5 Mins, Animation 7 years ago

Paul Layzell on learning how to relax.

There's a few different words that you could use to describe the Layzell brothers. All of which centre around of ‘highly original’, ‘comedic’,‘technically gifted’ and ‘nice boys’ (that last one is probably the most important).

They (Matt and Paul) describe themselves as directors, animators, illustrators and music makers who have worked closely together since well… birth. The result of which is a very unique, energetic and relatable storytelling style.

The Animation Industry is a tough nut to crack when it comes to making a name for yourself. But with clients such as E4, i-D Magazine, 3 Mobile, Harvey Nichols and representation from London creative superpower BlinkInk. Clearly, it’s not just us that think the Layzell Brothers are good.

We spoke to 50% of the team, Paul about what it’s like to be a creative and this is what he had to say…

So, what attracted you to the animation industry? What excites you about it?

I like the multi-faceted nature of it. Making films I get a chance to influence a mix of things I love to do. Directing, writing, storyboarding, editing, designing, animating, music and doing stupid voices and so on.

The task of bringing all these elements together to materialise an idea is a tough but rewarding one.

Paul Layzell Animation Industry

Give us an idea of your average day, how you work and how do you get your creative ideas done?

I try and keep busy, I try and have a few personal projects in mind so if i’m not on a job I can keep myself ticking over. But equally sometimes it’s good to do nothing.

It’s healthy to switch off.

When creativity is your job I think it’s important to replenish the ‘creativity’ part as much as it is to uphold the ‘job’ part.

When a brief does comes in. I usually read it through, do some research, live with it a bit, forget about it, do something else and something will usually click by the time I come back to it.

I always have sketchbooks on the go, I often reference them as they sometimes have something in like ‘oh yeah, that was a good idea’ or ‘that’s kinda relevant’ or ‘What was I thinking!?? … Never again…’.

Paul Layzell Animation Industry

Paul Layzell – Trash Kid.

How do you attract new work?

I always found that work makes work.

So as long as I’m making stuff, it’s getting out there and people are seeing (and hopefully liking it), that should be enough to draw new interest.

It also helps being accosted by the guys at Blink who are looking out for potential projects. And are also there to facilitate its production.

I’ve been in a few situations where projects are shelved or behind lock and key, it’s extra frustrating as it knocks your momentum a bit.

How long have you been in the animation industry, would you say it’s your career?

Started about 5 years ago. Kind of fell into it.

While studying illustration I would help out on some of my brothers projects and self taught myself from there. Professionally for about 3 years.

I wouldn’t necessarily say being in the animation industry is my career. I guess technically I’m an animation director but I do illustration projects, I do a lot of storyboarding, I write stuff…

Reading this back, yeah, it probably is my career.

What advice would you give to someone starting out?

Work hard on making things that either show off what you’re good at, what you enjoy doing, or what you want to get into.

Parade it all over the shop.

People respond well to initiative, and if a job comes your way it’s usually prefaced with something like ‘we loved that you did, can you do one for us?’.

So if it’s your first video make sure that it represents the kind of thing you’d like to evolve. Also,

Be cool and meet people.

A lot of jobs I got when I was starting out in the animation industry were from word of mouth or recommendations from friends. I believe it was the famous 3D animator; ‘Valt Dinsey’ HIMSELF who said: “be a solid dude-human and the ripe fruit of glory shalt slop at your little feeties.”*

*For legal reasons Valt D may not of said that but you get the sentiment.


Check out more of Paul's work on his site



I'm co-founder of Crazy Animal Face, host of the CAF Podcast, and compere of our CAF events. My views are my own.

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