Thoka Maer
Thoka Maer

Design // New Talent Category Winner



Still Time

Commissioned by Alex Ely Ginsberg for Electric Objects

view animated gifs here:





After graduating from the University of the Arts in Berlin in 2014, I moved to New York City and have been working ever since as a full time freelance illustrator and GIF artist. Weapons of choice: pencil, paper, photoshop and after effects.

About Entry

This series is called Still-Time and consists out of three looping animated illustrations that show serene moments. As art designed for the digital picture frame Electric Object, each animated illustration is calming without demanding attention. When observed more closely they provide viewers with the opportunity to explore and create their own narratives.

Wedsite/Portfolio Address and Social Media

instagram and twitter: @thokamaer



The brief simply consisted of a list of technical aspects including dimensions, maximum runtime and file formats. Other than that, I was free to create whatever I wanted.


The illustrations were drawn with pencil and paper, retouched and coloured in Photoshop and ultimately animated in After Effects.


This project did not require any in depth research. I went on a small quest for reference images such as american cars and cliff top houses from the 60s.


I started thinking about the circumstances in which an Electric Object might be displayed. Everyone who buys them, will put them on a wall, just a like a regular framed image. I also wanted to create something animated that would be impactful without being distracting. Our eyes detect any movement and gravitate towards it so I knew they had to be very subtle. I also considered the brightness of the enviroment. It might be anything from very dark to very bright, so my final pieces feature one day and two night scenes.


This project was very smooth.


I drew my parents’ dog Andra into one of the night scenes.


While making this series I worked from home and had just moved into an extremely loud apartment. I probably subconsciously tried to counter that daily experience of trains, yelling and loud music with calming animated illustrations.


Electric Objects counts the days, months and years of how long each image is displayed across all frames.
13 years – 5 month – 2 weeks – 2 days is the total run-time for all three artworks combined (as of June 2016).


Winning a category back in 2014 helped me greatly in getting my O-1 visa which now allows me to live and work in the US. It also boosted my career and helped to get on track as a freelance illustrator. I’m excitingly looking forward to seeing what the award will bring me this time.