I discovered that I wanted to be an animator and designer when I was 16 years old. I have always been a little obsessed with animation, whether it was Saturday morning cartoons or animated movies. My mother had encouraged me to get into the arts and expand my knowledge and have an outlet for expression. I found my love for creating art through those classes. At that same time The Incredibles was playing in theaters. I remember watching the movie screen in awe of the story, the image, the characters, and most of all the way they moved. I started researching how computer animation worked and became even more interested. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to pursue animation or continue down the path I was setting to study math. The moment of discovery came that year at Christmas. I was watching my favorite movie of all time - Beauty and the Beast. In the Behind the Scenes features I watched a segment about the computer animation of the iconic ballroom scene. It felt like a sign. The next day I started making a plan to make my new dream come true.
I studied at the fine arts school of Bowling Green State University in Ohio and graduated in 2009 with my Bachelor of Fine Arts. I majored in Digital Arts with animation as my main focus. While I was there I studied other aspects of the animation process including, modeling and texturing, lighting, acting, video and photo editing, and photography. I was an intern in the photo department for a semester while I studied there.
Shortly after graduated I got my first job working as a CGI Specialist in Cleveland. It was a commercial studio that made photo-real renders of engineering files for marketing purposes. I learned so much more about modeling, texturing, rendering, and lighting. Rarely did an animation assignment get ordered from a client and I started to get the itch to animate more. I decided to take a leap and enroll in Animation Mentor to increase my skills.
I enrolled in the Animation Mentor program and couldn’t be more excited with my progress and education. With every passing week I watch as my dream gets closer to becoming a reality. I can say with confidence that I am an animator. I graduated from the amazing program in June 2013, but since then I've been keeping in contact with the community by being a Peer Buddy and being active on the community on Facebook. Also, to express my love of animation and excitement of being part of the community I started the Tumblr Page, The Animator Life.
I currently run my own business, Creative Digital Studios. Through a series of amazing events I managed to fall into the niche market of book design. In the 5 years that I've been doing it the studio has expanded and become an industry leader. Our biggest competitive edge? We offer animated book covers and as technology grows we hope to be able to offer animated illustrations for eBooks as well.
In the rare moments that I am not working on a new art project, I can be found curled up with a good book and a cup of tea or testing out a new recipe. My constant art partners are my fluffy pup, Mabel, and my little kitty, Dipper. Named after the twins in Gravity Falls. Being an aunt is also pretty great and I like to spoil and chase the plague babies as often as I can. I keep telling myself that I will learn how to play the ukulele that's collecting dust on my bookshelf with my impressive collection of tabletop games, and maybe this will be my year.
On top of learning how to play AT LEAST one song on that Ukulele, I have been learning InDesign to expand my skills and am researching 2D animation software so that I can learn a whole new kind of animation to love. I also plan to bring out my camera and do more with photography to get back into those medium. I loved it so much. The podcast is also back on the schedule. As soon as my partner in crime / cohost and I can set a date we'll be back recording and geeking out about animation together. It's going to be a great year, I can tell!