Mo-Graph Mentor

{Mentor Interview} Michael Jones

Our community leader Allison Song is starting a new series of Mentor & Student interviews, which will be released on the blog as they come in. First up in the mentor category is founder Michael Jones.

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. (location, occupation, interests, etc.)

My name is Michael Jones.  I’m an army brat who was born in Ft. Hood, Texas and spent much of my childhood living in Ft. Riley, Kansas. My father was first infantry division (affectionately known as the Big Red One). My mother is a life long educator, having taught in early childhood for close to 25 years.

In my adult life I became interested in Animation, mostly because of my brother-in-law who is an Animator.  For the last 8 years I’ve been producing content of all kinds (video, design, animation). Over time I became more specialized in Motion Design and have worked as a freelance creative director for the last couple years creating Mo-Graph content for clients.

I currently live in Atlanta, GA with my wife Paige and our two dogs.

2) What inspired you to create MoGraph Mentor?

My love of education and overall industry demand.

As a freelancer I got to see just how under resourced the industry is with effective Motion Designers.  For every job I could take I had to turn away 5 others.

I would often try to hire contractors, but finding reliable and talented people turned out to be a big challenge for me. MoGraph Mentor is really a mission to bring more people into the industry who are competent at creating work but also understand how to work with clients and hit deadlines.

Online education is a really powerful avenue and I feel like we’re just scratching the surface.

3) What is your experience like as a Mentor for this program?

Amazing. I’ve gotten to know these individuals pretty well over the last 3 months of working together. The role of the mentor is to invest in the students and their work and it’s incredibly fulfilling to invest in people. Especially people who are brave enough to take a chance on something new like this. So this first group has been really amazing to work with.

It’s also grown me as a motion designer so much.  Having to critique and problem solve on their projects really challenges me to focus on the core concepts of what makes good work. It’s really forced me to examine my own process and work. It’s inspirational to see how people address problems and work through them.

4) What is your favorite part about MoGraph Mentor?

The connection is the main thing. Never in all my years of online interactions (vimeo, twitter, facebook) have I loved Motion Design as much as I do when i’m in the live classes.

5) Do you have any advice for future students? 

This is not a short cut.

Real education is about looking inward and deciding if you’re ready to make the sacrifices necessary to improve in your craft.  There are no 7 Steps that instantly make you an effective visual artist. It’s about working really hard. Overcoming those early stages when everything you make is dull and ineffective, and embracing the core of what it means to be a visual artist.  It means making a lot of work, which is why people who love it succeed, because they were having so much fun that they just didn’t stop.

Like any educational program you will get out of this, what you put in to it.


Connect with Michael : Website | Vimeo | Twitter


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Tags: Motion Graphics, Motion Design, Online School for Motion Graphics, Motion Graphics Courses