“No matter what skill you have or at what level you are, you should always finish your projects”

What made you decide Art was your calling? How did you further move into Animation?

I grew up watching animated series like swat cats, bugs bunny etc. which were telecasted on Cartoon Network in the 90’s. I always loved to draw and watch animated films and series. Even while learning from textbooks, illustrations gave me more idea than reading. I used to participate in drawing competitions at school which helped me decide what I wanted to do after school. While playing video games, most of my interest went into the artworks rather than the gameplay.
After completing my school with average marks I realized studying from textbooks was not something which I liked and I realized that art and drawing is my thing. As I always liked watching animations my interests got me into the making of animations. Finally I decided animation is going to be my career.

Pic Courtesy : Vishnu Chandran

Pic Courtesy : Vishnu Chandran

Where did you undertake formal training for animation and how was your experience at National Institute of Design? 

I graduated in Animation from the National Institute of Design. My experience was amazing and it changed me in a lot of ways. Everything I thought I learned till then was broken down and I started from scratch. After the first year of my learning I realized that even the way I used to draw was wrong.
Every day I was learning something new. Sharing work across students from different disciplines, listening to their suggestions and understanding it helped me think different and make better. My teachers were great and experienced they opened up my mind to try new things and learn from it. My biggest learning at NID is observation which is something I was very weak in. Observation helps me to bring new ideas to the table.

Pic Courtesy : Vishnu Chandran

Pic Courtesy : Vishnu Chandran

What is the process that you follow while executing any project and the tools that you use?

1. Understanding the audience, client and problem.
2. Coming up with designs, ideas, stories and solutions.
3. Making storyboards, animatic, and a sample clip (deciding the tools)
4. Production

Pic Courtesy : Vishnu Chandran

Pic Courtesy : Vishnu Chandran

Tell us about your most memorable/challenging piece of work that you have created? Can you give us a brief description about it ? 

The most challenging work I did till now is a personal project called ‘the chicken story’. As it is my personal project I want it to look very appealing and the animation to be fluid and smooth. As it is a frame by frame animated 2D film, the effort going into the production will be higher than my motion graphics project. And I re-wrote the script and made storyboards for it because I was not getting satisfied with it. Finally I made the final storyboards and animated almost 2 minutes of it for my presentation. I thought I was going to finalize that visual style and characters but now I’m having second thoughts on it. In short I was never getting satisfied with it. The project is still incomplete and I’m working on it. The problem is that I believe I can do better and as I’m having the luxury of time for now, I’m feeling that I should take my time to finish the project in the quality I need. But this method of way of working won’t help me out in the industry because of the time constraint.

Pic Courtesy : Vishnu Chandran

Pic Courtesy : Vishnu Chandran

Which aspect of animation do you enjoy the most? What are the challenges you face in your daily work?

My favorite aspect of animation is animating itself. The challenge I face every day in my work is applying the principles of animation in the right way, I still watch the classic Disney and Warner Brothers animations to learn the application of the same.

Who or what keeps you motivated to generate new ideas?
Watching videos, observing activities around, sharing work, trying out new things, bringing the experiences and elements which happen around me every day to work.

Pic Courtesy : Vishnu Chandran

Pic Courtesy : Vishnu Chandran

What is the entry point for a career as an Animation artist? What are some of the technical skills should one be strong at to excel in this field?

Technical skills depends on the softwares you work on but I think along with technical skills one should have the passion towards animation and animation is a lot of hard work. And I believe acting is also a part of it, if you don’t know how your character/object should behave then it becomes tough for one to animate them well. What you will need is the ability to visualize things and the patience to complete projects in the desired quality. If you understand the effort and love to animate you can be an animator.

What message would you like to give to the aspiring animators?

The one thing that I would really want to share with aspiring animators is no matter what skill you have or at what level you are, you should always finish your projects. The sense of completion is very exhilarating and it is only then when you learn your real mistakes. Skill will get better with practice. After finishing a project, you should look at it and see where you could have done something better and apply that learning in your next projects.

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