Phoenix Animator Lisa Poje: 100 Creatives

Categories: 100 Creatives

Courtesy of Lisa Poje
Meet the animator and illustrator.
Phoenix is brimming with creativity. And every other year, we put the spotlight on 100 of the city's creative forces. Leading up to the release of this year's Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome to the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today: 55. Lisa Poje.

For 2D animator and illustrator Lisa Poje, it's all a balance of light and dark.

By day the Phoenix-based creative works as a motion artist for ADDY Award-winning Copper Post, and by night she labors on personal projects -- like the animated short film she's hoping to complete by the end of this year.

See also: Phoenix Designer Ruben Gonzales: 100 Creatives

"It's been long in the making, mostly because I haven't had the time to work on it, but I've recently started making a lot of progress on it," Poje says. "I'm hoping to have it done by the end of the year or early 2015."

She's worked on motion graphics and visual effects for locally made films including Blood Into Wine, Queens of Country, and Broken Leg. During her off hours on weekend, Poje shoots archery, sword fights (really!), or, she admits, binge-watches Netflix.

I came to Phoenix with my parents, a moving truck, and a pee soaked cat carrier. It was mid-June. I was 14. The day we arrived at our new house the outside temperature was a steady 109°, the AC broke, and the sewer backed up into the bathtub.

I make art because I always have. I don't remember a time when I wasn't drawing or creating something. I love the feeling of being inspired, the excitement of a new project, the uncertainty of a finished project just before you release it to the world. It's an adrenaline rush.

I'm most productive at night. The calm and quiet of the wee morning hours gets me super focused. I usually listen to music, sing horribly off key, and talk to my computer as I work. Nighttime holds such wonder and mystery. It's not often that we see the darkest hour of night, we don't really know what's there. It could be anything.

My inspiration wall is full of work from other artist friends, most of whom I've never met in person. I follow a fantastic community of illustrators and animators on twitter. They're some of the most talented people I've ever met. Not met. You understand. Most of these artists are freelance or do their own side projects, so supporting them by buying a print or two is the least I can do. Plus their work is always incredible.

I've learned most from trial and error, and allowing myself to fail. I've had hundreds of ideas that just didn't work in the long run, but I learned something from each one. Through all of those failed attempts I was able to take the pieces that did work, the ideas or the techniques, and deconstruct them to use them in other projects.

Good work should always be simple. A lot of really good ideas end up failing because of over thinking it and making it too convoluted. Take a simple idea and make it into something beautiful.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more initiative. We need more people starting groups and meet ups and hangouts. We're a huge city with little to show for ourselves in respect to the artistic community.

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