Q: What advice do you have for aspiring young animators?
Draw a lot in school. If your History or Math teacher tries to stop you drawing in class please say “Mike told me I can” and then let me know the results. Do life drawing if you can. Realise that being pro-active can get you sooo far.
Q: Will you animate my project for free?
Why, ye…I mean nope, sorry. Though it’s fun, animation is a time-intensive process and I value my time.
Q: What hardware and software do you use?
Adobe Creative Suite CS6, Anime Studio Pro, Toon Boom Animate 2, Toon Boom Storyboard Pro, maxed out iMac 27″, Macbook Pro 13″, Wacom Cintiq 12″, Wacom Intuos 3 tablet. All my software is legal. I also use lots of little sketchbooks for figuring out sequences and ideas and use A6 cue cards for storyboarding.
Q: What did you study?
I started out with Fine Arts and did almost 2 years of that. I wasn’t quite enjoying the location so left that and did a 3-year business degree in 2 years and did really well in that. I was doing freelance illustrations during my studies and got into a 5 week sponsored animation course run by UNESCO. Thereafter I co-created a pilot for a kids show that got picked up and started out making two animation vets lots of coffee and doing their scanning before getting entire episodes to animate myself. Trial by fire and I learned a lot on the job. Thereafter I took myself on a 9 week animation masterclass crash-course, left the company and now I freelance.
Q: How much will you charge to make my music video?
Firstly I gotta like the song and it’s gotta dovetail with something I want to do. If not – sorry. If it’s lighting a fire, then I treat each project on an individual basis and quote accordingly.
Q: How can I learn animation?
A really great book I can’t recommend enough is ‘The Animator’s Survival Kit’ by Richard Williams.
Q: Are you red-green colour-blind?
Yes. BUT I HAVE A CUSTOM PHOTOSHOP PALETTE AND KNOW WHERE THE GREENS AND REDS ARE. So.