A few weeks ago, a nice fellow interviewed me for a project in one of his animation classes. I thought I would publish my answers here, too.
you get involved with animation?
grade a few friends and I started making flip books. Usually involving stick figures, guns,
defecation and the occasional rocketship.
Years later, in college, I made some animated gifs. That was before Flash came out. After university, I got my hands on Flash 5,
and soon realized I couldn’t live without it.
should point out that I didn’t study animation or art (although I wish I
had). I have a degree in music. So I was doing some teaching and gigging on
the side when I started learning Flash.
I started taking on freelance animation and illustration jobs after
that. That went on for maybe 5 or 7
years. It’s really only been in the last
two years or so that I’ve made a concerted effort to earn a living solely with
animation. I can’t say that I’ve “arrived” yet, but my perseverance
has certainly paid off.
you get your first job in animation and what it was like?
convinced my boss to pay me to make a cartoony website for the school. It won some kind of local website award, and
so he was willing to hire me again to make some animated Ecards and banner ads
have any advice or tips for university graduates on how to get involved and be
successful in the animation industry?
as it sounds: stick with it.
recommend working freelance rather than directly in a company?
always worked freelance. It’s probably
pretty nice to work for a company if you can find one who will hire you.
computer programmes do you use most often?
Photoshop, Cubase, various sound editing
equipment and materials for characters and sets are used most often in your
pencil, and Wacom
tell me roughly how expensive equipment, materials and programmes for graduates
who wish to be freelance animators will cost?
have a light table. I wish I did. But I have a tablet. A graphire 2, and recently I bought a bamboo,
which was less expensive but just as good if not better. I’ve worked on the larger intuos tablets and
I don’t find the larger drawing space to be advantageous. So I’d say go with the bamboo for 50 EUR
something like 200 or 300 bucks, I can’t remember exactly. Some programs come with hardware — I got an
LT version of photoshop which came with my graphire, also music software came
with my midi keyboard.
have any advice for finding work and meeting deadlines?
need a demo reel, and a webpage. Even
one of those free blog pages will suffice to show off your work. Even when you are starting out, never take on
any work that doesn’t compensate you fairly.
If they try to persuade you with promises of “exposure” or the like, politely run for your
that good planning is the key to meeting deadlines. And metaphorically speaking, start with the
the hardest job you have taken and what do you find as animator is generally
the hardest part of any job you undertake?
I’m working on at the time is always the hardest, for some reason.
say the hardest part is good planning.
Sometimes, I’ll have panels in the storyboard which are really vague and
I tell myself, “ah, I’ll deal with it when I get to it in Flash”. It always comes back to bite me in the ass.
you enjoy most about your work and animations you create?
in Flash, most of my animations rely on “cutout” type animating. Occasionally I find an excuse to do some
traditional animating; I get a real kick out of the times when it turns out good.
as it sounds, the most rewarding thing is the rare occasion when my work causes
a genuine emotional response from the viewer.