I'm a UK based artist and I illustrate, animate and direct commercials, music vids and short films.
The work used to fall into either abstract artier animation, charming/funny character animation, or harrowing live action drama. Recently they have begun to overlap, with random animation onto of live action/photography, with moments of humour – it’s just taken me ages to realise they don't have to be mutually exclusive.
I think creativity only really comes about through adversity.
Struggles – biblical or political or social – always makes for good art, whereas I can't imagine anything more boring than something painted by Mr Happy on holiday in Niceland.
Adversity doesn't have to relate solely to the subject matter though, it can instead be the circumstances under which it’s made. Give someone infinite resources to make anything they want and they'll create something flaccid, give someone a tiny budget, very little time or a nightmare of a task and the chances are they'll (have to) come up with something inspired.
That’s not to suggest that clients should pay less and reduce schedules (!) but it is beneficial to the artists creativity even if they have to self-impose restrictions, if only to encourage focus. It's no good to blame a lack of money or a tight brief, they should be the things to inspire the solution.