i've never worked so hard on a graphic in my life

howinthehelldidigethere  asked:

Hi. I've seen your work and your absolutely amazing. And well I'm not really sure how to ask this but, where would you suggest getting started..? I've been drawing all my life and now I'm trying to get into animation and I've researched and even tried jumping headfirst into animating but I don't really have any direction. How did you first start out..?

Hi there! Thank you so much for the kind words. Sorry for the very late reply, I have been very busy with work lately - but I’ve always been dying to answer this ask for a while now.
Like you, I didn’t really have a direction when I first started animation. Growing up, the study of animation was never a popular field with my south east Asian friends  - so there was no real access to any professional animation desk and tool there. I’ve experimented with Flash a lot, making stick figure fight scenes, little skits and animatics, and just mere tests. I’ve always surfed around online communities with people who also shared a similar interest in animation. I think that helped a lot, and it gave me a more niche focus on the medium itself. So from my education and career so far, here’s what I can advice how non animators can get into animation.

1. Get a software or equipment to animate with.
When I started animation, I’d say it was with Flash. Flash for me was accessible, and it could do the things I needed it to do. It wasn’t until later on, I studied traditional animation and focused more on a classical training. However - if you just want to just start animating and experiment with the medium, I’d say get a software first. Experiment with timing, sequential drawing, poses, just get the hang of the medium itself. Flash (now called Animate CC) is a popular choice within the internet, but you can also animate in TVPaint, Photoshop and Toonboom. I have been trying out the open source software that Ghibli and Dwango released for free (its called OpenToonz, I’ll def make a video for that someday), and for it’s value; it can be a pretty good animation software! I’d say just try it out digitally with a drawing tablet, and see if its something you still want to pursue - then I’d recommend studying it traditionally! The reason I say this is because that one requires a lot more patience and discipline, so I’d recommend people to try it without investing too much on it before you are really interested.
You can practice animation basics like the bouncing ball, the squash and stretch, arcs - just to get that feeling of animation in general. 

2. Get the Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams
I don’t usually recommend books because the goals of one book can be different from the ones that are reading it. However, Williams’ Animator’s Survival Kit is basically that - a Survival Kit. It’s my go to book when I need help on timing tips, spacing, walk cycles - there’s a lot of basic yet useful information in that book for both beginners and adept animators. I still use it time to time. The great thing about that book is that it breaks down the mechanics of why good animation works - and shows how you can achieve the same thing. There’s a lot of great things you can refer to from that book when animating. 

3. Study scenes from animation you like!

You can like the sakuga style of animation, the disney old school, the experimental, the don bluthy, the looney tunes, study the ones that inspire you. Things like basics and mechanics can be taught - but studying animated scenes you like will help you think more about placing your drawings. You can study them by redrawing the keys, watching it frame by frame, and breaking it down analytically. 

4. Join online communities!
This helped me a lot when I was still trying to find an interest to study after high school. The animation community online is so big - theres a lot of access to community help! Yotta Studios has recently set up online animation forum - and everyone there so far has been pretty swell to deal with. A lot of talented folks there too! You can post your work in places like those - tell them your goals and what you are trying to achieve - and im sure you’ll get some great feedback. The 11second club is an online monthly challenge where artists can animate to a line of dialogue (usually 11 secs long) and submit it for that month. There’s a forum there too - but I haven’t used it in such a long time.

5. Get a hold of animators you admire
This one is tricky because the folks you may admire might just as well be very busy. However, if you get a hold of someone you respect and ask them for their guidance, they can steer you in a direction that can help you grow. From my experience, I was told from my mentors that my work was too “all over the place” - so they adviced me to keep things more subtle, controlled, and less frantic. One of my mentors told me to think more about giving life than thinking too hard about the overall performance - and wisdom like that from a veteran animator can help a lot. Although some may never respond - it never hurts to ask!

6. Start getting the hang of drawing fast and loose
I’m not sure what one’s drawing background may be - but animation (especially hand drawn) requires a more gestural mind set. You’ll be drawing a lot more in quanitity than illustrating a fine detailed piece - and you’ll also need to draw bolder/graphic statements. Things like tying down and fine tuning a drawing can come later - but for hand drawn animation - they usually look for the performance in the acting, the timing, and how pushed the poses are.

