Hello and Welcome!
Thank you for visiting my new blog, I love to share and connect with new people… so, let me tell you a little bit about myself; who I am and what I do. I created this blog specifically for documenting my creative development of projects and sharing my experiences, knowledge and insights for Final Year in BDes Hons Animation.
What is the Dream?
My love for animation really began, I believe, when I was five/six years old – back then I remember day-dream the entire sequence (frame-for-frame) of the Bare Necessities from Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book, as clear as day on my primary school ABC board… true story, it’s one memory I love and still brings a smile to my face… school in those days could be pretty boring, especially growing up with a hearing loss (but we don’t need to get into all that). As a kid growing up in the 90s, the world of cartoon characters was real – to me the characters I grew up with, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, and Tom & Jerry, etc. were alive and lived in such a world as “Toontown” from the movie, Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Three trips to Disney World, in Florida, influenced and set-in-stone my dreams for becoming an animator; and so… almost 24 years in the making (give or take), I have chased my dreams to work in animation. For some, childish imaginations grow up, but for me, I don’t feel like I will fully grow up from watching cartoons, and the characters are still alive to me to this day.
These memories inspire my ambition in life, to breathe life into inanimate rigs and drawings, to create a reaction in the audience – to make them roll with laughter, cry and love the characters whole-heartedly. What interests me as an animator is the impact the work that I do will affect upon people a sense of magic, implanted into every audience member (young or old). Nothing else in the world beats creating a good story, with sincere characters that inspire and are so relatable to everyone that they feel like friends; characters with a voice and opinion, and who change all of us for the better, to see more clearly. Animation is the ultimate art form, and there is nothing I would rather be doing with my life.
Where am I now?
Right now, I am about to enter into my Final Year of BDes Hons Animation, a course I have been attending for the past three years at Ulster University, Belfast Campus, Northern Ireland; recently, this year, I decided to take one year out and underwent my next stage of this journey, taking my first steps into the industry for Placement. Both an exciting and unnerving experience; I feel getting work experience has shaped me greater as an artist, and more clearly pushed me in the direction I wish to pursue. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work with two (start-up/independent) studios, Encycle Studios and Outsider Games, where I developed work on some interesting collaboration and client projects this provided me with more experiences to meet and work with other studios such as Acorn Studios, and collaborate on production design for an unannounced animated short film project by the BBC, with Director Daniel Greaves.
For me, this is only the beginning of my journey: there is still plenty of opportunity to grow and experience, which to me is the thrill of the chase. What placement left me with was a sense of optimism and determination, to never give up no matter what.
What can I do for you?
At university, I have been trained as a Generalist CG Artist and aim to work as a Specialist CG Character Animator for film or TV animation; I work with professional softwares such as, Maya, ZBrush, Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere Pro, etc., aiming to please not just what the audience needs to see with a story, but also convey the director’s vision as clearly and on point as I possibly can. The greatest approval, I find, is receiving a reaction to the work that allows other to portray their own emotions and experiences into the position of the character, and each time this challenges me to go one step further. How I work best is to figure out what it is a client/director wants, by communicating with them and listening to what they have to say, and what they desire to do with the story they are telling. From there, I take that creative expression and portray them into the work with sincerity.
I am always interested in a challenge to find new ways of telling a story, or to take my animation skills to the next level in a completely different direction… whatever that maybe; one aspect which fascinates me right now is new innovations of VR and AR short film content and the effect this has, evolving new ways in which we are told a story visually. One question that makes me curious is: where is the industry going next? Whatever that is I want to be ready for it.
That’s All Folks!