Artist Spotlight: Cindy Suen
When did you first start making GIFs? What was the first GIF you made?
The first GIF I made was the logo for my website in October 2012. I wanted to make something that says I specialize in motion design, in addition to illustrations and graphics. Naturally, making a GIF came in mind. I used Adobe Photoshop’s timeline, together with the position and opacity key frames to make my first moving logo. But between now and then, I had changed my website logos a couple of times, because I tend to change my mind a lot. However, I think I really like the one I have now, and will probably stick with it.
What kind of a process do you go through to create your art?
I tend to think a little too much about everything, which is sometimes helpful in generating ideas. I do my thinking whenever I can, such as during my daily morning runs, waits for the bus, showers, times when I wait to fall asleep, and etc. When something fantastic comes up, I get super excited and immediately record the idea to my sketchbook, to which I insist to bring with me almost wherever I go because I will probably forget if I don’t note it down right away!
After the idea generation phrase, I just do lots and lots of doodles and sketches. Then, I take pictures of my sketches and draw over them digitally. The GIF animations are typically done as a sequence in Illustrator (e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4), cell animation in Photoshop (e.g. 1, 2, 3), or key-framing in After Effects (e.g. 1, 2, 3). I do occasionally try something different, such as this stop motion paper cut out GIF.
Why GIF art? What makes it more appealing than other mediums?
I love GIFs. To me, GIFs just grab my attention much more easily compared to static images most of the time. I think GIFs are the best, because they make things move and loop forever within a couple frames.
Who are a few of your favorite GIF artists/or artists in general?
Skip Hursh, Heiko Windisch, Charles Huettner, Zach Cohen, Oamul Lu, Rrrrrrrroll, Dick Blazer, Lunatic Toons, Vintage Mickey Mouse, and many many others that are on my GIF inspiration Tumblr.
What is your all-time favorite GIF?
This is a really hard question, because there are too many! I really did try to eliminate my favorites from my GIF inspiration Tumblr, but I was still left with quite a few. I love these mesmerizing GIFs from Skip Hursh, CharlesHuettner, and Lunatic Toons (1, 2, 3).
GIF from Lunatic Toons
Check out Cindy Suen’s artist page on Giphy here.
Download a screensaver of Cindy Suen’s GIF art here.