Lisa Vertudaches, Illustrator & Animator

Lisa Vertudaches is an illustrator and animator from Adelaide, South Australia. Her work is such a delight, infused with humour and some real feels. A lover of puns (a girl after my own heart!) she has worked with clients like Nickelodeon, Disney, Valentino, Nike and is responsible for some incredibly cute GIFsThanks for taking the time to chat with us Lisa!

What do you do?

I’m an illustrator & animator based in Adelaide, South Australia. I make a lot of GIFs. Sometimes when I meet a new person, it’s not uncommon for them to say something like: “oh you’re the one that made that avocado GIF.” and at first I was like “there’s more to me than avocados.” But now I’m 100% on board for this title. It’s usually the first thing I tell people when I meet them while discussing work. “I make avocado GIFs, and that’s all you need to know about me, really.”

Lisa Vertudaches avocados
What did you want to be when you were a child?

I was pretty interested in being a police officer or detective at one point in my childhood. I have a fascination with true crime to this day. I still kinda like the idea of working in forensics, but I’m far too squeamish for it to ever be a thing. I’ll just continue to obsessively listen to Casefile & talk about serial killers to people I corner at parties.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a freelancer.

It’s not a hugely exciting story. I went to uni & studied illustration, and began freelancing while studying. I did a lot of small odd jobs for charities, friends and startups early in my career. I learned a lot about project & time management during this time. I also got some good jobs helping my friend Chris Edser with his animation work. I just seem to jump on the next opportunity that pops up. I’ve been pretty lucky in this way.

When you first started, how did you find clients?

I think word of mouth has been the best way to get work. Once you do a good job for someone, hopefully they’ll pass your name on to others. I also posted a lot of my work on social media, had a nice website & went to the occasional networking event/conference/festival.

Do you have a motto that you work by?

“Better late than never.”

Lisa Vertudaches strip teas
Lisa Vertudaches lifestyle
How do you stay productive?

ohh it can be hard sometimes with all the distractions of the internet & life, why I got distracted at least 3 times writing this sentence. I work from a co-working space in the CBD, and I find that traveling to work & staying social with other freelancers helps me stay productive.

What are you working on right now?

I am working on an animated sticker pack for the app store called ‘Workout Buds.’ It’s actually up online now, but I’m working on some new additions for it, that will hopefully be up by Christmas. They’re just fun & friendly buds that you can use to send to your gym friends via iMessage to help motivate each other to get your work out on. Or have a cheat day… You can check it out here if you like: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/workout-buds/id1440958045?mt=8

Lisa Vertudaches workout buds
Lisa Vertudaches
Don’t measure your worth as an artist in however many people are following you on social media.
What is your dream project?

hmm, I feel very lucky that I’ve already gotten to work on few dream projects. I’ve made animated GIFs for Nickelodeon & Disney in recent years. I think in the future I’d love to develop something longer. Maybe my own short film or series even. But that feels like a very far away thing.

What one piece of advice would you give to a freelancer just starting out?

Don’t measure your worth as an artist in however many people are following you on social media. Sure it’s good to have followers, then one day maybe you can launch a kickstarter and have people fund it. But some of the most successful folks I’ve met don’t even share their work online, or have a small following. So don’t put all your efforts in trying to get a big following. Just do good work & be a nice person and projects will come your way.

What is the best piece of advice you've been given?

“Take your broken heart, make it into art.” – Carrie Fisher’s advice to Meryl Streep. It’s not personal advice to me, but it gave me some big feels & it’s something I think about a lot when working, especially on my personal projects.

Tell us about a time in your career when you struggled.

I feel like I’m constantly struggling with imposter syndrome. My “I’m not good enough” attitude got really bad early this year. I was asked to talk at a motion design conference called ‘Nodefest’ in Melbourne about my work. I felt really conflicted about agreeing to do the talk because I looked at all the very accomplished people I’d be talking alongside & got very overwhelmed. I believed I did not belong up there with them, giving advice & telling my story to a crowd of 400+ talented people. I kept drafting emails to lie my way out of having to do the talk, but ended up realising that I’d just have to do it. After it was all said and done, I got some really good feedback from many who attended & am grateful I stuck to it. I still think at any moment someone might discover I’m a fraud and ask me to please explain how I managed to trick my way into the industry… Haha, so it’s something I’m still working to overcome I guess, but I’m taking little steps to get more confident. You can actually watch my talk here:

What are you listening to, reading or watching that is inspiring to you lately?

Apart from a variety of muuurder podcasts, I recently discovered a Sydney band called ‘Winterbourne’ who have this folky 60’s vibe that I’m really enjoying. Listening to their music makes me feel like sketching out the happy feels their music gives me.

What is your favourite piece of clothing?

I’m gonna say my PacMan necklace. I got it for $1 from an op shop and I love it a lot because it was a hectic bargain and people always say nice things about it.

What is the strangest thing about you?

I do so many strange things, it’s hard to pick the MOST unusual. I once called the police on a possum that was breathing outside my window late at night, because I thought it was a murderer.

Lisa Vertudaches Possum
Who would you most like to answer these questions next?

My pal Maddie is a really awesome illustrator. I love her style and she spins some good yarn: https://www.instagram.com/memeleine/

How can we find out more about your work?

I am on all the social medias, but probably update instagram the most regularly or you can check out my website.