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Profile | Avinas Man Napit: The accidental stop-motion sensation

Profile | Avinas Man Napit: The accidental stop-motion sensation

Avinas Man Napit was in his first year of college studying business when he was offered an internship at a TV channel in Kathmandu. His mother ran a cafeteria in the media house’s building and Napit used to visit her there after class.

“I had always been into drawing and used to doodle when I got bored,” Napit says. “One of the designers from Avenues TV, Sagun Manandhar, saw my sketches and offered to teach me motion graphics.” Thus began Napit’s journey in the field of motion graphics.

But he dropped out during his first year of internship and then worked for ad agencies until the first Covid-19 lockdown. The quarantine blues had him uploading videos on TikTok.

It wasn’t that Napit wasn’t a part of the TikTok community before. His uploads, while inconsistent, focused more on dance. A self-taught choreographer, Napit found the video-sharing platform to be a great exposure opportunity.

But it was his visual effects and motion graphic designs that made him viral. In April 2020, he uploaded his first edited video, which garnered more than 51,000 views—almost five times more than his earlier videos. Witnessing this sudden growth, he started uploading more, slowly getting more love and appreciation from Nepali audiences that had only seen these kinds of designs done by foreign artists.

“It’s not strange to believe these things can’t be done in Nepal,” he says. “When I first joined Avenues TV, I too was surprised to find many talented creators doing motion designs with ease. I always thought that media houses outsourced from developed countries. But many creators here in Nepal never get the recognition they so rightly deserve.”

Luckily, Napit isn’t one of them. With more than 173,900 followers on Tiktok, on average, he gets around 200,000 views a video. A big fan of the Marvel superhero movies, Napit’s Marvel motion graphic videos have earned him the most fans. His most popular Tiktok, with a whopping 5.3 million views and 375,000 likes, has him working behind the scenes of a superhero motion graphic edit he did.

Another TikTok with Bella Poarch’s song Build a B*tch in which Napit reenacts the singer’s music video with the help of green screen and visual effects has also had a million views.

After pushing himself to create more content, Napit’s following has been growing at speed and the visual effect artist’s YouTube channel is gaining traction despite his infrequent uploads.

It takes him at least a couple of days to create a video, he says. “It’s just a 15-second clip, but editing it takes days sometimes,” he says. The time he invests also depends on the effects he uses. “Making YouTube videos takes a lot longer and calls for more commitment, which is why I haven’t been as consistent there.”

With a full-time job at Kreativnepa, doing freelance motion graphic work, and often handling projects at Unx Studio—a dance studio at Nayabazar, Sorahkhutte he opened with his friends before the first lockdown—Napit has his hands full.

Continuing doing Tiktok has been difficult, but he’s determined to not let his page die. “Sometimes I shoot videos at one in the morning, edit them until 4-5 am, and then go to sleep,” he confesses. “I wake up, go to work, come home and continue editing until it’s complete. Sometimes I have off days—so that works in my favor too.”

Napit isn’t just compromising his physical health for his career. With a large fan following, he also gets hate comments that used to earlier take a toll on his mental health. “I’ve learned to filter the negative part of this,” he says. “But when I was just starting, it did get to me.”

On the other side of the coin, Napit has learned that there is a large mass of young people in Nepal who are curious about motion graphic designing. His TikToks that show the behind-the-scenes of his viral clips sometimes get more engagement than the actual videos. This also shows that his audience is willing to learn how these edits are made and what tools are required to create good visual effects on videos.

“I see a bright future for this field in Nepal,” Napit tells ApEx. “There are many creative minds out there, we just need to foster them and give them better exposure.”

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