February 15, 2019

Artist Spotlight: Chris Scales


Chris has been one of our go-to 2D animators for the past two years. He approaches each project with an organized anticipation to turn around deliverables quickly, on a high-end scale. His ability to work on multiple projects at once while technically mastering a production approach for each, lends to more robust creative leadership and holistic approach to every story he helps tell.

We are very excited to feature Chris and share his inspirations & insights. Read the full Q&A below!

RFK: The Kennedy Family Remembers - Animation by Chris Scales

Q&A with Chris Scales -

When did you first realize you wanted to be a motion graphics artist?
I was a huge cartoon junkie growing up. I was infatuated with everything from the golden era to the hits of the 80's and 90's. I spent countless hours in front of a light box, tracing images and discovering what made my favorite characters tick.

I always wanted to become an animator. It wasn't until college that I started focusing less on conventional storytelling and more on creating a visual sensation. Most of my films were more conceptual, marrying abstractions in motion with music.

What is your process when approaching a new project?
It's good practice to do some internal investigation to figure out what a project’s true objective is. Getting organized and having all the tools and parameters at your disposal allows the creativity to flow more seamlessly. In summary, utilize the left brain to start and ride the right to the finish line.

Documentary Now! Trailer - Animation by Chris Scales

What makes you love what you do?
I find the creative process to be most fulfilling. Sharing a final product to the world is exciting, but I'm at my best when I'm actively making stuff.

What do you feel is the most important quality in a designer/animator?
Our industry is pretty special because of the talent it attracts. When you combine a group of creatives in one environment, there's an energy that pushes everyone's work to the next level. I think a person with collaborative spirit will always trump someone with raw talent.

Getting organized and having all the tools and parameters at your disposal allows the creativity to flow more seamlessly.

American Music Awards Launch Spot - Comping by Chris Scales

What perspective do you bring to the industry / what makes you different?
I have a keen eye for motion. I'm obsessed with velocity rates and ramping. I love playing with timing and I'm really good at locking down a look for any particular style.

What is your ultimate goal as an artist?
To keep making things. My focus and interests have evolved over time but the one constant has been creative fulfillment.

Watergate - Chart Animations by Chris Scales

How long have you been animating?
I have been working as a professional for over 10 years. I started out compositing & animating for children's programming, moved to commercial advertising, did a stint with late night tv, jumped into sports recruiting and even tackled some social media marketing along the way. Documentary is a new genre I can add to that list thanks to my time at Big Star.

Are there any inspirations that you pull from on a regular basis?
You don't have to try very hard to find inspiration in NYC. It's everywhere. Working with a talented group of artists doesn't hurt either. When in doubt, an Andrew Kramer tutorial can usually get the job done.

Miles Davis - Gil Evans Scene - Animation by Chris Scales

Do you have any side-projects you continue to work on?
I have a number of friends that work in the film industry that I enjoy collaborating with on occasion. I also try to flex my creative muscles in other ways. In my free time, I make abstract paintings and brew beer.

How do you determine the success of a piece?
There are bench marks along the production of a piece that will evoke a feeling of success in an artist. I don't believe in just one big win but achieving a visual and conceptual connection in the final product is meaningful.

BigStar - 2018 in 60 Seconds

Next Project: BigStar - 2018 in 60 Seconds
Telling the Bigger Story