It can be easy, sometimes, to get into a bit of a doom scroll. Getting trapped in the circulation of bad news is effortless – just pick up your phone and you’re dropped down a timeline of negativity. Which is why recently I’ve loved getting looped into something a bit more fun and joyful, through the character-full Instagram page of Lucas Zanotto.
Lucas Zanotto is an animator, director and designer from Italy, based in Helsinki. He’s been the recipient of a long list of awards, including an Apple Design Award, a Golden Lion in Cannes and more. Zanotto has teamed up with artists like KAWS, Josh Sperling and Felipe Pantone. He’s also the founder of YATATOY, through which he creates apps and books for children. One of our favourites is Loopimal; a building tool with wonderful sound effects and animations that introduces kids into the world of computer sequencing. And then there’s Bandimal – an intuitive music composer that looks like so much fun.
But what really inspires me is Zanotto’s 3D and kinetic sculptural loops. Posted through his Instagram, these loops consist of the short movement of simple shapes that cleverly bring characters to life. In an interview with It’s Nice That, Zanotto speaks of the sense of positivity and joy these small loops elicit from his followers; the many people who have reached out to him and spoken of the calming effect these short clips have on their mental health. Incredibly, Zanotto says that each loop only takes him a few hours to create. Of course, in some ways, these “little ideas” – broken down into movement and shapes – are simple. But it’s in their simplicity, and their character-fullness, that they’re so mesmerising and powerful.
I think some of the reasons that I love Zanotto’s work so much is because it speaks to the importance of playfulness and the big impact that the simplest design – when done right – can have. As busy professionals, it can get easy to get caught up in the seriousness of the everyday – especially with bad news beeping away at us within arm’s reach. Finding joy in small shapes, movements and the characters they create is a wonderful reminder that there’s a lot of fun to be had – and some of the reasons I made creativity my job in the first place.
External links to the world of Lucas Zanotto;