Hey, it's time for an update! I've got quite a few huge things to mention, so let's get right to it!
- I'm now a college graduate, complete with a BFA focused on animation! The job hunt is well under way, although I may end up getting a job in an unrelated field for now. We'll see how things pan out, but I'm excited to be done with college either way!
- I've finished my senior film, which is called Keev! Due to running out of time to finish the film, I ended up going with a different concept that was much easier to complete on time. You can watch it over here:
Since some of the crew who helped on this film are on DA, I'll link to their pages as well:
handled the excellent soundtrack,
and helped with animation!
If you like what you saw and heard here, feel free to check out their work!
- On a similar note, Keev! is also the first film I've made that actually won an award, winning Silver (2nd Place) at the 2015 Edinboro Fall Film Festival! Considering Keev! wasn't the senior film I originally wanted to make, it caught me off guard to see it win anything, but I'm super happy about it regardless and can't thank my team enough for their help!
- I also had the privilege of being able to attend the CTNX expo this year in Burbank, California! It was an amazing experience getting to not only meet quite a few friends and inspirations in person, but also get to show off my work at a booth in the expo and get loads of wonderful feedback from some amazing people and studios! In fact, the entire event was full of a lot of firsts: getting to go to California for the first time, getting to make my first art book before the convention started, getting to visit a Fry's for the first time, all that good stuff. It was, with no exaggeration, a life-changing experience that was a big reality-check for me.
So, with that out of the way, what's on the cards for 2016?
- My main goal for 2016 is to get back into a regular habit of making my own animation and artwork. More specifically, I want to get my YouTube channel running again, as well as post more work on DA, Tumblr and any other social media sites I could stand to post work on. Working on Keev revealed to myself that I've been growing rusty with making my own animations lately, ever since I started slowing down with making my own work. After going to CTNX, I also learned that there were quite a few people there who really loved my personal work and wanted to see me keep going with it, while the studio life ended up not gelling with me as much as I thought it would. It's got me wondering if going toward an "independent artist/animator" route would actually be a good fit for me right now. The only way I'll know if that's true, however, is if I take the time to get a second job, make more stuff and see how things pan out!
- This one might be the reason a lot of you follow my work, but I'll be upfront about it: I also want to step away from making MLP stuff for now. MLP's been the source of some of my most experimental and popular projects, but at the same time, I know I don't want to be making MLP stuff forever. It started out well, but has increasingly felt like a leftover and a burden from a previous point in my life, and with me graduating from college, I feel it's fitting to leave MLP behind as well. It might be nice to do some sort of send-off with those characters before dropping them for good, but for now, I'm going to try winding down those kind of projects and do some new stuff.
- However, this doesn't spell the end for other fan works, especially Sonic stuff. I'm still trying to decide how to kick things off, but I've been heavily leaning toward making a new Sonic Short to start with. Would you folks be interested in seeing something like that, or would you be interested in something different, perhaps even a different subject or franchise that's popular right now? I'm not interested in just doing what's popular for the long term, but I am interested in using those subjects to help me quickly get back into a good habit of working regularly. I also know Steven Universe and Undertale are fun to work with and popular right now, but I'm worried those things may be run into the ground by the time I get there.
- After making Keev, I also want to keep developing original projects. I'd love to go back to the original concept I had for my senior film and finish it, but I've also had some other stories sitting around that I'd love to bring to life as well. Most likely, I want to have two different projects going on in a week: a few days that I can devote to original projects, and a few days that I can give to fan-related projects.
- Lastly, I want to keep learning TVPaint and Toon Boom throughout the year. I love knowing Flash like the back of my hand, but I've been finding it to be holding me back on a lot of the animations I want to create. TVPaint has a more traditional approach that makes it really appealing to me, while the visual styles possible with TB are amazing as well. Getting a better idea of how those tools work would be a huge help for me in the future.
Alright, that's enough updates for now. In general, this year was a pretty great upturn for me, and even though things aren't as clear-cut for me in the new year, I'm rather hopeful for it as usual.
Take care, everyone!