Employee Spotlight: Nic Hartmann

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As part of our employee spotlight series we want to introduce the world to Nic Hartmann. Nic brings a vast knowledge of animation and design to the motion graphics department to help propel the team out of this stratosphere! Not to mention, he is a beautifully talented mariachi karaoke singer as well. Have fun learning more about this master of motion!

Nic_HartmannName: Nicholas Hartmann

Title: Motion Graphic Designer

What’s your role at KIG?
I create, render and edit motion graphics and sometimes do sound design as well!  Basically a “jack-of-all-motion-trades”.

Favorite life hack:
I call it the “Timer-Assisted Productivity-Boosting Focus-LadderLifehack™” (patent pending).  Here’s how it works: set a timer for 20 minutes.  Whatever project you’re working on, focus with all your might on that project for those 20 minutes.  When the timer goes off, reset it for 20 minutes, but this time, do something relaxing/fun/generally unproductive like playing a video game, reading a magazine article, checking email, etc.  Repeat this process, but instead of a 20/20 split, increase the productive time and decrease the unproductive time slightly.  Before long, you will find that you don’t need as many—or as long of—breaks.  My usual routine looks like this:

(on:off)
20:20
30:15
40:10
50:5
60:0

How did you come to work at killer infographics?
This is actually a pretty funny story!  The other motion designer here, Graham Cox, was my old neighbor at Western Washington University. After we graduated, he got me a job at a vitamin wholesale warehouse he worked at.  When Graham started to work at Killer Infographics, he introduced me to our boss, Amy Balliett, at the Snohomish Beer Fest; six months later I was working here!  I guess it’s like the old saying, “it’s all about knowing the right Grahams!”

Condiment of choice:
Honey Mustard BBQ Sauce with Strawberry Jelly and Peanut Butter. Yes, All 4 together!

What do you enjoy most about working at KIG?
There are way too many enjoyable things to list. I guess the thing I enjoy the most is how everyone here gets along fantastically!

What has been your favorite project you have worked on and why?
My favorite project was definitely the 2014 Solid Ground Keynote.  It combined motion graphics with live footage, which was a fun challenge and it was for a great local organization!

A little known fact about Nic is that he is a linguistics aficionado; what is your favorite language to study?
My favorite language to study by far is Japanese. The history of the spoken language, the complexity of the orthography, the ease with which you can create complex verb forms…I could go on for days. I feel I must also mention the runner up: Mongolian.  Vowel harmony, hard and soft consonants, typologically rare phonemes…It’s a like a linguist’s dream!

What one piece of career advice could you give for someone wanting to get into animation?
Do animation for eight hours a day, every day, until you feel comfortable creating an animation for someone while they’re standing behind you.  Once you get to that point, it means you’re comfortable enough with the program and your own workflow that you’re ready to enter the workforce and anim-some-ations!

If you were stuck on an island with only one video game to play, what would it be?
This is the hardest question I’ve ever been asked…there’s really no good answer for this one, but if you put a gun to my head: Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 64.  Second place: Ocarina of Time.  I could play that game 100 times in a row and still love it.  Third place: Super Mario RPG.  Fourth Place: Final Fantasy VII.  Fifth Place: Mariokart 64.  Sixth Place: Starfox 64.  Seventh Place: Pinball for the NES.

Eric Tra

Author Eric Tra

Eric Tra is the marketing director at Killer Visual Strategies. Originally from Spokane, Washington, Eric received degrees in marketing and fine art from Gonzaga University. After graduating, he moved to Seattle with the hopes of of pursuing a career in the city’s thriving tech community. Since earning a position at Killer Visual Strategies at the beginning of 2013, he has been at the forefront of all marketing activities within the company, including content strategy, lead generation, and social media management. Some of Eric’s other strengths in the office are geared toward internal project management; he currently leads the development of content pieces such as blog posts, ebooks, and more.

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