Work inspiration with Danny Yount

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Danny Yount

Designer and director for film and TV

I’m Danny Yount. I’m a designer / director. I do motion design and shoot live action to make things for film and TV. Mostly title design, promos and graphic idents.

How did you get started in design? What is a turning point in your professional career?

In 1994 I began as a print designer for annual reports, where I learned very precise and very rigorous typography (try doing financials sometime). And the work was not boring - the studio had a reputation for one of the best design studios in Seattle, and internationally for that matter. I loved graphic design so I applied myself wherever I could and learned everything I could. When the internet arrived around that time, we started experimenting with interactive media, animation and video. So I fell in love with editing and communicating that way. It was one of those things that kind of “woke me up” to what I real wanted to be doing with my career. So I started over in a sense and began learning how to do motion design.

What is your ideal work environment? Do you prefer to work in your design studio all day long or mix a few activities?

For me, the concerting process involves a lot of things other than being hunched over a computer all day - it’s about having balance and perspective and the ability to think clearly. I usually just get outdoors to clear my head, then work a few hours, get lunch, work a few hours, watch a movie etc.

But then once I start working on the idea I go into sort of a mental “lock-down” phase and focus on it as sharply as I can, so I will just stay in my office and work as much as I can on the project. When it starts feeling good I start to sort of reward myself with small trips out of the office to reset a little, then grind again, etc. At least that is what works for me.

Where does your work inspiration come from? (Do you believe in inspiration)?

I absolutely believe in inspiration - and that it does not come from us, but is a gift that is given to us. Those who understand that see it as sort of a stewardship, and tend to take care of the process and protect it. It is also short-lived. There is a small window that it exists in - like good soil at the right season. If we fail to act on it we miss opportunities.

Where are your favorite places in your city or outside?

Both - sometimes I like to be in the city with all the excitement and sometimes the great outdoors. I probably like the outdoors better though - it’s good for my physical health.

Who are the designers you admire most?

The ones who have had a good long career and are not afraid to change they way they do things. The ones that know how and when to evolve, and who do it out of curiosity - not out of the fear of irrelevance.