The +Company: Ben Nichols

+ Title: Senior Motion Designer

+ From: Sydney, Australia

+ Currently living in: Astoria, Queens

+ Studied: University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

+ With Trollbäck for: 5 amazing years

+ Instagram: @benjington

Photos from Ben’s personal Instagram account

Where else did you work before joining the Trollbäck team?

Moon Communications & Rotor Studios in Sydney.

What is the motivating factor that drives you to create?

Having the ability to reach people through creative narratives.

What tools/software do you enjoy working with? How do those tools effect/limit/fuel your creative process?

AE & C4D — When it comes to the possibilities of the software, I sometimes feel like I’ve only explored a side street in a suburb, of a city, in a country… There are infinite possibilities to create, which can be both good and bad.

What does design mean to you?

It’s not just a bunch of pretty pictures, it’s about creative solutions that can be used for communication.

What are the best parts of the design/production process? What’s the hardest?

The best part is early conceptual development; that a single idea has all this potential to grow. Probably the hardest part is sometimes detaching yourself from something that is so personal to you, knowing that it is was never really yours or intended for you to begin with.

You’ve been involved in several pro sports projects at Trollbäck. What would you like to see more of in terms of sports entertainment branding?

I’d love to see more representation of women in sports, and also something that acknowledges the huge female fan base. And fewer robots, definitely.

What are some books/blogs/publications that influence and inspire you?

I like sci-fi books like Neuromancer by William Gibson & Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. I’m interested in things like space, light, and artificial intelligence.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

- Patrick Clair: He’s directed some of my favorite title sequences.

- Beeple: Quite prolific in 3D, and I love seeing his progression unfold.

- Hiro Murai: He’s directed some of my favorite music videos that are out right now.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Spend time with my girlfriend and our dog away from the computer, catch a movie, watch sports, take my bicycle for a ride…Pretty generic, I know.

Americans often associate Australia with kangaroos, Foster’s and Vegemite. What are the things you think of when you think of home?

I think the things that resonate with me the most (and the things I miss the greatest) are the larrikin culture, the beaches and the afternoon barbies (BBQs without shrimp or “bloomin’ onions”).

(L to R: Kendrick Lamar; MoMA PS1; still from ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” show open; “Interstellar” movie poster

Favorite…

+ Instagram: @thesimpsonsig

+ Movie: “Interstellar”

+ Music Artist: Kendrick Lamar

+ SoHo Lunch Spot: Mooncake (never fails!)

+ Favorite Museum: MoMA PS1