Maryia Dziadziulia is an animator and motion graphics artist based in Belarus. After completing her training as a programmer and web designer, a creative studio took a chance on her and it was there that she fell in love with working in Adobe Flash and Adobe Effects.

After joining 99designs back in 2011, Maryia won the first Contest she entered—and these days she’s working full time as a freelancer, turning out whimsical banner ads, social animations and cartoons that shine with her personal style.

We chatted with Maryia about her favorite animators, her creative process and where she looks for inspiration.

Name: Maryia Dziadziulia
99designs handle: Maryia Dziadziulia
Location: Belarus
Specialty: Animation & motion graphics

Tell us a little about yourself

I am Maryia and I live in Minsk, Belarus. I graduated from a technological gymnasium and Belarusian State Technological University, where I had my first acquaintance with design applications like Photoshop and CorelDRAW.

The program wasn’t focussed on design—I’m actually an engineer technologist in printing production, according to my diploma. But in the end, I realized that I’d made a mistake when choosing my profession. So I decided to retrain as a programmer and web designer.

Maryia Dziadziulia animation
Social media animation for Cactus Shot
How did you get started in animation?

While studying at my university, we were taught to use CorelDRAW, which included Corel R.A.V.E. I made my first animation there. During my retraining, we learned how to create multimedia works in Flash—and I can say that was the beginning.

After that, I worked for about a year at a studio and got some great experience using Adobe Flash and Adobe Effects. I am very grateful that they believed in me and hired me to work in their studio without experience or a good portfolio (a big hello to Eugeni!).

I’ve also continued my training, both through an animation club and private film school.

Where do you find the inspiration for your work?

The multimedia landscape is evolving rapidly with a lot of inspiring films, cartoons, advertisements and clips—both for the mass market audience and niche market.

Before I start working on an animation, I’ll browse some existing videos on the subject to look for any trends. You can watch a movie in the cinema and see interesting solutions in editing, effects, captions, or even in the mimicry of the characters. It is all remembered, transformed, and something new is being created.

And of course, nothing is as inspiring as an approaching deadline.

Are there any artists or designers who inspire you?

There are a great number of excellent specialists. For instance, I love the characters from the plasticine, stop motion cartoon, “Purple and Brown“. They’re so cool and sometimes I wonder, “What am I doing here at all?”

I really like work with subtext that has some meaningful, inner sense… I also love Art House, although that isn’t for everyone.  I have great respect for any designers or artists who create their own entire movement or style—when you instantly know who the author is, just by looking at the image.

I also love Sergey Kardakov, Andrey Kasay and Banksy.

Do you follow any animation trends?

Of course! There are many sites where you can follow collections, analyze customer demand for certain types of motion graphics and watch for changes in trends—not only in animation, but also color palettes and typography.

Though my work experience, I have developed my own style that’s easy and pleasant to work in. It’s great that people like it and use it!

It is also important to listen to changes in the specifics of the distribution of advertising. For example, where banner ads were once popular, we’re now seeing advertising turn to social media.

Impactful GIF for Microsoft
When did you join 99designs?

I joined 99designs in 2011, but took part in my first contest in 2013.

I don’t know what I was doing all that time between registering and entering, but either way, I won my first contest! It was a great motivation to go on.

What do you enjoy the most on the platform so far?

I like the fact that there are interesting projects, interesting people and communication. You have a great team, you always helped me with any questions.

Over the years, regular customers have appeared, I love them. And the most important thing is that this is a real job. I have been working only remotely and with a full-fledged schedule for a considerable time.

What kind of projects do you prefer working on?

I prefer projects with motion. I find it difficult to work with a static design, because the illustration is right there in front of you with all of its advantages and disadvantages. Today you love it, and then tomorrow everything looks different. You think: “I’ll just correct it here and there…” and before long, you’re starting all over again!

Motion is easier for me, because I don’t have to look at the illustration forever—it doesn’t have enough time to get boring. What needs to be done is what matters most. It’s always more interesting to do character animation with elements of humor.

Can you tell us a little about your creative process?

To be honest, it’s usually mapped out by the client. When they write a project brief, they already have an idea of what they want to see—whether it’s motion graphics or a cartoon, whether their brand concept implies using some kind of frivolity, what to emphasize and what style to use depends on that. I do storyboards and animate, as well as handle thorough edits at the end.

Maryia Dziadziulia animation
From all the work you did so far, what is the project you are the most proud
of and why?

I can not single out one thing. Everything is made with love… But projects that are accepted without any corrections make me so proud.

What other work would you love to be doing (beside what you already do)?

Animation is my passion. I would just do more animation.

And just for fun…
  • Favorite music to design to: Radiohead
  • Favorite cartoon character: Of course, Flash Slothmore from Zootopia
  • Best time to work: I’m usually designing at night!
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