James Curran — Gifathon Interview

James Curran — Gifathon Interview

Hot on the heels of his recent Tokyo Gifathon series, we had a brief catch up with talented and prolific animator James Curran.

If you’re not familiar with James’ Gifathon animations, you are in for a treat. We are talking 30 days of animation – a loop a day, inspired by a city he visits for a month. His most recent trip was to Tokyo but he’s previously created series inspired by both New York and LA.

Hey James, thanks for taking some time to talk to us. So how did your city Gifathons project come about? Is this a self initiated thing?

Yes, the animation series is completely self initiated. I started doing them partly as a way to force myself to make a personal project, as I’d been so busy with client work that I hadn’t had time to work on any for a couple of years (besides the occasional individual GIFs).

As an animator you really don’t get much opportunity to travel for work as you spend most of your time sat behind a desk, so I thought that creating a project which I could travel for, while having to go out and do things every day, would be a nice change.

Before I started the Gifathons I wasn’t doing a huge amount of GIF work for clients either, but I saw potential in it for something which would become popular with brands, so the project was also a way to show people the kind of thing I could do more of if they paid me. I think it worked…

We’d love to know a bit more about your process — do you always start out with a clear idea of the animation for each piece or do they evolve as you go?

It’s a bit of both. Sometimes I’ll already have a clear idea in my head before I even go out and do the thing that inspires it (which as a rule, I have to do), but even then the idea might evolve depending on what I actually see that day.

Sometimes I’ll just have a loose theme for an idea and I’ll start designing and animating until something happens. Those GIFs usually take the longest to make.

Do you have any other interesting projects coming up we should know about?

I’d like to do an exhibition / installation of all three Gifathons somewhere. I think it would be cool to see all 90 animations playing together in one space, but after that I want to try something different.

I don’t know exactly what yet…



Many thanks for your time James, we look forward to seeing your next moves and would love to hear about that exhibition if it happens!

To see more of James’ brilliant work, check out his portfolio site at SlimJim Studios. He also has an excellent, regularly updated Instagram feed @slimjimstudios.



Guy Moorhouse