giphy featured artists

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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: DAIN FAGERHOLM

How did you first get into making GIFs? What was the first GIF you made?

I first got into making GIFs in 2012 when I saw all the cool GIFs on Tumblr.  I made a few GIFs of Yolandi-Vi$$er shaking her booty in gold hotpants and a few from Disney’s Snow White and Fantasia but I really wanted to make GIFs that were 100% my own. The first original GIF I made was called “Creature with Amethyst Gem” and it was part of a series of GIFs which I called “stereographic drawings”.

Where do you find inspiration?

I am looking for inspiration right now in a book about Netsuke (carved Chinese ornaments). Taoist landscape paintings, and female bodybuilders also inspire me.

Why GIF art?

GIF art has been a way for me, as an artist, to reach a wider audience.  It also satisfies a lot of social needs because I meet lots of people online who have seen my GIFs and I enjoy that.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

Most of the artists I have met on Tumblr are my favorite artists:

Favorite GIF artists/artists in general?

challenger23
Matthias Brown
kidmograph
Cindy Suen
G1ft3d
dotroom
galapa-ghost
zwian
brother brain
ulan-bator
max capacity
Mr. GIF
cuntamination
Colin Raff
chromo-valdez
Televandalist

Favorite GIF?

My favorite GIF is one of my own called “You are Under My Control” because it always looks fresh when I see it pop up on the interwebs.

Check out more GIF art by DAiN8) on Giphy.com.

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: XCOPY

What GIF best describes how you are currently feeling?

When did you first start making GIFs? What was your first GIF?

I joined tumblr and was posting digital collage stills assembled from random images in my feed. While making one in Photoshop I accidentally triggered the animation loop and the layers all started flashing up. It was jarring and hypnotic. I didn’t post it for a while, because it seemed so ridiculous! Then I just started mashing up anything and everything.

Why GIFs?

The ability to loop - movement, repetition. On tumblr, GIFs stand out from static content on your dash. They’re really fun to make.

Where do you pull inspiration from?

It could come from anywhere. For example, I love how the buses in London look so iconic and retro, then you step inside and there’s this dystopian robo-voice announcing the stops.  That weird contrast inspires me. What next? Your recycling bin reporting you for putting plastic in the paper tray? Your fridge counting your calories?

Favorite artists?

For GIFs - IWDRM
Some of my other heroes in no particular order: George Carlin, Bill Hicks, Ricky Gervais, Russell Brand, Louis CK, Carl Sagan, Banksy.

What is your favorite GIF?

Want more? Check out more GIF art from XCOPY on Giphy.com…and if you have a Mac iOS 10.7 or higher be sure to download the screensaver full of glitchy-awesomeness!

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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Alec Mackenzie aka BADBLUEPRINTS

What GIF best describes how you are currently feeling?

When did you first start making GIFs? What was your first GIF?

I started a couple of years ago and the first was this animation I put together of a smashed up LCD screen taken from one of those cheap 99-games-in-one handheld consoles where all the games are terrible Tetris clones. I’d made a few prints based on it way back in art school and thought it would be nice to resurrect it in gif form. Things have gone a very different direction since then.

Your GIFs are so fun to look through because they are all so crazy and weird (in an awesome way!). Where do you find inspiration?

I try to entertain myself with what I make now and most of my ideas come from sitting at the computer, listening to music, or when I’m about to go to sleep and I’ll drowsily tap them into my phone for later. That means when I wake up in the morning I’ve got to remember what I’m supposed to be doing with nonsense phrases like ‘boxface’ or 'hotdog planet’. I also used to work in a dental lab, casting models for dentures and mouth guards, so that’s possibly why I keep putting so many teeth into things….

I’m really most inspired by what other gif artists are making. Not necessarily always in terms of subject matter but the work ethic they have in constantly producing great art, all while carving out their own very distinctive styles and niches.

What kind of a process do you go through to create your art?

