Michael Lester Is a Problem Solver (and an Illustrator)

Illustrator, designer, and animator Michael Lester doesn’t stick to one particular style. Working for an array of clients, his creations are varied and allow for different approaches. “I don’t really have a niche, and that’s something I’ve rooted for from the beginning,” he admitted in an interview with Lecture in Progress. “I’d much rather be a person to come to for an answer to a problem than a go-to for a particular style.”

“Design trends come and go but communication is always at the core of what I do,” he stresses. “If you try to latch on to a current style too much, you’ll get left behind. The best thing you can do is focus on the ideas in your work.”

Having studied fine art in college, led him to study illustration at university. These two steps helped him then progress more naturally into animation. “Waiting to start anything is often seen as negative, but as long as you eventually start, a little time can actually do some good,” he says. “When I finally started to animate I had a strong illustrative style to work with and better writing skills to approach the narrative.”

Since graduating, he launched a freelance career and spent four years building a broad international client base consisting of both agency work and direct relationships with companies. In 2018, he set up Beginners, a creative studio focusing on animation, illustration and design production on a larger scale. “The great thing about working for yourself is you can adapt and respond to those patterns and make that time up in the evening,” he says.

Here are some highlights from his versatile portfolio: