Today I thought I'd write about how I got started as an animator and what some of the things are I've learned about breaking into the industry as an artist, as well as some lessons I wish I had known before I attended art school. I got started in animation when I was 8, if we really want to go way back. I was always fascinated by cartoons, and I had already been drawing and writing stories for years at this point. The passion basically was already there, but I realized at this age I had no idea how animation was made, and I wanted to know. I eventually went to Art School in Minneapolis and graduated with a degree in Animation.

As someone who's been doing digital painting for a long LONG time, and who feels like she's only very recently gotten good at it. I thought I'd write a bit about how I got here and the process of learning how to paint without any formal training in school or otherwise. I started learning photoshop when I was about fourteen years old, and I was instantly hooked. However I had no idea how to use the real tools available and was far more interested in painting something and then adding one million lens flares and other effects and then calling it good. This was not the right way to approach painting or making decent artwork. See example below of OLD stuff I

I had some extra time as well as motivation this last week to do some personal artwork. As a person who's always been a dork about dragons, I wanted to do some paintings about my beloved mythical beasts. I had so much fun that I'm decided to make this into an extended series of paintings. It's both helping me get better at using new photoshop brushes, but lighting / shadow, composition, and contrast in painting. Enjoy! Great Purple Dragon Great Red Dragon   More to come next week if I have the time.

So I've been quiet about my new short film for a little while, but it's making slow and steady progress. In my off time I've been storyboarding and working with a sound guy to get the dialogue to a place where I can use it for the first draft of my animatic. I'm excited to get this going, it's just been very slow progress. I do find with personal projects however that I need to set aside some time where I can work on it once a week. If I do that, stuff does tend to get done in a timely manner. Here are a few of the concepts I drew from early last year. I'll be putting up other progress reports