“If someone asks what I do, I’d probably say animator, but that’s not the whole truth.”

After graduating from Hyper Island in 2013, Kristian Andersson and Philip Engström eventually landed jobs at BRIKK, one of Sweden’s most prestigious animation studios. We take a look behind the curtain into how they got there; and what it’s like.

Hi Kristian and Philip! Can you tell us a little about yourselves?

Kristian: “A couple of friends of mine recommended Hyper Island, so back in 2009 I decided to apply for the Digital Media program in Karlskrona. Fast-forward two years and I’d finished up my studies and got a job at a small production company in Amsterdam. It was a great learning process, but I wasn’t convinced that I was completely satisfied with the role. I felt that I wanted to explore the world of animation further.

As it turned out, I ended up going back to Karlskrona to study the motion creative program. This time around I felt even more purposeful and directed because I had a clearer goal. After the program, I had a sharper clarity on what I wanted. I eventually landed an internship at Brikk and I’ve been there ever since.”

Philip: “I’d say that my path wasn’t as straightforward. I started studying media at KTH and didn’t really understand that it was possible to work within a creative field. Outside of the program, I started to get more involved by creating videos for the school. I eventually realized that I was spending more time behind the camera than in lessons. I decided to apply for a design school instead. Hyper Island was the logical choice, as the Motion Creative program combined motion and film. At Hyper I found that I really liked 2D animation and especially cel animation and that turned out to become my specialty and profession.”

How would you describe BRIKK?

P: “Brikk is one of the Major players in Sweden when it comes to 2D animation.
Our focus lies in creating high-end productions for prominent clients in Scandinavia, Canada, USA and the U.K.”

What makes your company stand out from the crowd?

K: “We’re unique in the sense that we create really high-end 2D animation and cel animation with a focus on character-driven storytelling.”

BRIKK

You went back to study in Karlskrona for a second time, Kristian. How was that?

K: “I did. Hyper Island is so intense and there is a lot of focus on collaboration. I found that Karlskrona gave me an opportunity to really apply myself. There aren’t so many distractions there, Which also can be frustrating from time to time of course *laughs*. The group I studied with ended up becoming really close. Parts of the group I studied with ended up becoming really close. I’d say that about 90% of the students come from other parts of Sweden and around the world. You really get a motivated circle of friends to surround yourself with.”

P: “Could you say that the feeling was almost like an American college?”

K: “Almost, yeah! In the sense that you move to a smaller city to study. Many students, including myself, lived in collectives. The whole experience gave me so much. And I’m still close to many of my friends from the Karlskrona time.”

“I learned to be prepared when it comes to working with other people. To simulate real-world situations often.”

—   
Kristian Andersson
Animator at BRIKK, Stockholm

What was it like to study at Hyper Island?

P: “The creative environment at Hyper really made me feel motivated. I never studied as hard as I did that year, not because I had to, but because I wanted to. I felt like there was such a strong unity with the other students. There was a lot of openness and willingness to put yourself in uncomfortable situations. I distinctly remember feeling so exhausted after the introduction week.”

What were the highlights?

K: “To be prepared when it comes to working with other people. To simulate real-world situations often. I don’t think other schools do this. Sometimes you work with someone you don’t fully get along with, and in these situations, it’s important to have the training early on. To test yourself and ask, how do I react to this situation? Once you’re in the workplace you have to be able to sort it out. We grow up with the impression that criticism is something negative and at Hyper teaches you that it doesn’t have to be that way.”

P: “You get to see the pro’s with feedback – that it’s appreciated within a group. I used to be afraid of saying or doing something wrong. Hyper taught me to dare to ask questions. That was a challenge! Today at Brikk, I get feedback all the time and even if it’s not always easy to hear, it’s been really valuable to know how to take and process feedback . It’s part of the job working with clients! *laughs*

K: “Well, you can still get upset, right?”

P: “I’ve learned that I react more calmly than I used to. Hyper Island was a very safe place and the real world isn’t exactly the same thing… I don’t think we have so much Hyper methodology at BRIKK *laughs*. But it’s very valuable to have laid the foundation for dealing with a conflict or finding a solution to an uncomfortable situation.”

K: “Yeah, that really is the best part about Hyper Island! You learn a lot of soft skills, you’re exposed to a lot of different situations and get to try giving and receiving feedback, which is something that happens on a regular basis in a workplace. I use these skills a lot.”

What’s it like working at BRIKK?

K: “I started out as an animator and I still do that, but I also get to direct and run projects, which is really fun. I’m really enjoying this next step, having an overview of a whole project, writing manuscripts, and more. If someone asks what I do, I’d probably say animator, but that’s not maybe the whole truth… *laughs* Titles are unclear, aren’t they?”

P: “Brikk is a pretty small bureau, and it’s nice that the roles are a little bit floating. The responsibilities changes and you never get stuck doing only one thing. When I came to Brikk, I felt I was in the right place. To be able to work with what I love at a company that I look up to.”

Thanks for the chat guys!

Applications are now open for our two motion graphics programs, check them out below:


Philip & Kristian, BRIKK


Philip, BRIKK


Kristian, BRIKK