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The Proof Is in the Playtime: How to Find a Real-Deal Animation Partner

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is a famous proverb for a reason; it’s true. “All work” prevents artists from taking more significant risks and, at the cost of sounding dramatic, producing their next masterpiece.

Let’s explore why you should pay attention to what your creative team — including your current or potential animation partner — does during their “playtime.”

Where Does Creative Playtime Fit?

“Playtime” doesn’t actually mean taking time off work to have random fun. 

In this context, playtime refers to on-the-clock hours spent creating side projects, personal projects that are entirely removed from client work.

Playtime Is Paramount to Artistic Breakthroughs  

Creativity and risk are entwined; every attempt at creativity comes with varying degrees of risk. Knowing how deadlines, budget, and scope are usually part of more extensive marketing plans, it becomes the team’s responsibility to deliver on those promises — no matter what. And often, the artists end up losing the most, with little to no room to go rogue on their craft.

But if an artist never goes rogue, if they never have playtime, they’re drastically reducing their chances of creating something truly groundbreaking. Why? Because they’re drastically reducing their artistic risk-taking. 

What’s more, playtime is akin to creative calibration. The opportunity to experiment in an almost boundaryless environment allows artists to step out of their comfort zone and let their curiosity drive them. It’s a compelling way to fuel an artist’s creative tank.

Experimentation also expands an artist’s toolbelt. With time to explore, what other tools would artists find and learn to use well? Or, what features within the tools they’re already familiar with would they discover anew?

All to say, playtime apart from client projects is critical to keep an artist’s creativity flowing. 

How Clients Benefit When Their Animation Studio Stays Sharp  

This steady stream of creative energy is a major asset for those seeking an animation partner to take their brand to the next level. A team used to taking risks on non-client projects becomes collectively stronger and better equipped to tackle more significant client challenges as they arise.

Long-term, you want an animation partner who can easily adapt to the natural evolution of your brand – or even help your style evolve as the world and trends dictate. Having a sandbox to play in, without fear of failure, teaches artists to adapt, strengthening a hard-won yet necessary skill in today’s fast-paced environment.

Working with an animation studio that produces beyond client work means they care about keeping their creativity sharp, fresh, and unique. And this translates to sharp, fresh, and unique videos for you. 

At MOWE, Playtime Is in Our DNA

MOWE was founded by two artists who felt the frustration of needing more opportunities to experiment and fail in their previous jobs. Because of that, playtime was one of the things we baked into our ethos. It’s vital for us that the people who work at MOWE keep the spark of their own creativity strong. 

On top of that, since MOWE as a studio doesn’t focus on one specific style, it makes even more sense to create opportunities for our team to experiment and learn new techniques that can be used in future client projects.

There are many ways for people to experience playtime at MOWE:

  • Team members can pitch their own personal projects and either produce them independently, as a small team, or with help from the entire company.
  • Every insight we write for MOWE’s website is accompanied by an animated header created by the team.
  • Throughout the year, we craft several small 10- to 15-second animations based on a subject of common interest among our team members.
  • We occasionally create longer and more complex animations that involve the entire team.
  • We engage in monthly calls to discuss creative-related topics aside from our client work. 

The result of all of these initiatives is a sharp, attuned team trained at meeting clients’ animation needs. 

Find a Real-Deal Animation Partner For Your Brand

At the end of the day, an effective and efficient animation partner will be responsible for mitigating the risks behind the project’s creative, weighing the impact of the different approaches, and prioritizing planning around the best opportunities for success. 

When you mix this strategic approach with a creatively sharp team – thanks to some playtime – innovation is one step away. 

So, as you search for your next animation partner, pay attention to what they do in their “spare” time, when they’re not working on client projects. Give them a follow on Instagram. These sparks of creativity speak volumes about their capabilities to help your brand in the future.

Raff Marques
Raff Marques
Co-founder & Creative Director at MOWE Studio