London is central to the UK’s booming arts and cultural landscape. In fact, it’s become almost over-capacitated that it’s becoming a coliseum for creatives battling it over clients & projects. There’s only one option left, fight or flight? Or you could just be like Andrew – choose to take over the world and broaden your horizon.
Based in London, now Madrid. Andrew Khosravani initially began his journey as an illustrator (and part-time pro-skater). Practical and modest, we first caught sight of his animation for the Royal Institution and we loved it! It’s out-of-this-world and it’s A1, so it’s no surprise to find out that he has worked with MTV Europe, Alba Magazine and even Wu-Tang Clan.
Hi Andrew! Would you like to introduce yourself to the Teardusk gang?
Hello there, my name is Andrew Khosravani and I am an Animator & Illustrator based in London & Madrid. Well, I have literally just moved to Madrid!
What was your first experience with the creative arts?
I always loved drawing, but I think what really got me inspired was watching my friend George Heaven draw in secondary school. He used to (and still is) the best comic drawer I know and his pictures are so funny. Watching him draw made me want to get better at it.
How would you describe your journey into the industry so far? Were there any high and low points?
It’s been pretty good and I have been pretty lucky too! I’ve picked up nice projects and clients over the last couple of years. A high would be my year-long residency at the Royal Institution making animations for them. It was basically a dream job, working with almost full creative freedom and collaborating with some talented people on super interesting subjects. A low would be just after finishing University and realising that you are no longer in that microcosm anymore.
So you’re an illustrator, animator and pro-skater. How did you manage to pick up so many skills?
The pro skater thing is a complete joke haha! I should probably change that… actually come to think of it, I just put it up there to annoy my friend Casper, who is actually a professional skateboarder. I skate but my glory days are well behind me.
You’ve been presented with the option to only pick one out of the three crafts mentioned above. What would you choose to do and why?
Hmmm… that’s a tricky one. I think I would have to go with Animation, as I just love it so much. I love making images that flow and twist together and with animation, I can really explore that. Although, if I could magically be way better at skating I would pick that haha!
Your illustrations have graced Vimeo’s staff picks on more than one occasion; have you ever thought of branching into film?
I would definitely like to explore short form film in the coming years. I’m particularly interested in mixing film and animation together, and I have been working on some projects that do that recently. Animation is quite a time draining process, so I would need to be part of a team if i were to ever make an 18-minute piece. Otherwise, it would take me about 10 years haha!
You’ve got an eye for blending a flurry of colours together and we love it! What mediums do you most enjoy working with?
I really enjoy working with colour pencil on paper, so if I ever get the chance to do that I tend to go for it. I just bought a Cintiq Wacom tablet and it’s pretty next level for animation work!
London is bubbling with creativity and culture. Would you say the city has had an influence on you and your art?
I would definitely say so, but I try to take as much influence from as many different places as possible. My Dad is Iranian and my Mum is Brazilian. I feel like I take a lot of influence from their cultures.
And lastly, do you have any important words for young creatives trying to break into the industry?
I’m terrible at advice. But I remember my friend Arran Gregory telling me this just after I graduated and was struggling to get work. We were at the carnival and a bit drunk but it still rings true, I think.
“Be original and never be afraid to stick to your beliefs. You may get less clients than if you were to just try and emulate what’s popular, but the clients you will get will be much better and they’ll stick around for longer.”
Also from my personal experience, never be afraid to experiment and branch out of your comfort zone. Explore new procedures, mediums and free yourself from your sketchbook. I finished University, as an Illustrator, but now work almost solely as an Animator. My friend Arran was traditionally an Illustrator as well and now he is an incredible sculptor.
Also, I know this sounds quite obvious, but work hard and never ever worry if you don’t become an instant-success after you finish university. It takes time to find your feet and perfect your practice. Often, there’s an emphasis on success being associated with youth in our society, but I think that’s bulls**t. Everybody finds their own path, at their own time and a lot of it is to do with putting yourself out there for those great opportunities to come along.
What’s next for you?
At the moment, I am working on a really fun project with a great film maker called Stefan Hunt for a charity called Opportunity Australia. I also have another animation project coming up with the Royal Institution on particle accelerators, which will be fun! I have just moved to Madrid, so I will be enjoying the sun and tapas as well!