Our Conversation with Marcus Morris: Animation in the Fashion Industry

By Meg Mahoney

Marcus Morris talking to students

   Marcus Morris talking to students

Last Friday, the Animation Student Collective had the chance to speak with New York City based alumnus Marcus Morris, who was here this week as an artist-in-residence. Morris is a photographer and post-production artist who has worked extensively with the fashion industry and has often collaborated on projects with London-based animator, illustrator and art director Jo Ratcliffe (including the collaborative work the two did on Lady Gaga’s music video “Applause”).

We learned that there is a great demand in the fashion industry for animation. Often, as animation students, we mainly focus on opportunities with big animation studios on the west coast.  The animation used in the fashion industry has the potency to be very experimental, and can be pushed in directions very different from whats done at a Hollywood studio.  Jo Ratcliffe, Morris says, has been able to maintain her personal sensibilities and style while incorporating brands (unlike animators working for large studios, who are often swallowed up by an existing style).

While there is a lot of demand for animators in the fashion industry, there are relatively few animators who pursue these opportunities. Morris said that a good way into animation for the fashion world would be to start working for one of the few established names — such as Ratcliffe — and then branch out. According to Morris, researching the fashion industry and the cycle of shows and advertising will easily give animators an edge when looking to enter the fashion industry.

If any animators at CCAD are interested in animation for fashion, there are ways you can learn about the fashion industry here on campus.  Start by talking to Suzanne Cotton, the Fashion Department Chair.  Animation students can also volunteer to work at the CCAD fashion show — like Liaison Bekah Nunn did when she was an animation student — to gain firsthand experience of the fashion industry.

Jo Ratcliffe’s animations can be found here: http://www.jocandraw.com

Marcus Morris’s work can be found here: http://www.marcus-morris.com/index.html