I’ve a big collection of models from Sketchup, and I’ll play around with them until something interesting comes up. I’ll then copy and paste the results into GIMP for editing into gifs. It’s fairly low-tech as I previously made them on a little netbook that would groan if you dared have more than two browser tabs open. My computer is a bit better these days but old habits die hard.

What attracts you to the GIF format?

I find it suits an intuitive way of working, like sketching, and there’s something really gratifying about their looping repetitive nature, in the same way that things like old zoetropes and clockwork toys are still fascinating today. Before I started making gifs I was becoming dissatisfied with my art in the studio as I was producing these large-scale geometric wall drawings that required a lot of planning and measuring and not much fun. I saw gifs as a good way to free things back up and start creating work purely for enjoyment again.

Who are a few of your favorite artists?

There are tons but here’s a handful…

kidmograph
vince mckelvie
rachel maclean
clay rodery
cindy suen
jason clarke
john mclaughlin
brianbrianbrianbrianbrianbrian
john karel
miron
eltons kuns

Current favorite GIF?

When things aren’t going right this is oddly reassuring…

Want more? Check out more GIF art from BADBLUEPRINTS on Giphy.com…and if you have a Mac iOS 10.8 or higher be sure to download the screensaver!

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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: MiRon (Yuriy Mironoff)

When did you first start making GIFs? What was the first GIF you made?

I started making GIFs in March 2012. It was a stereoscopic-wiggling illustration of Plague doctor.

Where do you find inspiration?

I’m very inspired by the art and animation I see on Vimeo and Tumblr. There are so many talented people in the world! Most of my works are from a stream of consciousness. Everything I ever saw, felt, thought, or read about - it transforms in my mind and finds expression in my art.

If you don’t mind sharing with us, what kind of a process do you go through to create your art?

For animation, I make sketches -> draw frame-by-frame in Flash -> experiment with layers in After Effects -> make a GIF in Photoshop.
For sculptures, I use Zbrush for sculpting and C4D for rendering and lighting. Most of my works I’ve published before were drawn on paper then scanned and manipulated in PS and AE.

What attracts you to the GIF format?

GIF is a quite unique format. It gives freedom to artists to do whatever they want. It can be motion graphics, 3D, 2D, animated illustration, any kind of art stuff. It’s available to anyone who has a computer. Tumblr has greatly influenced the flourishing of the GIF format. I’m finding a smart resolution to a problem that makes my artwork even better.

Favorite artists?

I started making art under the big influence of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Charles Burns, and Robert Crumb.
Then I’ve found these great artists on Tumblr who give me daily inspiration:
Gustavo Torres (aka kidmograph)
Alec Mackenzie
patakk
Vince Mckelvie
Eva Papamargariti
mysterycycle
Sensual Objects
Noah Spiderman
James Kerr (aka scorpion dagger)
David Michael Chandler
Milos Rajkovic

There are many other digital artists and animators I love, but those are my favorites:
David OReilly
Charles Huettner
Zach Cohen
Flemish Eye
KVMOWAT
Matt Pyke
CRCR
The great Nordi Sword Fights
itza!
KOKOFREAKBEAN
Ryoicho Kurokawa
Emilio Gomariz
Mike Pelletier
Zimoun
Ori Toor
Field
Scanned Life Shorts
Anthony Francisco Schepperd
V5MT

Favorite GIF?

Check out more GIF art from MiRon on Giphy.com…and if you have a Mac iOS 10.7 or higher be sure to download the awesome screensaver!

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: SASKIA KEULTJES

Pick one GIF to show how you are currently feeling.

What was the first GIF you made?

I made my first GIF, because I wanted to have a digital pet on my blog. 
He is called Mokko, and eats fireflies:

Why do you love GIFs?

They remind me of the moving pictures in Harry Potter.

We love your stories you’ve created for tapesty! Was the inspiration behind the houseplants from plants of your own?

I love plants and trees, they are a huge inspiration. I killed all plants I’ve ever owned though. I guess, I wanted to pay my debts and give them a story.

