Open Canvas | Omer Qayyum

Omer Qayyum

Video Editor & Motion Animator

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Based in New York City, Omer Qayyum is a Video Editor and Motion Designer with a sharp geometric aesthetic. His animations can be found on his Instagram feed and are a wonder of futuristic, almost hypnotic pieces of art. The monochromatic colour palette he uses is bold and unapologetic, leaving the viewer captivated.

How would you define your creative style?

On a daily basis, I'm constantly consuming information to keep my creativity stimulated. This especially kicks in as I'm starting a project so that I can start brainstorming ideas in my notebook. There will usually be a long list and sketches of the visuals that are in my mind. For the finished product, I'm always trying to have a minimal and clean look. Tiny details with simple but significant touches. 

What do you like about working in your medium?

The fact that there are no boundaries. On a daily basis, I’m shifting between various programs for different tasks. One project may only require me to be in Premiere for video editing work, while another will need Photoshop to illustrate storyboards and After Effects for motion graphics on top of video editing. The limits are always being pushed and you're always learning something new. That’s what I love about it as a whole.


Where do you find your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from a variety of areas. Sometimes I’ll browse through automobile designs and other times I’ll look through illustrated character designs. However, most of the time it comes from TV shows or movies. Right now, I'm rewatching the Mandalorian and the Black Mirror series. Sci-fi has always been a huge influence for my work and superhero films/tv shows would be a close second. I grew up watching Star Wars and Saturday morning cartoons like Batman: The Animated Series and the 1992 X-Men collection. 


What have been the highlights of your careers so far?

In the past, I developed a new department that was concentrated on providing animatics, character designs and assets for video games. We built a roster of artists and ended up taking on projects for League of Legends and even The Division. Recently, a video that I've edited and did motion graphics for, called "Forgotten Farmers: African-American Land Loss", is being nominated for a Webby Award. It covers the long-term effects of racism and systemic discrimination from the U.S. Department of Agriculture programs that continue to sideline African American farmers from land ownership. In the past 2 years, I’ve also been dedicating a lot of time to my own work that you see on my social media pages. What began as an outlet for the ideas roaming around in my head, has started to open doors that are slowly reshaping my career in this industry.

What have been the obstacles you have had to be overcome so far in your career?

One of the main obstacles that I’ve had to overcome is finding a work/life balance. Keeping a productive schedule helps, but I must also remember to take time for my mental health. That may sometimes mean I take a pause for some meditation and/or exercise. Other times it may mean that I take the night off to spend a night out with friends. I've spent years crafting a schedule that would balance it all out, which I'm sure most people go through. So, if you're reading this and struggling as well, just make sure to take time to breathe and work on yourself everyday.

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