My current goal is to complete my first animation reel, which will be around 45 seconds.
To do this, I'm adapting some of my existing work and completing 4-5 new projects, each of which will be 25-30 seconds long.
It's a lot of work, but I'm excited. Over the last four years, I've made countless drawings, prints, storyboards, and short animation experiments, and these new projects are a way to bring everything together.
As I continue, I find it funny how some skills I developed in the past are becoming valuable assets now, even as I doubted them at the time.
For example, shortly after graduating college, I took an online course in comics-making with Frank Santoro, a Pittsburgh-based artist who has a lot of good advice about drawing. I drew thousands (and I mean thousands) of index cards to draft stories, though I only printed a couple of them.
For a long time, I left comics in the past and those index cards in my closet. But now, as I draw storyboards for my first videos, the same skills are finding new applications. I can write with pictures, and I can look at videos by animators and studios I admire and read their work, frame by frame. I can interpret the creative decisions that led to their success, break down the language, and apply it myself.
Below are a couple of illustrations from my first project, which is tentatively called, Extreme Chess. I will outline the storyboard and some other aspects of the process in a future post.