Read one of Saskia’s Tapestry stories below:

Favorite GIF artists/artists in general?

DVDP (David Dope)
Pasquale D’Silva
Luiz Stockler

Favorite GIF?

Check out more GIF art by Saskia on Giphy.com.

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Artist Spotlight on Jeremy Sengly

What GIF best describes how you are currently feeling?

When did you start making GIFs? What was the first GIF you made?

About three years ago. I’ve always loved animation and GIFs seemed like a fun place to start. Here’s the first GIF I ever made:

Do you have any background in artistic training/schooling?

I went to the University of Minnesota for Graphic Design and then picked up animation on my own while I was working at this shop PUNY. I was super fortunate to work with some amazing animators that helped me along the way. Shout out to Mike OwensEyo PetersVictor Courtright, and Nick Bachman.)

We love the funny content you make for FOX ADHD! What’s your favorite part of working on ADHD?

Thanks! I work in the GIF department which is a new thing at ADHD. It’s been around for about a year now. We’re a super small team of artists that create topical gifs about the news and other more experimental content. They get posted throughout the day on http://foxadhd.tumblr.com


My favorite part about working at ADHD is the process. In the GIF department we brainstorm ideas together, but ultimately each gif is made by one person. Each GIF maker designs, writes, boards, and animates the entire thing. It creates a sense of authorship that’s hard to find in a professional setting. Trying to be responsive to news creates a fast pace that I personally really like. Cranking out finished work everyday forces me to experiment and cultivate my own voice. I’m also lucky to work with a bunch of really rad genuine homies =\:^)

Annnnndddd work on other projects like music videos and directing my own shorts.

So yeah I guess by favorite I thought you meant “everything you like.”

What attracts you to the GIF format?

I really love working with its inherent restrictions. GIFs can only be a 1mb to upload onto tumblr, so it makes you make tradeoffs between super intensely animating something or spending a lot of time illustrating it. It’s fun for me to work in those restrictions and take advantage of places where GIFs are unique, like looping. There’s this awesome thing that happens when you get a loop to work right, it gets super hypnotic to watch, and I’m way into that.

Do you have a favorite subject you like to illustrate?

I always catch myself drawing extremely happy faces and people standing awkwardly, but lately I’ve been doodling a lot of jack-o’-lanterns, goopy monsters, and Cat-Eyed boys.

Who are a few of your favorite artists?

Milton Glaser, Juan Miro, Geoff McFetridge, Sally Cruikshank, Seripop, Gary Panter, Kazuo Umezu, Rockwell Kent, and Stuart Davis

Current favorite GIF?

This one:

Any other fun projects you are currently working on and can share with us?

A series of prints about not making work, a new zine (Jeremy Sengly’s Greatest Hits Vol.6) and some super secret deep cover stuff for ADHD ;^) Also a new short I will be collaborating on with my dear-sweet-home-dawg-bros Victor Courtright and Nick Bachman. It’ll be premiering this November at Animation Breakdown FreeForm Fest in LA.

Want more? Check out more GIFs by Jeremy Sengly on his Giphy page!

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: FALCÃO LUCAS (AVELAR LUCAS & TÂNIA FALCÃO)

Read the interview from Falcão Lucas, the illustrative team created by (married couple) Tânia Falcão and Avelar Lucas.

How did you two come together and start making art?

Tânia Falcão: We met 12 years ago doing tequila shots in a bar, and when we sobered up we realized that we had many things in common: the love of art, design, and music. Later we started working together in an advertising agency, and 2 years ago we decided it was time to create our own project.

When did you start making GIFs? What was the first GIF you made?

Avelar Lucas: I started making GIFs in 1999, using 3D Studio Max, Macromedia Flash, and Image Ready. Back then I was working as a web designer and some clients wanted GIF animations for their sites. In 2004, (Tania and I) started creating GIFs together and uploading them on B3ta. This GIF made in 2004 (a Cat on the wheel) was one of the first ones we created together and one of our most popular back then:

What kind of a process do you two go through to create your GIF art?

