Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Getting back my Mojo at Anim Dojo

At the start of this year I decided that 2018's mission was to be a better animator. This August will be a milestone for me. It will be a decade since I became an animator. While I am relatively happy with my skills, I feel that it's easy to get comfy and I want to push myself to the next level. Another factor of pushing myself is that as an animation supervisor and lead in both 2d and CG I feel it's my job to help my junior animators and my team as much as possible. I want to be a good mentor to them. I feel I owe it to them to get my butt into gear. All of these reasons pushed me to join an online animation school called 'Anim Dojo'. Anim Dojo is a online animation site that is aiming to teach people who can already animate, how to animate better. 


When you've been an animator for many years , someone asking you to explain/ teach your process of working can sometimes feel like a golfer trying to explain their swing. They can use the tech speak but don't really know what they are technically doing to make it different from anyone else...they just do it and can't explain the nuisances, which is where Anim Dojo is coming in. 
We all know the tech speak of key poses and inbetweens but sometimes just saying 'work in a pose' can be daunting to Junior animators.  Animdojo is forcing me to breakdown (animation pun intended) my process. It's amazing to really feel like I'm working out the basics again and it's helping me deconstruct my work. 

Fingers crossed I can know all my bad habits out and build back up stronger. I've done it for two weeks and I already notice a HUGE difference. 

It's been stupidly fun so far and because I am paying for it each month it is pushing me to work in my own time. I have allocated three week nights to it so far but I'm so eager that I may do more. 

It is the cheapest online anim program I've found (which is a huge plus because I'm a horrid cheapskate) at only $30 (aud) a month. This is starting to sound like a paid advert and it definitely isn't. I just think it's something the animation industry has been missing and everyone should jump on it. It also helps that the company running it is called Blue Zoo where I use to work. I know they are an amazingly forward thinking company who are enthusiastic about their animators becoming better and not just worrying about their deadlines. 

To sum up...DO IT! 

I'll keep you up to date and post animations that I do from scratch. There are a lot of tasks that involve Maya scenes with your keys already given to you. This is to help practice timing (such a great idea) or scenes with the start and end keys in place so that you create your breakdowns (another genius idea). I won't post them because I don't want to show other peoples poses but I'll show you some work soon. 

p.s their rigs are to die for! 

Saturday, 13 January 2018

New Year - New Creative Challenges

Happy New Year everyone!

It was a crazy 2017.

I started drawing like a loon and posting my drawings daily to Instagram:

and excitingly I have started a podcast that I absolutely love recording with my oldest friend of 23 years (and boyfriend) about Science Fiction. The basic concept is we have some drinks and I propose a fundamental change to the world and then we build a new world around that rule. How would it influence science , population, art and culture?

It's just some silly fun but over 2000 people have listened so far (what?!).  It's exciting and I can't wait to carry on in 2018.

Other exciting adventures and missions are:

* Learn more Toonboom
* Paint more

What are your creative plans?

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Getting Ready For Inktober

Hello guys. 
It's Inktober. We are in it. How is your drawing going? 
I made a video last week about the lead-up to Inktober and the prompts list I'll be following:

The funny thing about Inktober to me is how stressed everyone gets. It's interesting to see the pressures people put on themselves to be creative. I saw a fantastic talk given by Elizabeth Gilbert about the pressures of being creative and how we tie it into our personality. As if doing a bad drawing makes you a bad person or untalented in all ways. This is such a hard hurdle to jump over. I only found a way over it by throwing all my drawings out there and realising that the world didn't disown me because I wasn't the worlds greatest artist. Here is the video's really inspiring: 

I love Iinktober because it takes the pressure off and gives you the chance to put art out there without people judging you. People know you only had an hour or two to get it done and everyone is also putting work out there so everyone knows and feels how difficult it can be. 

I love Inktober as an idea. I think it is encouraging people not only to be creative but to be compassionate and enthusiastic artists. I also selfishly love looking at all the art that is around. So much to see!!!! 

Enjoy it, only do it if you want to or can and enjoy it. Enjoying creating things is really the only part of this that matters. If you do one drawing or 31...or even just get inspired by looking at the #inktober #intober2017 or #pinktobertime hashtags...that's all that matters.

Enjoy guys and happy doodling x

Monday, 11 September 2017

How to Refill a Copic Marker Pen...Or At Least Try Too!

I love marker pens. I don't know why I only started using them a few months ago but I feel they are really helping me improve my art skills. You can't 'ctrl Z' a piece of art work that's really on the page. 

I love them so much that I used up all the ink in one of them. It's taken using it every day for about 5 months for this to happen so it's still impressive that it lasted so long but it was either time to learn to refill or to cop out and just buy another pen. 

I watched some great videos on YouTube on how to refill my pens and gave it a go. Links can be found in the video description if you want to watch the pro's that taught me to do it :) 

My steps summarised are: 
1. buy the correct refill
2. Take both lids off of your pen
3. Lay down a material you don't mind getting destroyed (just in case of spillage)
4. Slowly drip the ink onto the nib of the pen (I do it on the driest end) 
5. I'm still not sure the real amount of drips but it can be anywhere between 17 - 25...depending on how empty it is. 
6. When you think it's full drip one or two drops on the other end of the pen to wet it. 
7. Leave lids off for about 20 seconds to let the air circulate and the air pressure to normalise (not sure if this helps but it seems to stop warned...this is made up Tania science) 
8. Test on a piece of paper you don't care about
9. Use pen and be proud that you refilled it like a boss

I hope this works for you guys x

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

What I've Learnt - Drawing Vlog

I love drawing. I always have but I also suffer from artists burn out. I wanted to see if I could change my way of thinking and get more creative.

In work, I work so hard that by the time I come home I'm so tired that I only have enough energy to watch some telly. This was getting me nowhere both creativity wise and it meant I always had a lot of washing today at once. I got annoyed by this. I have mentioned on here before that I have started drawing more over the last few months so it seemed about time that I threw myself at a drawing challenge. It was a month long challenge where I tried to draw every day. It's funny how something can seem impossible before you do it and afterwards it seems impossible that you could think it was ever going to be that hard. It was great fun. I got a drawing out each day and although I wasn't happy with the level of skill they showed, I learnt a lot.

Here is a video talking about the lessons I learnt while sketching. Hopefully, they can help someone like me to not be afraid to pick up a pencil and scribble something: