Greta Larkins has been able to turn GIF making into a full-time career. In 2011 she established FashGIF, a Tumblr where she posts her animated appropriations of fashion photos sourced from all over the internet. Her images now receive thousands of comments and reblogs, and they’ve gained her work from industry leaders like Anya Hindmarch, Nordstrom, Tiffany & Co., and eBay.
Larkins has so many clients that she's left behind previous jobs in product development, trend forecasting, advertising, and acting for fashion GIF-making. From her bedroom in Melbourne, Larkins is creating her own dialogue with the global fashion world—and fans, followers, and brands worldwide are taking note. We caught up with her to find out how she does it.
The Creators Project: Do you consider yourself an artist?
Greta Larkins: Oh no [laughs]. Art, for me—it’s not what I do. I would say I’m more like a creative re-toucher.
Are you really, really good at Photoshop?
I taught myself how to use basic Photoshop when I was about 20. I still teach myself. I should probably branch out into other programs; I’m pretty limited when it comes to perspective or anything 3D, which is basically because of the limits of Photoshop. Sometimes you want a GIF to look really fake because that’s where the humor lies, but if you doctor it too much people are just like, “This has gone too far.”
What can’t you do in Photoshop?
Making hands move is really hard.
Oh yeah, I did see your Margiela couture GIF with the model’s hands moving.
They’re my hands!
How did you do that?
I put my hand against the wall and filmed it on my iPhone. You know how you cut an image out like a clipping? I just did that around my own hand. I do that quite a bit if I think there’s something that’s more human that needs animating. If you want to get hair to move though it needs to be a cinemograph, otherwise it looks so fake. That’s the new frontier: it used to be water, now it’s hair. Tangled, brave—they have hair teams.