So I’ve been quite lucky recently in terms of people interested in my work and interested in what I can offer in an area I’ve always been interested in although not being in film or games. I’ve recently put in a lot of effort to do as much as possible and see as many new things and meet new people ever-expanding my knowledge, skill and general interest in an area that never ceases to increase or amaze me.
I’ve been applying for a lot of jobs and volunteer work as an animation tutor which is somewhat a little bit mad, as technically I’ve only been ‘animating’ for about two years now as I would see it. Before my degree course I’d actually not really touched animation although it has always been a great passion as well as having written it down for my ‘what I want to be’ in Primary School, weird. I’ve grown to really want to do a little bit of teaching of animation to either children or who ever may be interested and previously tried to set up events to do this, looking at locations, other people interested and the technical and production side of such a project. Previously I’ve been stopped dead in my tracks due to other commitments and the fact it takes so much time and effort to plan and direct such an event. The reason for my want to do these sort of small classes is due to the passion for animation I just wish to share and let off. It’s always great to see people interested in animation but is upsetting to hear that they haven’t been able to try it, or don’t think they can. It was a fun idea to simply have a good time creating some interesting and humorous animations with people who just want to create animation and try teach something a long the way. By teaching animation and talking over both process and ideas, it doesn’t just help others but also clears things in my mind, reminding me and educating myself again a long the way. I find working with others and explaining my work method to others educational and helpful to my own development and a way to see if I really do know what I am doing. Another way to see it is a good piece of advice about this industry, “sharing is caring”.
I was offered and almost started teaching animation courses for young children as an after school club organised thing through various schools within the Leeds and Yorkshire area. Sacha stumbled across the job prospect and nicely sent it in my direction. The company organising the club is named ‘ComputerXplorers’ and is led by a great team with a few tutors.
The job was advertised as a part-time tutor at one of the schools and would teach a simple piece of animation software to the kids as well as teaching them some of the practice and theory behind animation. The animation style is focusing on stop motion as this is the most easiest and appropriate form of animation for younger children as well as children on different skill levels in terms of both computer and drawing. With 3D of course you need to learn the software before the art form, which I personally believe strongly against teaching a software before its practice. I had two very nice interviews and then a test class which went really well, with everything setting into motion I was going to be ready to start being involved further with the classes as well as leading my own. Sadly due to changes within the course timetable, I could no longer do any of the classes that where on as well as car restrictions as car insurance is way too high so I now share. Hopefully on a later date, if I don’t have any further plans or any big developments, I could return to this and hopefully take on a few classes.
Another opportunity to teach animation came about when Annabeth, my tutor, had so kindly notified me about MAP and how they where looking for an animation tutor volunteer. MAP stands for Music and Arts Productions and the place itself is used as an art showcase and events building, but also runs classes for children and young adults who either cannot go to school or have been otherwise removed from school. The idea of the place is to allow a creative outlet and freedom for the children and get them involved with art and other events. The proposal is for classes to be run and set up by me and one or two other helpers in which we do some animation based tasks and along the way try to get them to understand some of the process. The tasks themselves will not be so big or long as we are still unsure as to how much interest there will be with the projects, but trying to give a general idea of animation, what it is and where it can go. The projects would be simple ones and again mainly focusing on stop motion but if there is more interest there are always other options and opportunities to explore further if me and the place have time.
At the moment we have simply post-pond the date of the classes and projects due to the final major project but hopefully these will be run soon after but again, run within the same time as school dates.
I was also asked by my sister who is one of the leaders for our local Brownies group, if I was interested in doing one or two classes on animation. These classes would be set by myself and run by myself but I had decided to ask if Sacha would also like to be involved due to her good relationship with kids and because she also wants to do a bit of teaching to expand her skills and knowledge. This again is needing to be organised and dated but first off there is a different class to run.
I’ve now got something in my Filofax and all set to be done very soon. The College runs a Saturday Art School which, like the other two events, are classes held on the weekends for children aged 5 to 18 to various art projects such as 3D work, painting, portfolio workshops and now animation. Recently the courses have been growing in interest and in numbers so the new classes have come up in order to fill the demand. It’s great to hear, but even better for myself because the classes are mainly run by Student Ambassadors of the College who are chosen and interviewed by Laura who is in charge of the S.A.S. Of course thanks to Annabeth, again, Sacha and my many hours spent on Reception, Laura had come up to ask me about whether or not I wanted to run the animation classes with Sacha because I had previously mentioned my interest in teaching animation to both her and Annabeth. With a general layout for the project and class laid out by Annabeth, myself and Sacha will be set on organising and running the classes with the kids who have signed up to do them as it starts next week within the Easter holidays. The classes run for three days and will mainly, once again, be focused around stop motion animation but trying to incite some process and practice within the fun of making something move!
I just might possibly be more excited than the children although I’m pretty nervous about the whole thing… I’ll be organising the days with Sacha soon and be having meetings and chats to make sure everything is prepared for the classes.