Junior Danielle Brog is currently creating a hand-drawn animated short story in her IB Visual Arts class. This story is her second hand-drawn project, and although she has been working on it at school and at home since the beginning of the school year, Brog said this particular type of animation is labor-intensive work.
“Last year I made a little two minute movie because it takes forever to animate,” Brog said. “It takes 40 frames of animation for each second.”
Brog said hand-drawn animation, as opposed to digital animation, equates to drawing each second of animation on a piece of paper.
“Each second is broken up into 25 to 40 different frames, and hand-drawn onto a piece of translucent paper,” Brog said. “Then I lay it all over a background, and I take a picture of each frame. After that, I just put it all together on a program as opposed to digital art, which would be made using a digital program.”
Although Brog is currently working on original content, she derives inspiration from other existing animators and animated series.
“I really like animation that you can hold and see, like puppets and claymation such as The Dark Crystal or he Labyrinth,” Brog said. “There’s a guy named James Jean who’s a really huge inspiration for me, and his sketchwork is absolutely amazing,” Brog said.
While traditional artists inspire Brog’s work, she said that social media impacts her ideas as well.
“Soeymilk is another Instagram artist that I draw inspiration from who isn’t as hugely popular as more classical artists,” Brog said. “I like them a lot because they create a really cozy scene in their work.”
Most of Brog’s projects so far have been about childhood and nostalgia, and these concepts have flowed into her current story as well.
“The one I’m currently working on is about a brother and a sister going into the forest and having a life-altering experience,” Brog said. “It’s supposed to be very fantastical.”
Brog gains the knowledge and skill needed for animating by observing other animation artists at work. She also incorporates techniques that she learns from her art classes into her personal animation projects.“I get my ideas by seeing the animation first and then applying a story to it,” Brog said. “I always see the visuals first because that’s just how my brain works.”
Brog said that she is only focusing on her current project for now, but that she hopes to pursue a career in animation beyond high school.
“Each animation I work on needs my complete devoted attention,” Brog said. “However, I will definitely have a new idea after this project, because I want to pursue this.”
Brog said creating animation appealed to her specific art style.
“You’re creating moving people from scratch,” Brog said. “I think that’s cool.”