If you’ve been on Instagram in the past few months, odds are that you’ve come across these crazy ass dance videos intermixed with bright neon glowing animations.
A few month’s ago I started seeing these videos show up on the Instagram Explore page and was absolutely blown away at how technical and creative they were. Another thing that really amazed me was that I noticed that these posts were getting massive amounts of engagement. I’m talking millions of views, hundreds of thousands of likes, and thousands of comments. As an Instagram Growth Expert and CEO of Social Growth Factory, this really peaked my interest so I decided to do a little digging. When I saw the stats, my jaw dropped.
This dude literally gained almost 200k followers IN ONE FREAKING DAY!
Never in my entire career growing Instagram accounts had I seen that kind of growth. Absolutely nuts!
I felt like I just had to shoot him a DM and congratulate him for his work and success. He DM’d me back and it turns out he was a really cool dude and was generous enough to share with me details about his artistry. A few months later I managed to get him to sit down for an interview and answer a series of questions about his background, what led up to his success on Instagram, and his future plans.
So here is the interview. Enjoy!
Can you talk a little about your background?I am a first generation American, my parents are both from Israel and moved to America right before I was born so that I could be born in the states and have citizenship. I grew up in Montclair New Jersey where I studied during most of my life to become a doctor, surgeon, or something in the medical/science fields. It has always been in my mind and mission to go into the sciences and to only use art as a way to relax or distract myself from studies. Ironically it turns out that art becomes my life! More about my background is that I have been drawing and painting on and off for almost 10 years now but never had any formal or real training in it. Some other notable things about me is that for the past 10 years I have been playing multiple instruments from guitar to drums, I have been skateboarding, playing ice hockey, and of course drawing.
How did you get started with animation?
About one year ago I decided to start trying different things in order to find something I was good at and capitalize on my time and skills. I continuously failed at many different crafts as each month leading up to starting Blotter Media I was trying new things and failing with the intention of learning. Eventually, I decided to sink the last few thousands dollars I had to my name and buy a laptop and camera and start a photography page called Blotter Media- a huge leap of faith. I went out to events and parties for the first few months exclusively as a photography page taking photos of people and networking, shaking hands, and handing out business cards. I made my first 300 followers all from shaking hands and in person interactions and photoshoots. From these first 300 followers I managed to gain a client that wanted a music video. I agreed to make his music video for a few hundred dollars and decided to step into the videography space. After I finished his video he offered more money to add animations – being broke, desperate, and curious, I decided to take him up on the offer and teach myself how to animate in order to fulfill the small job. In only a few hours I taught myself how to animate and was running for the hills. I got halfway through his animation when I realized he wasn’t paying me enough for the video when I saw how good it was coming out, and how long it was talking me to create it. I decided to drop his project and take to Instagram to make shorter content in order to practice my new found animation skill, and from there it took off.
What is your work process?
I don’t use tutorials or presets. I do every frame by hand and by eye. I don’t believe in shortcuts, they are cheap. Hard work and true artistry prevails. It takes more work but to me its relaxation. To everyone else its tedious. I’ve done around 50,000 frames to date all for free or of pleasure. And I never had an art class in my life 😉 It ain’t about perfecting. It’s about just doing whatever you feel and not caring about the judgement or bullshit other people have to say. Cus I don’t animate for my followers or for money I do it for myself.
What do you believe was the thing that triggered your sudden massive growth on Instagram? Do you think it was attributed to just one event, or a series of events?
There was a post I made of Jayyhancock that went extremely viral. In January of 2019 I had about 60k followers, and after this dance edit I made with Jay it ended up getting reposted to @daquan and @ifyouhigh and other large pages. Following this series of reposts were other large reposts like worldstar and 9gag. Overall it was a series of dance videos that blew my page up but that first video of Jayyhancock really triggered a growth – I saw something like 100k-200k followers overnight from it, which is insane! By March 2019 my account hit 1m followers. So basically in 3 months my account went from 60k to 1m followers. It’s pretty unbelievable!
We’re you expecting for it to blow up like it did? Or did it come completely by surprise?
Great question. It was completely by surprise, from the very beginning I have always created my animations without any expectations. I could barely believe that I was able to gain 60k followers in a year, let alone 1 million in a few months! When it first hit was when Smokepurpp retweeted my dance video that someone else ripped and put on Twitter since I do not use Twitter. It ended up getting millions of views on Twitter from purpps page and all of those people found my Instagram account from that – and the snowball started rolling.
What was it like when you started seeing your stuff going viral all over the place?
Definitely surprised but always happy to see how the people react to my new effects and ideas. When things go viral there are more comments and I like to read through comments to find good critiques and feedback that help improve on future animations.
What opportunities has it opened up for you?
So many. I’ve been getting hit up from alooot of celebrities, record labels, and big companies. It’s a long list. I just gotta do whatever I feel and whoever pays right. I have thousands of people asking me for prices but since I’m working alone I cannot manage all of that nor do I want to. I think just picking the big fish and working for them is working out well right now. It’s easy to spot the big fish anyway. Like Tyga Dm me, I didn’t just scrool past that lol … I had the honor of working on a couple of music videos so far. The first one was called “123456” by Fitz and The Tantrums which was directed by me [email protected] and animated by me. My biggest project to date was a music video for the new song “West Coast” by G eazy featuring Blueface All Black and YG directed by Daniel Czerni.. It currently has over 23 million views on youtube.
What projects have you been working on lately?
Lately I have been working on a lot of dance projects, and a few paid projects. I am now transitioning into the Youtube space more as I want to release full production music videos. I am working on my first full production music video planning to release in a few weeks. Full production includes me directing, filming, editing, and animating the entire video. This is a very exciting new venture and will hopefully generate a lot of traction and money on my Youtube page.
What do you thinks is your best work?
My best work so far in my opinion are almost any of my dance posts. I feel as though they really highlight not just the dancers ability and agility but also the overall musicality. I am going to try and make the animations sync more to the music as I feel that is one of the most important aspects in motion graphics – musical sync.
Who are some people you look up to or who inspire you?
There aren’t any animators in particular that inspire me or that I look up to – but the overall art style of many DC comics such as the old Batman comics, and Sin City style comics are very inspirational to me. I love to see detailed pen work and the way that some of these DC comic artists do it is beyond amazing to me. To add to this, my mother in an incredible artist and I grew up in a house that is covered from wall to wall with very colorful detailed psychedelic style art pieces. Seeing these all day and seeing her being a hard working artist is also inspiring to me knowing that it is possible to make it on your own.
What are your plans for the future?
My future plans are to continue to push as many good posts as I can, meanwhile I am scouting and working with independent rappers to make music videos for them in exchange for the rights to the video. The goal is to create a Youtube platform that showcases all these new independent rappers so that Blotter Media becomes one of the hubs to find new up coming rappers. On top of that, I am working on writing long form tv shows and movies so that one day when I have an investor or enough money myself that I can try my hand at making a fully animated movie for the box office! The truth is the future of art is wildly unpredictable and everything for me can and has changed course very quickly so I am staying open to finding new mediums and new paths to outlet my creativity. I do know for a fact that no matter what I will be producing art for the rest of my life – it is engrained in me, and part of my blood to create every day.