A day in the life of an animator

The life of an animator is one that requires a substantial amount of creativity and thinking outside of the box. From television commercials to cartoons, all come from the creative minds of animators across the globe.  Let’s take a journey into the world of how flat sketches turn into animated 3D illustrations.

Before diving into the world of animation, it was interesting to learn the credentials about the animator. Valen Bradley attended the Savannah College of Art and Design where she recently earned her BFA in Animation.

“It feels spectacular to be a professional doing something that I love; it takes dedication and love to finally master the craft of animation. There is never a dull moment in my field of work,” Bradley said.

The animator drew scenes on a program and then put each scene into motion. It sounds fairly simple, but animating a scene could take as long as two weeks. The ideas for the scene have to be pulled from a particular vision that comes from the artist.

Bradley is currently working on a children’s animation project about a sleepy princess and a shepherd.

“It is a collaboration with another animator [and is] about a princess that can’t sleep; her father desperately wants her to sleep, so he hires a sheep herder [in] an effort to make her sleep; it is a very exciting project and it is directed towards a young audience. It involves lots of color,” Bradley said.

Bradley’s day starts at eight a.m. and sometimes doesn’t end until midnight. Long hours are put into every detail of each character.  Bradley made a particular character walk and that one sequence took two days to complete.

“A [negative of] animation would be when 26 hours of work is put towards a project, but the story is incoherent and the characters just don’t integrate well with each other,” Bradley said.

There are other challenges that come with being an animator. “There are a lot of great animators out there, but you have to stand out. It is not only based on skill, but how well an individual works in a team,” Bradley said.

Challenges aside, Bradley admitted she wouldn’t trade in the profession for anything in the world.

“The satisfaction of bringing your character to life using different programs and being able to astound people with the beauty of art in motion is what truly pays off at the end of the day,” Bradley said.

“When genuine hard work is asserted into a project, the results are beautiful characters that were at one time merely drawings, but now put into motion and given personality,” Bradley said.