This week, we caught up with Yatta co-founder and Lead Animator, Ben Marsh to hear all about the motion studio he co-launched at the start of 2021.
Yatta is a motion studio specialising in art direction and animation; they bring beautiful, meaningful motion to the stories brands want to tell, helping to bring people and brands closer together.
Sister studio of Fiasco Design, Yatta are a bunch of illustrators, designers and animators with one thing in common – a childlike love of their craft.
We sat down with Ben over a virtual coffee and chatted sushi inspired business names, feeling the fear and doing it anyway, and of course, all things motion design.
Thanks for joining us for this chat Ben! First question – why the name Yatta?
Around the time we were starting to think about specialising in motion design, I was put onto the documentary ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’. It follows an 85-year-old sushi master, Jiro who dedicated his whole life to making sushi – it’s flipping lovely – and celebrates his focus on a single craft. Yatta is our little nod to Jiro, as I guess that’s what we’re doing – focusing on doing one thing really well.
Can you tell us what an average workday looks like at Yatta?
Writing scripts, sketching storyboards (we’ve been using the Boords tool from the Animade team recently – well worth checking out), creating and animating artwork in both 2D and 3D, and working with voiceover artists. It’s super varied which I love.
I think being terrified of a creative problem is also exciting
What excites you most about the creative process?
Seeing your own skills slowly progressing is both exciting and rewarding. I also value learning something new with each project and being able to build on that over time. You start to see a trajectory within your discipline. I think being terrified of a creative problem is also exciting – you usually figure it out somehow and I think that’s how you become a better designer.
Who are your biggest inspirations?
Neil Druckmann is a bit of a nerdy hero I guess. He’s co-president, writer and director at Naughty Dog. They are the games studio that produced Crash Bandicoot back in the day. In the past few years, he’s produced a few games like Last Of Us, and Uncharted 4 that have lifted the genre into these totally subversive storytelling vehicles, using real actors and developing characters you genuinely care about. The way he plays with game mechanics and blends the storytelling into the level design is incredible.
How does it feel to co-found a company? What are your top tips for new start-ups?
Fun, scary, exciting. I’ve been lucky to have the support of co-founders who have done this before. They understand the business side, allowing me to throw myself into pushing the creative and building an identity within our space. My only tip would be to buy a decent pair of running shoes; sweat all the demons out on the street so you can focus during the day. Exercise is honestly the best way to keep a clear mind – that’s what I find anyway.
Any advice for aspiring motion designers?
Go away. There’s too many of us! Nah just kidding. I think be brave enough to learn a few new tricks. Dabble in 3D; learn a bit of frame by frame animation; or spend some time improving your illustration skills. When we see a designer’s portfolio and they have this broad set of skills, it’s always super impressive. It shows a desire to exist outside your comfort zone too, which is important.
What’s your favourite thing about working at Gather Round?
Meeting like-minded creative people who love what they do… oh… and Aldi.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Ben, it was fab to get an insight into the world of Yatta. If you’re interested in working with Yatta, check out their website. For more interviews and blogs, follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.