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Interview with Animator and Artist Norman Engel

Flash AnimationsAbout Flash Animations Guide: Tell us a little about who you are. Who do you work for? What job do you do?

Norman: I consider myself an artist. Animation is just one of the outlets that I have for my expression. At the present time, I am the lead animation instructor for the Art Institute of Houston. Previous to this, I worked in the entertainment industry doing animation for television programs, and commercials.

About Animation Guide: How long have you been working in the animation industry?

Norman: In one way or another, I have been doing this for the past 20 years. Yes, I was animating before the industry started using computers……Makes me sound old huh?

About Animation Guide: Name a few of the projects you’ve worked on in the past.

Norman: This is always a hard question for me to answer, mainly because I have worked on so many different productions, and it is weird for me to toot my horn when it comes to past jobs. A few that come to mind are, Mary Lou Rettons Flip Flop Shop, (PBS) Music videos and promotions for countless artists, including Willie Nelson, Clay Walker, Bee Gees, Styx, Queensryche, Korn, Brittney Spears, ect…the list is too long to continue. Basically if you watched MTV, VH1, or CMT you have seen my work.

About Animation Guide: Do you have any future projects planned?

Norman: I plan to do a couple of fine art animations; you know the weird intellectually challenging type of things.

About Animation Guide: What prompted you to move into a career in animation? How did you go about pursuing it?

Norman: During my high school years, I saw Star Wars in the theater. It was so cool, I knew that I wanted to do something like that. My first animation was done on 8mm film in a high school art class.

About Animation Guide: What kind of education did it take to get you where you are today? What’s your alma mater?

Norman: At this time I prefer 3D Studio Max, although, I like Maya an awful lot as well.

About Animation Guide: Apples or oranges, tea or coffee: do you prefer traditional animation, or computer animation?

Norman: I prefer oranges over apples and coffee over tea. As for traditional or computer animation, there is no difference to me. It is all the same, only the tools are different. It’s kind of like asking which type of drawing that you prefer, ones done with a 2b pencil, or ones done with charcoal. It depends on how well done the drawing is, not the medium chosen by the artist.

About Animation Design Training Guide: Are you currently working on, or have you worked on in the past, any independent animation projects? Tell us more.

Norman: Of course, although none were big film projects. Usually straight to video or for television. Literally every animation is an independent project at the beginning.

About Animation Guide: Can you offer any advice to those interested in producing their own independent animations?

Norman: Persevere, finish the project, and expect to spend some money trying to get it published or distributed. Most small productions companies fail after a year. It must be a labor of love. If you in it for the money or fame, forget it.

About Animation Guide: What about those just considers starting in Flash Animations? Any educational or career advice, memorable lessons, etc?

Norman: You need to be an artist not a computer geek. Get a Bachelors Degree that is heavy in the fine arts. Study art and draw all the time. Don’t just look at computer art. You need to be as diverse as possible.

About Animation Guide: Do you ever appear at conferences? What animation events and conferences would you recommend?

Norman: I have never been very interested in conferences or conventions.

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May 28, 2009 - Posted by | flash animations | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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