We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Riley and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Michael, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I grew up drawing all the time. I would spend countless hours in my room drawing in my sketchbooks, or sometimes with friends who also liked art. I did a summer program at Parsons in New York when I was 15, and my drawing teacher told us to have a sketchbook at the ready every day, always.

In my design work today, there are so many things that I love about the intersection design and entertainment. I love the art of storytelling. I love to draw and paint. I love photography and cinematography. I love the combining of live action, animation, and cinematography. And I love working with music. One really exciting aspect of working in my area of art and design is that, as technology evolves, the boundaries between these categories get more blurred every day, As the tools change, so do the creative possibilities. But one of the best parts of my career is that I get to collaborate with other creative people. Whether it’s a director on a feature film, a producer or a writer on a television series, a creative director at an advertising agency, or the team at Shine, the design studio where I work… I thrive on creative collaboration. You get to bring your own ideas to the table, hear the ideas of others, and then, together, make something that you never would have made had you done it solely on your own. It’s the process, the path toward making something together, in collaboration with others, that I personally find really exciting. You travel that road as a team. And the icing is that you have something (a project) to point to at the end of each journey. Is every project and every process perfect? No. But if you collaborate with others you learn something new on every project. And if you allow yourself, you’ll grow as an artist. Every time.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Shine is on Wilshire Boulevard, in an area called Miracle Mile. Our mission is to create highly evocative visual experiences that push the boundaries of the imagination through engaging design, animation and live action. What I’m most proud of is the clients that keep returning to Shine, entrusting us with exciting design opportunities. Shine is a boutique studio, but we have many, many amazing clients that give us incredible creative assignments. Someone once said that, in order to produce good work, you need a client that will allow you to do that. We have that, many times over. We’ve been really fortunate to have creative relationships that have allowed Shine to grow in many ways. We see any project from a client is a gift, and we treat it that way. We are very grateful for our amazing clients!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I don’t even know where to start. Los Angeles is such a big city with so many possible answers to this question! Here are a few: LACMA, Downtown LA, The Broad, Will Rogers Beach, The Reel Inn, Larchmont, Venice, Topanga Canyon, a Dodgers game. There are so many ways to spend that week. Honestly you could just point the car in any direction and you’d find something. Also: in Los Angeles, on any day off the week, there’s so much live music that it’s hard to choose. Troubador!!!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to shout out to Bob Swensen, the executive producer at Shine. Bob is an incredible producer. He contributes in so many creative ways to every project we create. Everyone loves working with Bob. Smart, creative, hard working. Fun fact about Bob: he is more knowledgeable about The Godfather movies than anyone else. Except The Godfather III, which he still doesn’t acknowledge actually exists.

Website: shinestudio.com

Image Credits
Perry Mason main title sequence design and animation for HBO; Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn main title sequence design and animation for Warner Bros. Pictures and D.C.; Dickinson main title sequence design and animation for Apple TV+.

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.