Most of the industries known are dominated by men – there is a huge history behind why that is, but that’s not what this article is about.
This article is about a woman who through strong will, talent and incredible effort, found herself working in Motion Graphics. We are going to have a chat with El Ogorodova, an award-winning Motion Graphics designer and a successful female artist in a male-dominated industry and ask her about her experience as a woman in the entertainment world.
We are going to have a chat with El Ogorodova, an award-winning motion graphic designer, a successful female artist in the male-dominated world and ask her about her experience as a woman in a section of entertainment industry she is in.
Hello El, how are you doing? Would you like to introduce yourself better to us?
Hi Milica, thank you for having me. I am a Motion Graphics designer. I work mainly with clients in Los Angeles. I design primarily sports and film graphics.
So for a start would you like to tell us when did you realize you want to be in the industry, when did you realize art, a design is what you want to do?
I have always had a love for creativity. As a kid, I would spend a lot of time drawing. My mom took me to art museums frequently, and even if I usually acted like I was bored, I secretly loved getting lost in paintings and wandering through galleries. Once I got to high school I started to take advanced art classes. As graduation approached and the need to specialize in something professionally neared, I started looking into Graphic Design. I took Graphic Design classes at Northeastern University in Boston. I loved it but, I still had no idea about Motion Graphics. Only after I graduated from the school in LA did I really discover the entertainment industry. I fell in love with the fast-paced creative environment immediately.
How did you eventually get in? Have you finished any school or course of design, motion graphics?
I graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. I reached out through the school network to as many companies as I could for opportunities. Slowly but surely work started coming in. One job pulled another, and here I am today, still freelancing and keeping happily busy.
What does your typical day look like now and what it looked like when you were first starting out?
When I was first starting out I would start every day by opening my email. I wrote at least one cover letter a day. After writing the letter I would set a reminder on my calendar to help me remember to follow up the next week. Once that was done, I would follow up on a letter I had written the previous week. The rest of the time would be spent researching companies and making lists of contacts to write to next. Sometimes I’d write one cover letter, sometimes I’d write five. This went on for months until I had finally created a network of ongoing clients, and started to get steady jobs.
Today I still start my day by opening my email, but now it’s more about replying to opportunities, giving referrals, and answering to young designers. The rest of my day is filled with work. Sometimes on-site, sometimes remotely. Every job is different, which is one of my favorite aspects of being a freelance designer.
Have you had any obstacles in the industry solely because you are a woman? Did you notice men having it easier compared to females?
I have come to find that pay tends to be lower for women, and it is usually a little harder to negotiate. Women directors are not as common, therefore not as desired. People don’t like the unfamiliar. Overall however, I believe that we are slowly moving towards a more fair work environment. The more women decide to become Motion Graphic artists, the more they will become a natural part of the professional environment.
Would you say it is harder for females to get on top in your industry?
It’s a little harder because you need to jump through a few more hoops. You need to be a little more patient and a little more determined.
What is the best and worst part of being a female in your industry?
Since I am usually the only female designer and animator, I can sometimes encounter pretty funny situations. I worked at a place once where the owner told me that the only reason he was not wearing shorts was because I was there, and he felt like he had to be a little more dress up. It was funny and awkward all at once.
The worst part is probably that I am usually the only woman on the team. The older I get the more I appreciate women in my life, and i definitely would love to have more women in my professional environment.
What is the job you think was the first step towards your success?
I don’t think I can attribute success to one job in particular. It’s a series of necessary steps that contribute to an ongoing growth. However, I think one job, in particular, gave me a push of confidence that took me further. One of my designs won a pitch for the Yankees Graphics Open. The package ended up winning a New York Sports Emmy. This was my first real big win. It gave me a boost of confidence which helped me work faster, harder and expanded my professional network.
What are the obstacles you think have made you stronger?
Being a woman, I had to come into work looking stronger. Because of stereotypes and small participating numbers of women in the Motion Graphics industry, women employees are generally perceived as the weaker and cheaper designer. Women are most likely to get hired to do the cute, crafty, quirky animations. Being a woman you have to introduce yourself with confidence at 400% if you want to be taken seriously. After years of appearing confident, I actually became more confident. This has had a very positive effect on my work.
What are your goals for the future?
I would definitely like to go back to teaching. I did it for a short while, and I have to say, I miss it a lot. I would also like to start my own company eventually.
Do you have any message for women who would like to work a same or similar job to yours?
If you like Motion, give it a try. Do not focus on being a female designer. Be a designer. Do not go to work as a female designer. Go to work as a designer who just happens to be a woman. Why settle for being the best female designer if you can be the best designer.
Thank you so much for answering El, it was a pleasure to have a chat with one woman who is making a mark and pushing the boundaries society put on females, a successful, brave, creative and hardworking woman. You really are inspiring and I am sure our readers will find answers even if they are from industries not connected to yours. We will surely follow your career and be happy with your successes which we are sure are to come in even greater numbers.
Written by: Milica Dj.