I hope this helps! I find it hard to give advice for non animators because I have to think a bit more vaguely, but those are the top ones I can think of at the moment. I might have made it sound intimidating because it is in a way, a lot of work - but it is a fun medium to work with,


Babes! what even is this!? how are there 450 of you following me? first off, THANK YOU. when i created octavia back in july of the last year i never imagined i would ever make it to almost a year of writing her. i was just having fun for the time being, writing a character i had fallen in love with. it never even crossed my mind that so many of you would enjoy my take on her. now, i can’t imagine not being on this blog. i’ve made so many memories & strong friendships that i’ll carry with me always. i just really wanted to thank you all for being so amazing and kind & it’s a pleasure seeing you all on the dash. each day your guy’s writing inspires me in so many ways. my octavia would be nothing without you guys!

Keep reading

Top 13 Books I've Read In 2013 (In No Particular Order)

Earlier this year I told myself that I would be more picky in choosing which books to read. I was only partly successful. Because this year, I’ve read close to forty percent of all the books I’ve read in my whole life. That’s a lot, I tell you. My goal was to read at least one book per week and I’ve successfully accomplished that and then some. This is what I’ve realized:

Read. It doesn’t matter what it is. Because you’re either a pro-reader or you’re not. And if you complain about things like a character being whiny or crass or dull, or some other things you consider “flaws,” know that someone’s got to write these stories. Someone’s got to write about the good-natured, clumsy girl. Someone’s got to write about the headstrong, independent woman. About the boy who is lonely and cruel. Or the swoony guy next door with a dysfunctional family. All of them could be whiny or stubborn or both. And it shouldn’t matter. Because fictional characters are representations of real people. Therefore, they should be flawed. And books, like people, are different. Don’t expect them to be wonderful right from the beginning. Take your time. It is our job as readers to give these stories a chance. It is the only way we can give back to the brilliant, brilliant writers who poured their hearts into making them. Besides, you never know which ones will disappoint you, move you, break you, make you think, or make you want to hurl the book at someone – you’ll never know these feelings unless you start reading and make it to the end. And we can only say we are fully human when we allow ourselves to experience all these feelings. Don’t be afraid.

This reminds me of the Doctor’s love for the human race and how he thinks we’re giants and, of course, this makes me emotional. But I digress. (I just had to put a Doctor Who reference.)

Either quality equals quantity when it comes to books or it’s completely irrelevant. Read what intrigues you. You can be picky and still read a lot. This is the only way we can discover which books we love and which ones we hate. We define ourselves by the words we keep close to our hearts and the words we’d rather forget. You never lose by reading. You build yourself and you win. You always win.

Read, read, and read.

Below is my Top 13 Books of 2013. For the record, these are only the top 13 books I’m willing to share. I also have another list of books I want to keep to myself. That’s not to say the ones I’ve included here aren’t personal. All of them are personal. But some things are best kept secret.

(All images were taken from Goodreads.)

Blankets by Craig Thompson

I think this is the only graphic novel I’ve read this year, but it turned out to be very significant. I read it at a time when I was questioning my own faith and religion, and I connected with the protagonist in a way that felt like his journey was also my journey.

Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav

I don’t have much to say about this poetry book except that it is simple, uncomplicated, and deeply relatable. If love can be captured into words, this is it.

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

This book reinforced my belief that characterization is more important than plot. And that is saying a lot. Because the plot of this book is unlike any other dystopian books out there and the character development blew me away. I also want a Liam.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

If you want to feel better about the world, this book is for you. I am constantly surprised by how powerful middle grade books can be. I came out of this book crying happy tears.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

This book is so atmospheric. When I was reading it I felt like I was there, running through the fields, feeling the wind, smelling the sea, sitting by the cliffs, and fighting my way through my first Scorpio Race. The story is unhurried and there is a certain quietness to it that hit me to my core.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Wow. A few chapters in and I couldn’t put it down. The best thing about Patrick Ness is that he transcends genres. I’m having a hard time putting into words my feelings for this book but there are some scenes here that I will think about for the rest of my life. I’ve been so fortunate to discover Patrick Ness and his works this year and I think he’s actually my spirit author.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

This is one of those books that I want to keep a secret but feel like not many people know about it, and I want more people to read it. I mean, clearly, historical fiction is not for everyone, but this book is so much more than that. I rarely encounter female friendship this powerful in books and I found it to be both unsentimental and emotional. I know it makes no sense but god, this book keeps haunting me. I could cry just thinking about it. Sometimes I think that there is nothing more beautiful than best friendship and I live for these stories.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The beauty of this book is in the way it just is. The story involves some kind of wizardry, yes, but it doesn’t feel the need to tell you its origin and how supernatural things keep happening. It simply is. And it’s so refreshing. Neil Gaiman’s talent is something you can’t deny.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

This is also one of those books that I want to keep to myself, but unlike Code Name Verity, this one became so popular that I had to come out of some closet just because it was bothering me so much. It felt like other people reading my diary. I really tried not to tell anyone about it, but you cannot bottle greatness and hide it away. This book is so personal to me and one of the books to which I will keep coming back. I will read anything this woman writes.

