats?
K: I love my cat, but dogs.
M: Beer or booze?
M: City or country?
K: Country—even though I’ve lived in the city my whole life.
M: Singing or dancing?
M: Summer or winter?
K: Summer, no question (I hate the cold).
M: Movies or books?
M: Love or hate being interviewed?
K: Usually I hate it, but this one wasn’t too bad.
M: Well, thanks for taking the time to sit down with me. That’s a wrap!