Wildlife

3, May 2021 .

Being an artist means working with an endless hunger for knowledge

Being an artist means working with an endless hunger for knowledge

by Juliana Protásio

8 min read

Tayllan Soares, a 2D Motion Designer at Wildlife, tells us how he makes money by learning something new every day about what he loves the most.

Party photographer, couch maker, a motion designer. At only 26 years of age, Tayllan Soares seems like he has lived many lives in one. His unusual life road combines dreams, perseverance, high intensity of focus and a pinch of solidarity. That is until he joined Wildlife and conquered the power of giving life to our characters in the roll-out area - one of the most important for the company’s revenue generation.

Tayllan started his working life early on with his mother, who worked as a housekeeper. Back then, they both lived in the projects located in downtown São Paulo. A public school student, ever since he was a child, he has shown interest in artistic works, even taking basic classes of free drawing. He enjoyed copying famous characters from cartoons and comic books. “I was discovering my passion for drawing and noticed I had a knack for it. However, art education costs are pretty high, so I ended up learning much stuff on my own”, he recalls.

In eighth grade, an art teacher started offering photography classes and awakened the true potential of his dedicated student. In the following year, cinema and movies had their turn. By the end of high school, Tayllan used all his savings to buy a camera to work as a photographer, taking pictures of parties and events. Until then, taking up an artistic career was nothing but a distant dream, and reality demanded he seized upon a job that allowed him to contribute to the house’s bills.

Because of that, Tayllan took extra learning courses and even went to work in a furniture shop as an intern. Just when he was about to be promoted to a full-fledged employee, he had to drop the opportunity because his schedule was making his studies impossible. After that, he ended up working in a tapestry shop, where he was in charge of removing clamps from furniture due to refurbishing, but soon he sought to evolve and learned how to make couches, which would be his line of work for seven years. “Regardless of what I’m doing, I never give up. I’m always giving my best”.

WHEN HELPING HANDS COMES...

Such was his life until 2019 when a close friend who was part of the art team at Wildlife asked him if he would be interested in a job. "Just by talking to her, my interest in arts was revived, and it felt like she was pulling me out of the abyss because up until then, I thought I’d be making couches until I died of old age. Except I didn’t own a computer, nor had the knowledge and experience even to consider having a chance”, he says.

More than just encouraging him, Tayllan’s friend introduced him to Adobe’s After Effects software, one of the most revered tools for motion graphic professionals. She also lent him a computer, taught him the basics of the software, and got him an online course to improve himself on its use. “I took a vacation, and all I did was study. Day and night, I kept dissecting the software”. According to him, over two weeks of intensive study, he managed to create a mini portfolio with four complete projects.

Tayllan Soares_Junior Motion Designer

After this “motion dive”, Tayllan landed an interview at Wildlife and, after showing them his portfolio, he got an idea of what it would take for him to land the job. The proposal came suddenly, and he was still unsure how to assimilate everything that was going on. “It’s a kind of realization that, a year later, it has yet to sink in fully. Being a part of Wildlife is like dreaming while awake”. 

All of this happened, by the way, on the very day he was supposed to return to his tapestry job. “All I needed to do was get in there and tell them I landed a new job, that I was following my dream and would be paid twice as much. However, I was afraid that this would upset my then boss, and I ended up working there the whole day”, he remembers with a smile. 

“I remember how exciting it was to be a part of my first walking cycle. I always wanted to give life to a character, and now I’m learning and working with it.”

After all of this, Tayllan didn’t expect the insurmountable amount of learning he would have. And his thirst for knowledge has only grown bigger. Besides everything he absorbs by practice, he also invests in courses and classes, keeps studying independently, and is always looking for his next step. “I love motion animation very much, but I want to change for 3D animation. I have a knack for learning new things, and I’m usually not content in keeping myself in just one place”.

Among other things he admires at Wildlife, the fact that the entire team comprises professionals who are starting their careers, but all of them highly committed to it, endlessly stimulates him. “Even though they’re young, these are people who know what they want, have a lot of aspirations and convictions. And also, they’re hungry to learn, which feeds my hunger as well”.

AT EACH HACKATHON, A DIFFERENT LEAP

Tayllan in an area of high demand and volume - we’re talking about 800 movie files per week. But the project he remembers the most so far is a hackathon that resulted in him delivering the Zooba Sailor Moon project, which mixed 2D and 3D animation and involved different technical details. 

Wildlife’s hackathon events occur every three or four months. They are famous throughout the company, with four days of intense realization, resilience and unprecedented experience gain for the company's young talents. Employees are grouped in teams to execute projects from start to finish, and the winning project may get a roll-out - which is a term used to refer to creations that will be used officially to some degree. 

For Tayllan, this condensed job has a crucial role in optimising production processes. “When you put several different artists together, everybody shares knowledge. Besides, since we have to be fast while doing everything, we need to prioritize, coordinate and solve problems with the utmost speed”, he explains.

Tayllan does not forget how intense and complex the hackathon was, but the reward came after he showed his colleagues his movie files. “We were not under quarantine back then, so it was a physical event. When my project hit the screen, everybody made much noise, clapped - it was surreal!”.

Screen Shot 2021-05-03 at 17.46.13

Even before he was a Wilder, Tayllan was a consumer of some of the company’s products since his relationship with mobile games is longer than home consoles. “Sniper 3D was the first well-made shooting game I’d ever seen, and I played the heck out of it. Zooba as well, and I didn’t even know they belonged to Wildlife back then. I was already into video games, but I would only have my first console after I turned 18”. Now, as someone from inside the industry, Tayllan faces gaming with a technical eye for detail, imagining how much work was put in and how long it took to build each and every element”.

REPRESENTATIVITY MATTERS

When he joined Wildlife, Tayllan told us he was very well received, but he notices the lack of black people in the company. “Everybody was so welcoming, and soon learned my name, but it took me about three days in the office to see someone whose face looked just like mine, and that made me nervous. Until I finally met Jason Tadeu, an amazing artist who I really wanted to work with and absorb all the knowledge he could share”. Tadeu was Tayllan’s first reference in the team.

And speaking of heroes, when it comes to favourite and inspiring characters, the answer comes straight away: Black Panther and Static Shock. “Both have molded me, and many aspects of their own stories are a lot like my own. I even wore a Static Shock costume at a Halloween party, and even got the dreadlocks to do it again”.

Tayllan believes that the gaming industry is very competitive and requires an advanced skillset, making it even more difficult for many people to access due to a social and economic hurdle. “That’s when you realize that being represented matters a lot. Even for those who are outside and see a possibility of getting in, they need to see themselves as part of this world”.


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