A little bit of history
Founded in 2006 by Ian & Lisa Robinson we originally focused on both motion graphics and photography. As each section of the business has continued to grow, they felt in necessary to divide and conquer. Ian expanded the motion graphics side of the business adding visual effects & consulting while opening a new office in Falls Church, VA. Lisa has gone on to focus on weddings and boudoir photography launching a her studio in Leesburg, VA under the name Lovesome Photography.
Meet Ian Robinson (Creative director & CEO)
How did you get started in this industry?
Having a photographer as a father and a master Sumi-e brush painter as a mother, the visual arts were not a stretch for me. It took me a while to figure out exactly what I wanted to do in school bouncing back and forth from music, to multi-track recording, to photography, and finally motion graphics and video. Once I graduated in the late 90's, I thankfully landed a job with a successful video post house in Washington DC. Over the next few years I "paid my dues" working my way up from an Assistant Video editor in linear edit suites, (yes I'm that old), to graphic artist, and finally senior motion designer, (primarily working as "the After Effects guy"). Working at a few different post houses while getting to work with with so many talented people in the industry really created the strong foundation for who I am as a designer today.
What was your most defining moment working in this industry?
As it turns out, what could have been one of my darkest days working turned out to be one of my brightest. Many people might remember how there was quite a video revolution in the early 2000's where the cost of professional video equipment exponentially decreased. This transition created a HUGE boom of new startups, and was the beginning of the end for many large post houses. After many years of working in various post houses, I, like many of my friends around me, got caught in one of the multiple rounds of layoffs and restructuring. To this day, I look back on that day as one of the best days of my life. Getting let go by around 10am, I had an new office down the street that afternoon, and my first major client within the next 24 hours. Nothing wakes you up more than getting kicked out of the nest. And none of those options would have been available to me, had I not built strong relationships with many of the various people I worked with over the years. (You all know who you are!)
Did you ever freelance?
Yes! Even though I had an office, freelancing was a natural progression. I worked on everything from motion graphics projects, to editing :30 second commercials. Being one of the first few certified Apple folks, I got to ride one of the early waves of editors and designers using and teaching what later became Final Cut Studio. That being said, I always seemed to end up gravitating back into the motion graphics industry. After several years of freelancing, I eventually ended up full time at Discovery Networks as an Art Director in their internal creative agency. As wonderful as that job was, eventually, I decided that I needed to get back to doing my own thing, teaching and designing at my own facility, (enter, SoftBox Media LLC)
When did you start teaching?
I taught my first class in 1999, "Photoshop for Video Editors", and shortly there after, I began teaching "Intro to Adobe After Effects". Over the next 15+ years I've gone on to teach everywhere from specific education facilities to trade shows like NAB, and various corporate clients like NBC, National Geographic International, IMF, NASCAR, etc.
I started teaching online with Lynda.com in 2008 with my very first course being Motion 3 Essential Training. Since then, I've gone on to create 24+ courses on everything from After Effects Essential training, to Cinema 4D Essential training, to smaller more topical and or project based courses with the AE Guru and Mograph Techniques series courses. If you want to learn more about my online training please check out my page on Lynda.com