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

This is the only contemporary YA that really stuck with me this year. The way all the characters develop throughout the story is very satisfying and heart-warming I couldn’t help but give Morgan Matson a slow clap. Yes, I was clapping through my tears.  (For the record, I don’t consider Eleanor and Park contemporary. I think it’s historical fiction, sci-fi, sometimes fantasy, coming-of-age, romance, young adult, and non-fiction rolled into one and you can’t make me change my mind.) 

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

You either love this book or hate it. I love it. Rick Yancey’s writing is very distinct and unlike any other YA voices that I’ve read. I judge a book more by its beginning (than anything else really) and this book got me hooked right from the start. The story reminded me of The Walking Dead combined with The Hunger Games. But it’s also very special on its own.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Okay, this book is long. But when I got to the last page I realized I didn’t want it to end. There were a lot of feelings involved and I was positively surprised by how much I loved it, considering it was my first sports fiction. This book means so much to me and, like The Book Thief, I finished it with nothing but love for all the characters. Chad Harbach, you are skilled. I exhort you!

The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan

This has become my go-to book. I bring it everywhere. I personally think this is David Levithan’s finest work to date.

So there you have it! I’m very fortunate to have read so many personal and memorable books this year and I’m so excited for what 2014 has in store. A quote I love goes, “A good book is an event in my life.” So thank you, authors, you’ve made my 2013 rather eventful and one I will remember fondly.

tokyofoxglove  asked:

I know it's weird but I was hoping I could get some words of inspiration? I'm a senior in high school and I'm just having a really difficult time deciding what to do with my future. I was going to be a psychologist but...I honestly want to try being a writer first. I have such a crazy passion for it and I've been told in pretty good, but my mom always says that it's "not practical" and I just really need to hear some support from someone whose followed their dreams so I know it's worth it.

OH MAN. trust me, I have been in your exact place.

STORY TIME: I took art classes all through high school, won lots of awards for it and everything, but I wanted to do comic art but was constantly told by my instructors that it just wasn’t practical, and my parents worried about the cost of art school. So, figuring I’d be a little practical and save my parents grief, I looked into culinary school instead, since I also wanted to be a pastry chef. Unfortunately, the program I wanted to go into had a two year work experience requirement, which I didn’t have. So, I got a job apprenticing in a bakery while I took courses at a local community college, majoring in writing. Over those two years I kept working at the bakery, and by the end of that, I realized wow, holy crap, professional kitchens are REALLY high stress and hard work and I didn’t think I could do it for the rest of my life. Also, while I was in community college, I was mostly taking basic foundation courses, which are easily transferred credits to four year colleges, but I also took a handful of art classes, including an illustration class that was actually taught by Melita Curphy, AKA MissMonster, who was a HUGE inspiration and kicked my ass back into wanting to do art as a career. And THEN I took a trip to Tokyo with a friend who was, at the time, making a solid living drawing manga for TokyoPop, and seeing her success in the industry, plus being surrounded by the manga culture in Japan made me just go “you know what, screw it, I’m going to go for it.”
When I got back to the states, I promptly quit my bakery job, applied to SCAD, (one of the few schools in the country offering a degree in comic art) and a friend got me a chance to do a 40 page one shot comic. I threw everything on the line and worked my ass off. I was accepted into SCAD without having to interview, and moved across the country. While I was in school, I basically exiled myself from the internet, or at least from fandom things, and didn’t even go out very much. For four years. Because I had given up everything else and was paying a lot of money to be at this school, so I put everything I had into it. And by the time I was a junior I was getting job offers from major publishers. I spent my senior year working on pages for my first graphic novel (which was ultimately never published, sadly). My professors saw how hard I worked and made sure I had opportunities to thrive professionally. They still do, years after I’ve graduated. Going to school for comics was absolutely worth it.

