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  • Writer's pictureDavid Mouery

The Animation Journey

It's been three years since I began the journey of learning animation. Through elementary school and all the way to high school I had a pretty hard time finding out what it was I wanted to do. Video games were a big hobby of mine and I was always inspired to maybe one day act whenever I would go see my sister perform in her school plays and musicals. It was my stage fright that ultimately stopped me from ever performing on stage, but the love for the acting and stories told was still there, I just didn't know how to express it. Looking back at my interests and what inspired me, I think it was pretty obvious that animation, and more specifically character animation was the right thing for me. However in high school, no one ever talked about animation as a viable career option and, at least the school I went to, certainly didn't offer any classes that taught any sort of animation.

It wasn't until I was a freshman in college, studying communication studies, that I discovered my passion to become an animator. The university I attended had a wonderful animation building that was teeming all sorts of cool things like animation computer labs, figure drawing workshops, and classes that focused on creating animation and the history of animation. Once I entered this building, I knew I was on the wrong path.

My now girlfriend thought it would be a good idea if I snuck into some of the classes, as she knew I was interested in the animation curriculum there. I decided to stealthily shimmy into two of her classes, a history of animation class taught by Charles Solomon and a Maya class. I was baffled. I was so used to classes teaching about subjects I could care less about, but these classes were teaching students how to move characters and emphasizing the importance of different animation films and styles throughout history. I wanted to do this, but I needed to completely change the path that I was steadily chugging along through.

That next semester the COVID-19 virus hit, and we were all sent packing and flying back to our homes for online classes. Communication classes became even more boring than before, and after talking to my girlfriend and family, I decided to take a leap of faith and drop-out. Mind you, this school was my dream school all throughout high school, so It was tough to drop something that I had so recently before wanted so much.

I used the time back home to begin studying and practice animation the best I could. I read the "Animator's Survival Kit" by Richard Williams, Preston Blair's "Cartoon Animation" and many more, along side following a free online Youtube animation class that suggested doing assignments such as the bouncing ball, a walk cycle, and many many other things.

My very first animation, a bouncing ball - 04/06/2020

Meanwhile, I was deciding where to turn to receive a proper animation education. I heard the online animation schools were the way to go so I started to research which school would be the best fit for me. I decided on the school, and on a trip to Animal Kingdom with my girlfriend and her family, I received news that I was accepted into the program and would begin my proper animation education that next season. I was ecstatic and excited for what was to come.

And that's where I'll end it for now. Next post I'll go into detail about where I ended up going to school and my experience with the program. If you read till the very end, I appreciate you doing so! Thank you for reading my very first blog post, I look forward to sharing my animation journey, insights, and studies in future posts- and remember: Always be Animating!

- David



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