In Residence

He runs one of the world's most popular GIF art collectives — and he's barely out of high school

Vancouver's Philip Intile, a.k.a. Pi Slices, didn't used to do anything creative. Then he discovered GIFs.

'Before I started making animations, I didn't really do anything creative'

See more GIFs by Vancouver's Philip Intile, a.k.a Pi-Slices, on Sunday's Season 2 premiere of Exhibitionists. (Pi-Slices)

We're back with a new season of Exhibitionistson Sunday, Oct. 9 and with the show's return we're hunting for another year of Exhibitionists in Residence.

Each episode, we feature videos by a different Canadian artist, and leading the pack this weekend is Pi-Slices. Based on the West Coast, this animator is all about a minimalist, retro-tech look — a style that predates the artist himself by a good 15 years. Just 18, he became the ringleader of a popular GIF-art collective before he'd even graduated. Get to know him a little better…

Name

Philip Intile, though he's better known as Pi-Slices on Tumblr, where his animation blog has 48,661 followers and counting.

About that pseudonym, he can explain: "It's my initials, P.I. Pi-Slices just sounded good, so I went with it," he laughs.

Location

Vancouver

Alter ego

The 18-year-old is a student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, B.C. "I'm studying information technology, which is pretty much the opposite of animation," he says, "but it's something I consider a little bit more reliable as a future thing."

That said, he's driven when it comes to working in digital art. His current passion? Producing concert visuals for touring bands. In fact, he just recently wrapped projects for Giraffage and Le Youth.

You might know him from…

The GIF Artists Collective

In November 2014, while he was still in high school, Intile founded a site which has become one of the more notable GIF-making communities on Tumblr. Boasting 92 official members — "the greatest GIF artists on Tumblr," per its tagline — Intile also accepts submissions from anyone who's up for his regular maker challenges. Each month, he selects a new theme — say, "rainbow," "spooky" or more conceptual fare like "transition." In response, artists from around the world send him their looped animations for consideration.

Why GIFs?

Every day, Intile posts a brand new GIF to his personal blog. "I've done one a day since April 2014," he says. 

"Before I started making animations, I didn't really do anything creative," he says. "It was just something I enjoyed looking at but never considered doing. But after stumbling across some of that stuff on Tumblr, I was sort of inspired to try it myself." Intile talks about GIF artists 9999 Years and Beeple as early inspirations. The latter's own one-a-day blog was "mindblowing" to Intile when he first saw it.

So, with some gumption and some Googling, Intile taught himself how to use Cinema 4D (his software of choice) and began posting original GIFs to Tumblr just as soon as he'd mastered the basics.

Inspiration

When you run a collective of GIF artists, the inspiration is endless. Intile's constantly exposed to new work. "There's a lot of people I admire," he says, rattling off his most recent top 3. Follow Zolloc, Suture Blue and fellow Canadian Gareth Was Here for a sampling of his current favourites.

Motivation

"The focus of doing something every day was just to learn the program — to start making cooler things," Intile explains. So far, he's published more than 900 GIFs, and he doesn't see an end in sight.

"At this point, it's like, 'Why stop now?'" he laughs. "There's so much you can do. I'm still learning things."

Get more Pi-Slices on his website, and on the Season 2 premiere of Exhibitionists. Watch online or Sunday, Oct. 9 at 4:30 (5 p.m. NT) on CBC Television.

Want to see your creations on CBC Arts? Just send us an e-mail! You could be an Exhibitionist in Residence this season.

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