Hello, my name is Damné Jesús Pérez Irigoyen, and I am a Content Producer & Audiovisual Developer from Mexico City. Focusing on branding and storytelling, I am always looking to collaborate on creative projects for film, television, and new media.
Today, my portfolio includes collaborations with global reach companies like Air France, Adobe, and Google, and I have coordinated the production of animated films for Government offices and museums! I also have worked closely with some of the most important animated film festivals, and personal work and research have been awarded and screened at international animation forums. Let me share some of the lessons and learnings during this 11 of professional experience.
How I Started In The Animation Industry?
I always knew that I wanted to dedicate myself to video production; in particular, I always liked experimenting with art and digital animation; however, when I was a student in my country, there were still no universities with a career dedicated to this profession. So I had to choose a career in Graphic Design. Fortunately, the last year of the educational program included introductory classes for film and TV, and it was there that I was able to confirm that I wanted to dedicate myself to audiovisual production and animation.
During the “TV Production” class, our teacher shared some animated short films produced in Mexico; they were innovative and surprising for their technical and artistic quality. What struck me the most in that session was that my teacher emphasized that these productions had been made 100% in Mexico. The name of this animated series was “Imaginantes * (remember this), a collection of stories that promoted science, poetry, and art from anecdotes based on the life of relevant creators. From that moment on, I decided that I wanted to dedicate myself to telling stories, that I wanted to focus on animation and audiovisual development. So I started applying exclusively to job opportunities in which I could make multimedia content. I started looking into school directories for internship positions in television companies and decided to stop using any other companies; I just wanted to focus on finding experience working in a television station.
At that time, social networks were not yet so active, and information was more limited and difficult to obtain, but the trend of online training with tutorials and websites was just getting started. So I prepared and trained myself on using Adobe After Effects. Video post-production tool that is standard in the television industry. My lesson here is that no matter the moment or the conflict you are dealing with, curiosity can always lead us to find solutions or knowledge, so never stop asking or researching the topics that interest you.
To be able to present me as a creative to the company. I decided to create my own virtual space to display my portfolio and share things that inspired me. I made Dessignare.com share my knowledge and enthusiasm for digital art and animation. To date, dessignare.com has more than 12 years and has become a benchmark in the industry in Latin America, but that is another story.
Talent Without Initiative Is Of Little Use
Never underestimate the power of documentation and communication; starting to create a professional profile online is one of the first steps that I would encourage to connect with more people and eventually collaborate on projects. Something that was born as a university project today has allowed me to collaborate with artists and companies worldwide. I have created articles and specialized coverage with industry leaders such as Google and Disney PIXAR and produce original content for education with government offices in different countries. All are based on my own professional practices and the original productions that I have developed over the years.
I chose this career because I like to communicate through imagery and sound; in particular, I am interested in disseminating culture, science, and creating human connections. Audiovisual designers can encode messages of vital importance to society to interpret them in content that people can assimilate quickly and in a meaningful way; through design, we can connect with people and deliver messages that can impact the world. I do not consider myself a great designer or animator, but I am sure that in this career, as in many others, the one who shows interest and study their craft, far beyond natural talents, makes the way. Talent without initiative is of little use.
With this conviction, preparing myself, and with a bit of luck, I had the opportunity for my first work experience to be within one of the largest television production houses in Latin America. Better yet, I was able to join the team of artists behind the Imaginantes * series (remember that at the beginning of my story?). I worked with this team for 5 years, training as an animation filmmaker, and then started my own creative company Dessignare Media. Later, I decided to carry the storytelling tradition that I acquired and translate it into new worlds beyond the screens, venturing into narrative projects applied to new media with video mapping and virtual reality.
For someone triton to become a freelancer or independent artist, I highly recommend Austin Kleon’s trilogy, “Steal like an artist,” “Show your work,” and “Keep Going,” these three books have come to me at different times in my career. Each one has brought messages and practices that I have been able to apply and have been effective for me. These are not books that require a lot of reading time, but rather it is a collection of books that invite you to practice simple steps to generate and promote your own creative work. I can even say that I have not finished reading them because once I have decided to apply their recommendations, the time has come to activate myself with projects.
YouTube is one of my favorite social networks because it is full of people willing to share their knowledge. My best advice would be that every time you discover creators that resonates with you, beyond subscribing and exploring their content, to bookmark intelligently, Find what works best for you to keep track of all the themes and resources that you find more interesting, perhaps in a digital app for notes or a spreadsheet where you can keep the record. The more references and help you have, the more comfortable you will lose track of them among the immense sea of data that the internet offers.
My recommendation regarding CVs is to get used to having a document that you can quickly edit and use as a template to create different versions. This way, you can adapt to the different opportunities that will arise. For example, I have a versión of my CV dedicated to living footage video production that I use to apply for content production roles that require more leadership skills. In contrast, I have a version of my CV much more focused on my artistic side with information on technical skills for animation.
My best advice for a job interview or when prospecting a client is to relax and be authentic; it generates a lot of trusts when dealing with someone who communicates effectively; if you are nervous, you can even express that at the beginning of the interview and take a moment to share a little about yourself and personality. Remember, we are all people, and generating empathy with your future partners will be the right way for the atmosphere to relax; honesty is key. Apply to positions for which you cover 70 to 80% of the qualities requested and show enthusiasm for learning about the areas you want to develop. Applying to a job where you master everything they ask for will only leave you stuck in the same place, and there is nothing fun in not facing new challenges.
As I say, To the adventure always!
Also read Walking the thin line between Digital Design and Art