Interview with Eva Cremers (OFFF Festival Barcelona)
Eva Cremers is a Dutch 3D artist & animation director with a consistently playful, fun and cheeky style. She started working and experimenting in 3D after her degree in Graphic Design and she is hooked ever since. She has worked and collaborated with brands in both the physical and digital world such as Apple, Nike and Facebook as well as for other not-so-known brands, but with which he has carried out very interesting projects. Its graphic style and her uniquely fun aesthetic is very recognizable, and it highlights because the bright colors, the charming characters that transmit joy and infect the people who see them with their big smiles.
So, in addition to inviting you to read the interview and take a ride into her playful website, we remind you that she will give a talk at the OFFF Festival Barcelona on March 23 at 8:30 p.m. Don’t miss it!
Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into illustration and animation?
I’m Eva Cremers, 30 years of age and I live in the Netherlands. I grew up in not really a creative environment, both of my parents aren’t creative and I didn’t know anyone that pursued a career in that direction. Although I’ve always been creative, it never even crossed my mind!
After school I decided to study International Business, already picturing myself being a boss lady in a big office. However, after 2 years I found out it was not the direction I wanted to go in and I didn’t like the outlook of sitting in an office all day.
I made a U turn and applied for the Art Academy where I studied Graphic Design for 4 years. What I learned? I didn’t want to be a graphic designer, hah! After an internship at SNASK, a branding agency in Stockholm I graduated and I didn’t know what to do next.
“I got an golden Willy Wonka email from Man vs Machine, a very well known agency doing a lot of incredible CGI work.”
They asked me to do an internship as an art director with them. 3 months prior to the internship they asked me to learn some basics in Cinema4D (a 3D program) to understand a bit of what they would talk about. I didn’t want to look like a fool so I dived in and never looked back. I loved it so much and during the internship (where I did no 3D work – only in free time) I could already feel myself shifting towards craving a full 3D career. After the internship I decided to take a big leap and just try. Try to start up my own company doing 3D illustration. I started out doing editorial work mainly and it quickly turned into a snowball effect.
Your playful, graphic CGI style combines with your unique design sensibility to create characters with charm. How did you get to this particular style?
Starting out with 3D I was mainly focused on the technique, clicking all sorts of buttons to see what would happen. I didn’t think of concepts and had no pressure of creating something really outstanding.
“I simply started out with some shapes and gave it a face, just for fun. It then transformed from a random shape to a character!”
I loved doing that and somehow it never really went away.
You have an outstanding portfolio, working with some of the most renowned global brands and publications. Which projects are you most proud of and passionate about?
“I actually think that big names of brands doesn’t really equal the best creative brief.”
One project I did was with a company that honestly, I didn’t really even know the existence of. It’s still my favorite project as the brief was so exciting and they very much wanted me to take over and have fun! It was the project with CCC where I created a Back to School campaign, combining photography and live action with 3D.
Tell us about the characters you create, how did they evolve over time? Do you give the characters names and personalities?
They started out as very unfinished but cute character, simply shapes with eyes and mouths. Along the way I learned more and more techniques and how to refine materials and applied that. Now I focus more on creative fun 3D worlds rather than just characters!
Your work is fun, quirky and addictive. Could you pinpoint what are your main referents and influences?
“I love old Disney comics. If you look at these old covers, they are all brilliant. They are always fun and with a humorous twist. ”
Other than that I of course try to stay on top of what’s happening in the industry, without letting it affect me too much. Anyway, I don’t really have one or more specific influences. I do think my graphic design background plays a part in my work, but it’s hard to pinpoint it to specific names.
For some time there has been a lot of demand for 3D designs. Has this demand helped you?
“I do think I was lucky, because I think that I started out at the exact right moment without knowing it.”
It was still early on in 3D design world, but far enough so that clients weren’t afraid to take that leap in the new 3D world. There weren’t too many 3D designer with this more fun bubbly aesthetic and still a lot of more gaming influenced styles. It’s great to see that the 3D world is still growing and so many great artists find their own position in it.
What is your process from design to animation?
“I always like to start with a pencil and a piece of paper, creating a moodboard to think about textures, composition and colors.”
Then I step into storyboarding and together with my agency Jelly we create a team of animators that are suited for the job. I have a role as director and together we create the animation!
A great project for you was working with illustrator Dan Whitehouse. How did you connect with him?
Hah, that’s a very long time ago. This was before I had any client projects. I liked his style and wanted to combine it with 3D and my own ideas. I simply reached out to him on Instagram.
“Never be afraid to reach out to well known artists, they are people too!”
What advice can you give someone who has an interest in design, animation or 3D but doesn’t know where to start?
Have fun. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, just have fun while learning.
“Don’t look too much into the current design trends, they will fade away. Find your own voice!”
You have worked with clients such as Apple, Samsung, Facebook and Amazon among others. What can you tell us about it?
Of course I am proud to have worked for brands like those. However as I said before, it’s not per definition better than lesser known brands! It all comes down to the creative brief and the freedom you get, as well as if it’s easy to work with the client for example.
Could it be said that what you are looking for with your illustrations is to always bring a big smile on people’s faces?
Yes! Even though I have quite a strong opinion myself on topics, I tried to stay away of all of it in my work. There are enough political statements on the internet, so I tried to give a breath of fresh air and bring smiles instead of opinions.
Your website is great. Tell us about The Factory. What does it consist of?
Thanks! I wanted to create a website that feels different and not like your average portfolio website. The factory is a part in my website where you can create your own character, combining a body, background and all sort of body parts!
What are you working on right now?
Fun things! I am working on fun characters for a tech brand and halfway March a massive project will come out: a clothing collaboration! Very fun to create something so physical with digital work. Can’t say too much about it yet, I’m afraid!
What can you tell us about your participation in the OFFF Festival Barcelona?
I love standing on stage so I am very excited to be a part of OFFF Barcelona! I will give a talk about my journey in the 3D world as well as being a mentor on an exciting project called “On the rise” where young creatives can win a project showcase, get a full pass and a mentoring session from me and other artists! Can’t wait to be in Barcelona and meet new people at OFFF!
(*) Images provided by Eva Cremers.