JR Canest, Animator & Creative Director
The Animator and Creative Director Jorge R. C. Estrada is talking about how he became an animator with all its up and downs.
My full name is Jorge Rolando Canedo Estrada… so it’s a long name. I was born and raised in Bolivia in South America and now I live in Vancouver and I am a Creative Director/ Designer; but mostly an animator for motion graphics. I create a channel called “Wine after coffee” – we have almost fifty thousand followers on vimeo right now which is pretty crazy but me and a bunch of others we can all like go through our favorite videos and we add them to a channel. So that is actually a fair bit of my every morning routine, just kind of going through the cool stuff that has been made out there. Partly for myself but partly also to put it in the channel.
Can you remember your first intense experience with animation?
I started with doing stop motion animations just for fun with my friends with a little camera that we had, this is back in Bolivia. Then we had to find a way to edit them and my dad had this notebook… so I started playing with iMovie and that was kind of like my first real encounter with editing and some type of animation in the computer and that for some kind of reason started something in me and I started to look for that stuff online and somehow I encounter this flash websites which had amazing preloaders and all this crazy animation going on and it was just like amazing and me like: “This is so cool! How can I learn to do it?”.
I started playing around with it and made tons of stupid websites for myself that never saw a day of light and that was kind one of the first times I saw something: “I want to learn how to do that”. So I actually managed to find someone who teached me Flash better. Once it came to my mind was there I kept looking for stuff and there was one motion grapher taking off – and yeah, that like everything that he was posting as a motion grapher was just making a huge impression on me and I wanted to do that and I still had no idea how those things were made. But that was kind of when… you can say that spark that span of time where that happened I guess.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
That’s a funny one – because at one point I actually wanted to be a president of Bolivia which obviously didn’t happen. Eh, whatever happened. But yeah it was kind of one of those… we are fairly political down there so I really wanted to be involved somehow. But obviously it didn’t happen. But the next thing for some reason it seem like a natural progression for me that I always wanted to be an architect.
So and I was pretty sure I will be one but then when they give talk to people what they want to study the industrial design teacher came in and all he said was like: “You see everything in this room? That is industrial design.” And then he just left. And I thought: “Coolest thing ever. He just convinced me that I want to do industrial design. And then I looked it up and it was kind of… this is the perfect mix between architecture and design and all the stuff that I like. And I wasn’t even thinking of graphic design and animation at all at that point but that was kind of what I wanted to be when I grew up.
When was it clear what you wanted to do professionally?
I went to industrial design for six months and during those six months there was a scholarship put by YouTube and Vancouver film school to make a video – so I decided to make one. That was one of my first projects in After Effects. And I won.
I was one of the three ones who, it was really a gift from god that I was actually got to win that but it wasn’t until then that I maybe could get a career out of this and actually make money out of it. I haven’t really thought about like I just loved it so much that it was just a hobby you know. But it wasn’t until like this scholarship and the potential to get a work out of this scholarship that it actually became clear that I want to do that.
Your first animation?
It was when ... I left Bolivia when I was fifteen and we went to Mexico and in there my mom… she happened to work next to the woman who owns this website tech company and she needed some videos. And somehow my mom heard it and offered me that job. Like I was a fifteen years old, sixteen years old kid. And my mom was like: ”My son can do it”. So and I was like I have to do it right away because after this point it was flash for me. So I kept looking what would be a real software to do it so I found After Effects. With that project I learned After Effects, which is probably my first animation in it and it was quite bad but you know… I went from there.
What was your most intense moment in your job so far?
Being in a larger studio like Buck was an incredible experience for me. And like where everybody around me was learning and was so so so much better than me and I just had to keep up and forced me to learn. That was an incredible experience. And then at the end I realized that I could potentially directing people and seeing the potential of maybe a creative director role. That was also like an incredible moment so and now kind of on my own seeing all the different challenges and all the things seem to be much easier from the outside then when you are actually doing it. Being on your own is also very very intense I would say.
Is there anything in your job so far what you made feel unsure?
See this question is kind of tricky because… ehm… it kind of makes me think that there shouldn’t be no more things anymore who make me unsure which is not the case. I think I felt unsure almost every day, that is the reality. Like there is always something when someone really likes my work I am like: “Why do you really like my work? Like it is really not that good.” And then it makes me wonder everything that I am doing is more maybe I am just a fake animator.
Like people just don’t really know that I am not that good or like they are thinking I am better than I actually am. There is still so much to learn and so much to get better at. And there are so many people and everytime I see their work I am like: ”Ahhhh…!!! They are so good!”. Everything they do looks so good and it takes me so long to do actually something that looks good. So yeah I don’t know. Everything around our creative world makes me unsure. In fact even that you ask me for an interview makes me unsure because it is like: ”Why me?”. There are so many other people out there and it kind of makes me wonder why. So there are a lot of things that make me unsure.