Portland, Oregon, United States
Animation Dynamics, Inc
I love being in a creative field. I really enjoy coming up with fresh ideas that surprise my co-workers and clients. When I'm able to inject something new and unexpected, it really makes me happy to be doing this kind of work.
I began working for Animation Dynamics in 2003. We are a boutique animation studio with seven employees in Portland, Oregon.
As a creative director, I get to make up stuff, draw and tell people what to do (in a totally nice way, of course.) I really enjoy collaborating with colleagues and clients and coming up with off-the-wall ideas that are fun to create and watch.
If you want to become an animator, I suggest a few things, including some kind of structured, well-rounded training. When choosing an employer, keep in mind that quality of life and reasonable work hours are more valuable than big bucks.
I feel pretty lucky. I’m working in a job that allows me to be creative everyday and the company I work for is highly focused on employee happiness and helping us improve as individuals as well as professionals.
Before becoming a professional creative, I worked in the IT industry at the tech department of a computer wholesaler and as a quality assurance person at a software company. I liked my jobs, but longed to be more creative, so I returned to school to learn computer animation. It’s fun work and I work with other interesting and creative people. I get to work with the latest technologies and get a glimpse into the technologies of tomorrow.
My primary responsibilities and strengths are related to working with business clients to develop visual stories that explain their message. This includes brainstorming, storyboarding, direction and collaboration with my creative team, as well as managing day-to-day production and maintaining quality in our products.
I’m proud to have led the development of a technique for presenting technology and use-cases (how people use their computers and mobile devices) that’s cost-effective and free of cultural and regional overtones. This makes the animation easy to adapt to be effective in any region of the world. It’s become an integral part of a technique that my company has become widely noted for, called Ethnographic Animation.
There are many great things about this job, but it also can be very difficult to be creative every day. Some of my personal creative projects have fallen to the wayside because I’m drained at the end of my professional day. But then my creativity comes back the next day or so. You simply can’t always be “on”. It’s good to have some downtime to recharge.