GIFs were my introduction to visual art. It started as a joke in 2007, but I quickly got way too serious about it and didn’t stop. I generally made 10-20 per month, and only stopped (paused?) in January 2018.
Making GIFs taught me how to experiment with composition and process. I tried to do as many different things with Photoshop and GIFs as I could possibly think of, without resorting to the same techniques or processes or “tricks” over and over again. Later on I added Final Cut Pro, Premiere, screen capture software, C4D, and other applications as options in my GIF workflow.
The GIF format in particular was a useful training device because its constraints encouraged compositional economy. I had to think of ways to smoothly animate loops while using as few frames as possible. It also made me think musically, considering tempo, phasing, rhythm, and syncopation.