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September influencer of the month @meizalrossi

Introducing Vamp’s September Influencer of the Month @meizalrossi.

 

The Indonesian-based creator is a triple threat as a videographer, illustrator and animator, who has recently worked on Vamp campaigns with OPPO and Pepsodent. He fills us in on his methods behind shooting such fun and inspirational content.

 

How did you become a videographer and illustrator?

It all started when I was travelling. I wanted to shoot landscape content on my travels so learnt how to shoot with a DSLR camera with the help of the internet and creatives around me.

Being self-taught, I’m always experimenting and so decided to try and combine video footage with my illustrations. After combining the two mediums, I realised that I can create content as far as my imagination will take me. That’s why I call myself a visual story teller, rather than just a videographer and illustrator.

 

What are your top three videography tips for beginners?

#1 Expand your knowledge: Learn new concepts, adapt to the latest trends and always aim to think outside the box. To expand my knowledge, I’m an active user on every social media platform so I can discover the current trends and make connections with other creatives in the community.

#2 Experiment: Shooting video content should be fun, but sometimes shooting the same type of content over and over again can get a little boring. To switch things up I like experimenting with new editing techniques, mixing media, combining illustrations with video or using music I wrote.

#3 Be consistent. You always need to be up-skilling yourself and finding out what works best for you. This won’t happen in a day, so you need to be consistent with your work and also with your experimenting.

What are your top three digital illustration tips for beginners?

#1 Find your own style. I started out by drawing outdoor themed illustrations. I drew mountains and camping activities because at that time I loved to travel and hike. That’s how I built my personal brand as a mountain hiker and creative traveler. But as time went by, my interests shifted and so did my style into animations of lifestyle content.

#2 Don’t compare yourself to others. My illustrations and animations are mostly black and white as this is what I’m best at and know my audience will appreciate it. But I also know many other creatives use lots of colour and detail in their work, as that’s what works best for their audience and their talents. Once you’ve found your own style, you can translate a story into an illustration that will engage your audience who appreciates your content. Don’t compare your work or judge it based on what other creators are doing.

#2 Keep experimenting. Let your imagination run wild and give you crazy content ideas that have never been done before, even if they’re not your usual style. This is how you’re going to keep your work looking fresh.

What software or apps do you use to create and edit your digital illustrations?

I use an iPad to create my illustrations and I use two apps: Procreate and Roughanimator.

Procreate is a drawing application which allows you to draw in layers which provides flexibility. But what I love about Procreate is that it automatically records you while drawing, so after completing an illustration I’ll have a time lapse of it. I use this awesome feature to enrich my video content like this and this.

Then we have Roughanimator which allows you to create flip-book animations, but of course in digital form. I highly recommend this app as it has a great audio feature which allows you to draw while listening to a voice recording. 

You can record a voice over or story on your voice notes, import it to Roughanimator and visualise the story while drawing. Here’s an example of a past animation I created using the app.

What is your usual process for creating illustrations and where do you gain inspiration from?

It always starts with me considering what I want to say through my work. Sometimes I’ll write my idea down, other times I’ll transform it into a script. Then I’ll figure out the simple visual idea that’s what’s going deliver the message to my audience. There’s no hidden philosophies or secret messages in my work – everything I draw is going to be direct. Then I use either Procreate or Roughanimator to create my illustrations, using the layering feature in both apps to help me trace the content I’ve shot or draw free-hand, depending on the work.

I like to gain storytelling inspiration from stand up comedians like Chris Rock, Eddy Murphy and Pandji Pragiwaksono – I admire their perspectives and how they write. I then gain creative inspiration from Pinterest, other creatives on Instagram and YouTubers such as Peter McKinnon and Casey Neistat.

How do you like to create and edit your time-lapse photographs like this one?

This is an interesting one as it’s technically not an actual time lapse – I mixed it! I used Adobe Premiere for the first layer, which is the image I took and I cut the sky out to create a void in the shot. Then I placed a time lapse of the night sky that I downloaded from motionarray.com (an all-in-one video and filmmaker platform) and placed it on the second layer to fill the void and voila, my image become alive.

What is your all-time best performing post on your feed, and why do you think that is?

I would say it’s this video. I think it performed so well because it addressed a trending topic about people who branded themselves as content creators, but only posted shallow content in order to go viral. 

I made this opinion video to share my thoughts about creators needing to make quality content that will define their authenticity and their ability to inspire others using their platform.

Tell us a little bit more about your YouTube channel. Do you prefer posting your video content on YouTube or Instagram? Why? 

I originally started my YouTube channel to share travel vlogs and it turned out to be quite successful – Indonesian’s love watching travel vlogs, especially about mountain trekking. In a year, I gained around 7000 subscribers.

But I didn’t want to be branded as just a travel vlogger. I want to share my other creative sides. That’s why I started uploading content about my illustrations and animations. To be honest, I prefer posting video content on Instagram, as I can reach a larger pool of people and my audience already knows my style and strengths.

 

Quick fire round. Right now I am….

Listening: Under The Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers as I’m currently learning how to play it on guitar.

Watching: Friends – a classic!

Eating: Chips

Wearing: A simple black shirt and boxers

Drinking: Vietnam drip coffee

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