Sol Names Anderson, Higgins New Creative Directors
September 10, 2012 by Andrew Schneider
Sol Design, the visual effects company under the Cutters Studios umbrella has promoted two of its employees to creative directors.
Chris Anderson, previously lead designer, was named creative director, design and Brian Higgins, previously lead compositor and VFX artist was named creative director, VFX. They will both work under Executive Producer Neal Cohen. Coincidentally, both take on these new posts as they become new fathers.
"When these guys up their game they get new software, hardware, computers, all this fancy stuff to make their job better," Cohen says. "I get people and having the right people, experienced, talented, that's what makes my life easier, gives me an upgrade. These guys are definitely an upgrade."
Anderson has been at Sol for five years. He first applied at the company seeking a job in editorial but was asked, instead, if he was available for freelance design.
"I remember they asked, when can you start?" Anderson recalled. "I said, now."
They lead him upstairs and he's been at the company since, joining as a junior designer, working his way up to his new post.
"I'm definitely honored," he says. "I'm really excited about having a little bit more control over where the company goes - it makes me extremely happy. Having a little control is liberating."
Anderson is the father of the 7-week-old girl Zoe and he says those challenges will make the new job seem easy.
"This is going to be a lot easier than being a father," he says. I've learned in the last seven weeks what it means to be a leader and take responsibility."
Higgins has been with the company for nine years, starting in CG and eventually developing well-known expertise with Flame and VFX and has given seminars for Autodesk in Asia and at conventions like NAB in Las Vegas.
"I'm excited to be able to put my stamp and thumb print on the company," Higgins says. "It's a very easy transition for me to make - I'm comfortable with everyone here - not like I'm going into a company I don't know. I've been here a log time, so it feels like a natural progression, but I'm very honored and very excited."
Higgins will have a new son in a few short weeks and expects that the changes at work will pale in comparison to those at home.
"Everything changes you," he says. "I expect to be changed by both - probably fatherhood will change me more profoundly than being creative director, but they're both big changes."
While the new jobs will make it official, Cohen notes that both have already been leading by example.
"When clients come here, they ask us, because we do the work every day, what's new, what's the latest? We don't want to look like everything else," Cohen says. "They come to us for that expertise and on the heavy technical side, that's Brian's world and design-wise, that's Chris's world. We're problem-solvers for creativity for our clients."