TF: It depends. Sometimes one of us does an illustration and thinks “that would look really nice animated” and then the other creates an animation for it.  
Most times, however, one of us starts experimenting with shapes, images, whatever we can get our hands on, has a “mental diarrhea,” and creates new animations from scratch. As you may notice by our GIFs and illustrations, we’re a bit hectic when it comes to subject and style. We’re a bit like Dug from Up, happily doing whatever we’re doing and all of a sudden “Squirrel!”.

The perfect loop seems to be important in your GIFs (we’ve found ourselves in a trance looking at your GIFs more than once :) ) What attracts you to the GIF format?

TF: We find the idea of the perfect loop very appealing because of the illusion of a few frames creating a sense of “eternity.” That’s also one of the GIF features that attracts us more: the not knowing where it starts and where it ends. 

Who are a few of your favourite artists?

TF: Han Hoogerbrugge has always been one our favourite artists. He was the first one we saw using GIF animations as an art form in 1998 with his Neurotica series. He is beyond a doubt one of our biggest inspirations. Jean Giraud (Moebius) is another one of our biggest inspirations for his illustration style and skill and all the incredible universes he created from scratch.

Current favorite GIF?

TF: One of ours? Always the last one.
From someone else? The 3D printed bear walking up the stairs:

Want more? Check out more beautiful GIF art from Falcão Lucas on Giphy.com…and if you have a Mac iOS 10.8 or higher be sure to download the screensaver full of infinite looping awesomeness!

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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: animatedtext

What GIF best describes how you are currently feeling?

How did AnimatedText start?

I came across internetarcheology and began obsessing with the unapologetically amateur and expressive nature of geocities sites. I particularly loved this section of the site which is all moving text. I taught myself to use Xara 3d (a 3d text program created in 1981) and started making text that had my same cynical tone.
One day a follower asked if I could make him a gif (The request was “My pussy clean, my pussy squeaky clean”) and the rest is history. It was a no brainer that the blog would be request based. It stays fresh and interactive if I take requests for free.

What’s your favorite/craziest GIF someone has requested?

“Who needs gender roles when you can have pizza rolls” Maybe not the weirdest overall but it’s weird in the best way.

What do you find most appealing about the GIF format?

GIFs are viewed as tacky and unnecessary. When you combine relevant pop cultural references or subversive messages with GIFs that combination of absurd and honest creates comedic gold. Text made animated take on it’s own personality.

Favorite artists?

I loooove Jeremy Bailey for his unique approach to being a new media artist. His cynical “personality” is refreshing and something I can relate to. I also love experimental typographers like Paula Sher and Dominica Falla. Those women know that letters cannot be tamed.

Favorite GIF?

Check out more GIF art from AnimatedText on Giphy.com…and if you have a Mac iOS 10.7 or higher be sure to download the awesome screensaver!

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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: PATAKK / Paolo Čerić

What GIF best describes how you are currently feeling?

Oh, this one -

When did you first start making GIFs? What was the first GIF you made?

I started making them about four years ago. At first, I mostly made GIFs out of movie/music video clips I liked, the first one being “Mouth of Sauron" (May 23rd, 2010). It’s a clip from the extended version of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

What attracts you to the GIF format?

The fact that it’s so simple to play (no special video player required), simple to share, and of course its looping property. The looping property makes it different from other video/image formats, it makes you think in another way and that’s what makes me excited. It’s the component I always take into account when making new GIFs, I always want to make a perfect loop, not to break the motion.

Where do you find inspiration?

Literally everywhere. I rarely actively look for it, it just comes to me when I observe things around me. Also the internet as a whole, it offers so much freedom in exploring works of other people whose ideas resonate with mine.

Do you have any artistic training/schooling or are you self taught?

I’m self taught.

Favorite artists?

