As an artist in high school, if you care about your work and take it seriously you can easily find yourself at the top of the pack. When you go to college, suddenly you find yourself at the bottom and everyone’s paintings look better than yours.
When I went into animation, I felt like I was taking a huge risk. I was not the best at drawing but I had a love to tell stories. There was this pressure of comparing yourself to Disney, but when I first saw books in the library about Caroline Leaf’s experimental animation, and that she had done work for the Film Board of Canada, it was like doors opened with new possibilities. Her experimental styles were personal and expressive, and her work gave me a sense of belonging as an animator and made the art form feel more like a community. She really inspired me to be myself in animation - more than anything, she helped me get through those hard years of animation with hope.
"I tell stories with my animation, and I have always worked directly under the camera, drawing, shooting it, changing the drawing, etc. To me it seems to be more alive than conventional cel animation, both to make it and to see it, for it is all made in one stage and the finished film shows my hesitations and miscalculations and flickers with fingerprints and quick strokes." - Caroline Leaf