Butt Studio’s Harry Butt Reflects on His Biggest Creative Failure and the Lessons It Taught Him
Coming out of college, designer and animator Harry Butt found himself in a difficult position. Many of his peers founded their own studios, often named after themselves, but Harry’s unusual name left him wondering if it might be a bad decision to do the same. “I felt like I couldn’t do that because my name is basically ‘hairy butt’,” he recalled. However, he soon realized the power of embracing his comedic name and decided to start his own company: Butt Studio. Not only did his worries about it quickly disappear, but it didn’t take long for his animation skills to kick in and instead become the most memorable part of his practice. He gradually built up a truly enviable list of clients, including Boiler Room, Nike and Instagram.
But, modest as always, what Harry wanted to discuss with the crowd wasn’t his success against all odds, but rather an animation that he considers his biggest failure. Showing them a weird but sweet short film of a hungry frog, he explained “It’s not objectively bad, but it feels like a failure to me.” There were two reasons for this, he says – one was a lack of narrative coherence, which meant the story was nonsensical, and the second was a lack of proper animation technique. He broke down both of these issues in detail, giving his thinking behind each. However, always one to take the good with the bad, Harry entered the final moments of his speech on an inspiring note, explaining that this project had actually been a useful lesson in taking your time and not rushing the process: “It was a bit of a risk to come to a wonderful event like this and show you my worst work… But I hope the next time you do something you hate, you can love it too for teaching you something about yourself.