There really are many GIF artists and I’ll fail to recall all of them, but here are a few of the ones I’ve known about for a long time which I really like:

dvdp

mrdiv

MiRon

jodeus

volvulent

bees&bombs

Favorite GIF?

Mine? This one.

Need some more awesome from Patakk? Check out his page on Giphy.com. And, if you have a Mac iOS 10.7 or higher, be sure to download the screensaver.

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Artist Spotlight: David Michael Chandler aka The Daily Doodles

What GIF best describes how you are currently feeling?

That’s a tough question, probably this one––

I am always at my desk writing and drawing and endlessly clicking on my laptop.  If my internet dies, it doesn’t remove a distraction for me, it makes me much more distracted as I endlessly try to get the internet to come back on.

When did you first start making GIFs? What was your first GIF?

I believe my very first GIF was in April of 2012…?  I forget exactly, to be honest.  I had been doing the Daily Doodles for a year and a half at that point, and they were always regular ol’ illustrations and I think evolving them into GIFs was a natural process. Here is the very first GIF I posted (the great Kyle Harter assembled my drawings for me into the GIF as I didn’t know how to use Photoshop or anything)–

Before then, I had lots of ideas that I felt would be better if GIF’d, but it took me some time to both have a laptop that could handle GIF'fing, and be smart enough to make them on my own.

The first GIF I made entirely on my own was this––

To make my GIFs I use a combo of Photoshop and Adobe Premiere (a video editing program), and I was running those on a super tiny Notebook laptop that groaned each time I moved the mouse.  I am on a better laptop now, thankfully :-)

What attracts you to the GIF format? How do you decide when something is finished at a still illustration or if you are going to turn it into a GIF?

Growing up I always wanted to be a movie director, so most of my ideas involve movement and editing, and turning my illustrations into short animations has been a lot of fun and helps satiate that desire to make movies or TV.

I try to only do what I am interested in at that moment, even with the commissions I do, and right now I much prefer making my drawings into GIFs over standard illustrations.  I’m not that great at drawing, and I think they just come to life when I add movement.  It adds something that I think makes the drawings and stories better.

Everything is still drawn and coloured by hand, and the combo of movement and illustrations done with coloured pencils (and the textures coloured pencils create) is fun to me.

If I have an idea that would be pointless to GIF, I wouldn’t force it into being a  GIF (there has to be a reason for it or it’ll be boring), but it’s no coincidence that the ideas I favour are the ones that need to be animated.  

The short length of GIFs is also attractive since it’s so much less daunting than trying to do an actual animated short; I’d likely never even try to do animation if a GIF wasn’t possible.  It’s been a perfect way to educate myself on how to make my drawings move and to tip toe into the world of real animation (of which I still am a total moron, but it doesn’t seem as insurmountable as before).

What has been inspiring to you lately?

Another tough question!  I think I can get inspiration from anything, and I always make sure to write down every idea I get immediately into my “idea pads.”  They’re spiral notebooks that have thousands of image and story ideas, and I reference them when figuring out which drawing to do next.

Plus I know I will forget the idea very easily if I don’t jot it down right away.

Watching shows about space, nature, documentaries about worlds I’m not familiar with, all inspire ideas in my head.  I also will kinda’ meditate to think up new ideas or solutions to current ideas… letting my brain float around almost always works.

Do you have a personal favorite subject you like to illustrate?

SPACE!  I love drawing space-themed illustrations, and I have to tell myself not to do it so much so I’m not repetitive.  I also love drawing old TVs, as watching stuff I shouldn’t be watching was such a big part of growing up, and I love how blocky and big old TVs are.

Who are a few of your favorite artists?

Probably too many to name, but I’ll try!

Several of them helped teach me how to GIF and were very supportive as I was learning to draw––

Kyle Harter 

Chiara Adams

Fatma

Samantha

Other artists I love include (but certainly not limited to):


Miron
Max Capacity

Dain’s GIFs

Rubyetc

Saskia Keultjes

Pretty Whores

Sha'an

Carty

Michael Carini

Growing up I loved classic comics such as Lil’ Nemo in Slumberland, classic E.C. Segar era of Popeye, Pogo, Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side, Tony Millionaire, Tintin, and too many movie directors, writers, and photographers to list.

