Interviewing...

Phil Linturn

Chief Operating Officer (COO) @ 

It's a great pleasure to have Phil Linturn on Sciencemotionology, as  representative of Glassworks (GW). This animation studio, not specialized in scientific animations, made the amazing and scientific accurate 3D model of a heart, used as a teaching tool in medical schools across the globe.

Phil became COO of GW after going up the unconventional ladder from graphic designer to Flame artist to managing between the three GW offices in London, Amsterdam and Barcelona.

 

Here is Phil's feedback to a few questions in a brief interview about him and his work.

Sciencemotionology: It seems that you took an unconventional career path.. Could you describe how it all happened? How unusual is it to go to COO of Glassworks starting from a graphics designer at GQ magazine?

 

Phil: It's something that I have grown to appreciate more and more about the advertising industry; it tends to collect people from a wide range of disciplines and throw them together. Graphic designers will work next to music composers, paper sculptors and puppeteers, and across the desk from creative writers and fine artists. My particular path eventually took me towards project management, but even that was an organic process, driven by the desire to become involved in the creative process earlier.

 

Sciencemotionology: How do you manage three quite different cultures from your offices in London, Amsterdam and Barcelona into the single culture of Glassworks?

 

Phil: I'm helped because Glassworks has a reputation for friendliness and creative excellence, so it tends to attract people that naturally fit into the existing culture. That said, we never try to force each office, or any individual artist, to conform to a generic template. I visit each office regularly, and am amazed how familiar the spirit is, but how differently people approach their work, their client relationships ... and lunchtimes.

Sciencemotionology: How did Glassworks become involved in the project Heartworks?

 

Phil: We were approached by a team of cardiac anesthesiologists looking for a realistic digital simulation tool, to be used in training cardiac surgeons for theatre. They had done their research on the leading animation specialists, and we were invited to share ideas. To this day we are still working with the very same team that walked through the door in 2007.

 

 

Sciencemotionology: Scientific animation is perhaps having its “era of enlightenment” in the USA. What is your view of the apparent growth of scientific animation as a niche market, in Europe? 

 

Phil: In just the same way that the film and gaming industry grows in confidence and ambition each year, scientific animation seems to be expanding naturally with the growth of new technology available. With the release of new innovations that allow complex real-time rendering, higher definition images, and multiple platforms on which to experience your entertainment, the medical animation field is also exploring new opportunities. I'm sure that the rapid boom in virtual reality capabilities will affect both markets in different ways.

 

 

Sciencemotionology: I’m becoming more aware of people coming from several disciplines (other than arts) into animation and illustration. What advice would you give to young animators or illustrators starting their own unconventional career paths? 

 

Phil: From my experience, I would simply say move into the orbit of excellent and inspiring artists from the very beginning, and be prepared to absorb advice like a sponge. Your rate of growth as an artist will often be heavily dependent on the mentors and tutors that pass on valuable creative and technical tricks, but also on handling pressure, client demands, and punishing deadlines. These people will be friends for life!

Representation of the scientifically accurate heart model made by Glassworks for the HEARTWORKS project, from Inventive Medical Ltd.