The Grrrl is Inka Kendzia, an award winning animation director for her motion graphic design studio, IIIEIIIE, by day and by night, a VJ. The Grrrl has worked with bands and DJs including Krushed & Sorted, Constructus Corporation, Felix Laband, The Real Estate Agents, Sweat X, Godessa, Goldfish, Lark, Freshly Ground, Mix ‘n Blend, Closet Snare, Mr Sakitumi, Blackalicious, The Violent Femmes and DJ Qbert. To name a few.
We haven’t even touched on the festivals which The Grrrl has played in Belgium, France, Austria, India and Reunion, and the clubs in Czech Republic, The Netherlands and Switzerland.
The Grrrl/Inka also creates interactive art installations and three dimensional visual art and has collaborated with artists such as David Shillinglaw (UK) and Indigo (Canada), creating stop motion animations of their works of art.
We caught up with her to find out about her non-stop day/night job.
Between 10and5: Please let us know your official (or unofficial) job title:
The Grrrl: Retina Anima Delighta. Also: visual architect, animation director, VJ and dog walker.
10and5: What and where did you study?
The Grrrl: I studied life and was lucky enough to learn while I worked. My journey in the visual realm was a meandering one: I originally wanted to study art, but began working in a small agency with on the job teach-yourself-training, from designer to art director to film editor to motion graphic designer to VJ and animation director. Allsorts.
10and5: What characteristics and skills does it take to do what you do?
The Grrrl: Be visually creative, adaptable to each changing artist’s music and technical set up and type of party. It’s important to know as much as possible about all sorts of interfaces, technical specifications and geekspeak, and have the ability and love for work so you can work through the nights for the sheer joy of it all or alternatively the looming deadline. You must also be able to stand for long hours at gigs, jumping around to the music and always carry a bag filled with earplugs and a sizable hipflask.
10and5: What do you love about motion graphics?
The Grrrl: The endless possibilities of look and feel and how they add another dimension to any visual element. It is like a dialect or accent that adds flourish to any spoken word and can change the meaning and the language itself.
10and5: What is your creative process when creating visuals to go with a piece of music?
The Grrrl: I dance around and then I listen inwards to how it makes me feel, what does it remind me of, what imagery is called up. It’s different for each musical style, this can be complex and layered or at times the music is more straightforward. Sometimes the simplest stuff works best and it is just about dancing and feeing good. So visually, sometimes it is all about colours or shapes.¬†I love it when the mood fits with images that begin to tell a story as I really like to weave this in, be it abstract or quite literal.¬†If it is about a journey that I get taken on through the music then I express this through images available to me, via samples or my own animations and inspirations.
10and5: What has been your favourite band to work with?
The Grrrl: It is really hard to choose as I have been fortunate and have worked with many great and inspiring bands. At the moment I am a little biased, Mr Sakitumi is my man ; )
10and5: What is the place furthest from home that your career has taken you?
The Grrrl: Towards the North – Poland, The West – LA, The East – India
10and5: Your proudest work-related moment?
The Grrrl: For MEME the absolute best was travelling and working in LA and New York for 6 weeks on motion graphics. On our own personal project, the creative freedom and massive amounts of fun we had in our creative collaboration with Bev Hodgen from GEN on the Jungle Jimmy music video (below). This was a complete high! Once it was uploaded to vimeo and released to the world at our launch I went a little crazy with jumping joy and beaming heart.
10and5: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
The Grrrl: Many things but mostly a jockey, a pilot, a happy artist.
10and5: Do you have any advice for people who want to become VJs or get into animation?
The Grrrl: Just go out and do it. Set each idea free from your mind though manifesting it into the world, whether through scribbling on paper or taking a series of photos on your phone. The software is just a tool, don’t get held up with HOW to do things. Art is process. Define who you like and find out why you like a specific visual style to find out more about yourself, then just start making things. Experiment and keep having FUN!