Trying to do what you love as a career can be terrifying. Sometimes I have zero money and panic about how I’m going to pay my bills. Some days I just despise everything I draw but I have to do it anyway. I stay up late working and get up early because I still have to have a boring day job for a few hours each day so I’m usually just really tired. But most of the time I LOVE it. I get to draw comic books. I get to go to conventions and people already know my work. Professionals I looked up to in school want to hang out with me sometimes. I get to talk to parents and kids about what I do. On occasion I’ve met celebrities who were familiar with my work. ITS WEIRD. But again, I worked my BUTT off to get to this point. I’d been doing cons for nearly 15 years and only in the last 3 or so years I’ve been able to turn a profit doing them. I spent 3 years after graduating high school trying to ultimately decide what I was going to do with myself. I’m personally glad I took that time, but that doesn’t mean that’s what’s right for everyone. Be realistic, but dream big all the same. Do something you love and feel passion for, but be willing to work hard for it. I believe in you bro, you totally got this. Oh my gosh I’m so sorry this is so long. And sorry about any typos, I’m typing this up in bed on my iPad. I LOVE YOU, PRECIOUS OTTER POP.

animusrisunovatur  asked:

Hello! So, I'm rather at a crossroads in my life. I'm coming upon my last year of college, and I find that I'm not sure at all what I want to do. The only thing I'm sure about is that I want to travel the world, but that's kind of impossible without a steady job. I've been studying something I've been interested in since I was 14, and now I'm 22 and just unsure if I want to do it anymore. I'm at the point where I need to decide if I want to pursue this into grad school, but I'm not sure I want t

to. This might be the result of my anxiety over the gre and the stress of my life right now, but I’m just at this point where I’m wondering if I wasted the last four years of my life and whether I should head in a completely different direction. The uncertainty is really killing me, and I’m feeling as if I’m prepared to give up on life before I’ve really gotten going. (end task)


Hmmm… quite the conundrum. Or is it?

I think you need to take a break from sitting at a crossroads. You keep looking down each road, not knowing where it leads, expecting something to suddenly change and beckon you the right way, but in all likelihood that isn’t going to happen.

“I’ve been waiting for this my whole life! I’m gonna be a scarer!” -Mike Wazowski

For this one, Monsters University is coming to mind. (spoilers) From the time he’s a kid, Mike dreams of being a student at Monsters University. He wants it so bad! He gets into University, works hard, gets good grades. But by the end he’s a bit torn because he realizes that he loves scaring, but isn’t scary. Not a perfect metaphor for your situation, but you get what I mean.

I don’t think anyone should think of four years of college, and graduating, as a “waste.” It’s an incredibly lucky thing to have under your belt. I’m not sure what you majored in so it’s tough to give specific advice, but pretty much any undergraduate degree can allow you to pursue a large variety of careers and interests that may or may not have anything to do with what you studied. Among my colleagues who do the same job I do (I graduated in writing/english), there is a history major, a graphic design major, and some sort of ancient languages/etc major. 

There is no reason to start graduate school now, and I would honestly advise you against it if you’re this unsure. It’s not like flipping a coin on going to a concert — the debt and the direction of graduate school will have some impact on the rest of your life. It’s a lot more about “honing in” than undergrad was. I can’t think of any degree where you really and truly HAVE to start grad school right now instead of taking a year off.

Depending on your student debt, it is totally possible to travel (if you don’t have a lot… if you have a lot, it’s harder, though not impossible)… maybe not to 100 far flung countries as once, but there are a lot of opportunities out there. For anyone familiar with my own path, I graduated undergrad, wasn’t sure what to do, so I got a job in Germany. I was able to travel to a lot of countries. I made a lot of friends. I never ended up going to grad school, though maybe I will one day if I feel absolutely sure about it (still don’t). I know a lot of people who traveled a lot while having a “steady job.” And there are ways to travel without the steady, though yeah, it’s not always easy.

I was surprised while watching Monsters University that Mike and Sully didn’t get what they wanted. They didn’t graduate from the best school for monsters like they wanted to — they were kicked out. Expelled! It’s not what I expected from a Disney movie. But they took that as a cue to follow a different path, which ultimately led to the same place. It’s not usually that easy to move on up from a janitorial position, but it works as a comparison. Everything might seem doom and gloom now — if you don’t go to grad school, everything will be over! — but there are likely opportunities out there, that you just haven’t been exposed to yet.

“Good luck.” -Dean Hardscrabble