What is your favorite GIF?

Of my own work?  I was mostly happy with this one––

but I’m also annoyed at myself with certain elements I can do better.  Every thing I’ve done has elements I just have to do better at executing, so I dunno if I can really say one is my “favourite.”

Besides current GIFs made by other artists, GIFs of out of context moments from old/weird movies are my favourite (like this)––


And I also love a perfect loop, like this one––

What’s next? Any fun projects you are currently working on and can share with us?

I’ve also started working on another book starring one of my reoccurring characters, "The Ghosts with Relationship Problems.”  It’ll be an illustrated picture book showing different moments from a bad relationship two Ghosts are stuck in over several years.Making my first book has probably been the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, as making the drawings good enough while also updating my Daily Doodles site, doing commissions, has meant I haven’t had a day off in over 3 years.

Hopefully, the books end up being pretty cool and people like them!

Want more? Check out more GIF art from THE DAILY DOODLES on Giphy.com!

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: RealityTVGIFs (T. Kyle MacMahon)

What GIF best describes how you are currently feeling?

Currently it is freezing in New York City so this is how I feel:

When did you first start making GIFs? What was your first GIF?

I started making GIFs in college so I could reply to people on the LiveJournal blog, ohnotheydidnt.
This is my first ever (it’s really bad) GIF:

What attracts you to the GIF format?

It’s easily shareable and works on any device. GIFs are a lot more entertaining than sending an awkward smiley face!

Who is your favorite reality star to GIF?

Big Ang. Everything she does and says makes me laugh.
Also, this GIF of her is iconic:

If you had to make GIFs of only one housewife from now on, who would you pick and why?

AHHH. That is like asking a mother to pick her favorite child! I would say NeNe Leakes because she is the most animated of all the Housewives, especially in this new season she is hysterical. I would miss Teresa though.

Do you think reality tv creates better “GIF-able” moments than other genres?

Usually, yes. Reality stars are unfiltered and more ridiculous. Live TV is also great!

Sometimes you GIF shows outside of reality tv, what compels you to pick those shows?

It mixes things up for me, and I think my audience enjoys the variety. I get requests to cover everything. Britney Spears is my queen so she gets featured a lot. I got really hooked on American Horror Story this year and couldn’t’ resist adding it to the blog. Also movies like Mean Girls are such a classic, I have so many more GIFs to make.

What is your favorite GIF?

Forever and always:

Check out more GIF art from RealityTVGIFs on Giphy.com…and if you have a Mac iOS 10.7 or higher be sure to download the screensaver featuring all your favorite reality tv stars and more!

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: SALIH!

What was the first GIF you made?

‘gif’ or’ jif’?

Definitely GIF

What kind of a process do you go through to create your art?

I usually write down whatever Ideas I have in my notebook. So basically I have this massive list of a lot of bad ideas. Usually about one good idea for every 50 bad ones. And occasionally I’ll do some sketches in my notebook for the ones I think about a lot. Again… One good sketch for every 50 bad ones… Then after I think about something for long enough, and have a good sketch then usually when I have some free time I dive in and design it, then animate it. done & done.

Why GIFs?

Because they are always short and to the point. No filler, no extra noise. Just the best part. Kind of like sampling records, except with video. Plus my attention span gets smaller everyday.

Favorite GIF artists/artists in general?

I like a lot, but heres a few i’ve been obsessing over recently…
Ian Stevenson
Charles Huettner
RRRRRRRROLL
And of course my friends Richard Perez and Laura Alejo.

Favorite internet animal?

SLOTH!

Superpower of choice?

Definitely laser eyes.

Favorite GIF?

I’m a big Simpsons fan and this one gets me every time:

Check out more GIF art by Salih! on Giphy.com.