A cre­ative ca­reer with graph­ics and an­i­ma­tion

Inner City Gazette - - News -

You can also free­lance as a graphic de­signer and an­i­ma­tor depend­ing on which com­pany you work for and the type of con­tract that you have signed

What is an­i­ma­tion?

“Many be­lieve it’s just car­toons but ac­tu­ally, this is a medium in which dif­fer­ent ob­jects or im­ages are ma­nip­u­lated to ap­pear as mov­ing im­ages. These im­ages are tra­di­tion­ally drawn by hand or dig­i­tally with thanks to mod­ern tech­nol­ogy”. So says Ma­hen­dra Naidoo, an­i­ma­tion lec­turer at Bos­ton Me­dia House in Sand­ton. What is graphic de­sign?

Flip Hat­tingh aca­demic man­ager for graphic de­sign ex­plains: “Also known as visual com­mu­ni­ca­tion, graphic de­sign in­volves plan­ning and pro­ject­ing dif­fer­ent and cre­ative ideas us­ing visual and tex­tual con­tent.” Hat­tingh con­tin­ues that, “As a graphic de­signer or an an­i­ma­tor you should be a per­son that works well with oth­ers making sure that you think out of the box. Ideas that are out of the or­di­nary work best in graphic de­sign. You need to be fo­cused be­cause what is learnt in graphic de­sign can be con­fus­ing.” Ac­cord­ing to Hat­tingh, these two fields both man­i­fest as a way of ex­pres­sion - of telling a story as a way of get­ting a mes­sage across.

So what is the dif­fer­ence be­tween an­i­ma­tion and graphic de­sign?

Naidoo says that one might think that An­i­ma­tion and Graphic des­ignare based mainly and strongly on 2D as­pects -think ‘flat’ draw­ing - and a lot of ad­ver­tis­ing. “Ac­tu­ally an­i­ma­tion is based on 2D and 3D as­pects - these al­low the win­dow to open fur­ther and the op­por­tu­ni­ties for cre­ativ­ity to grow, be­com­ing vast and never end­ing” he says.

Naidoo ex­plains that there are many dif­fer­ent types of an­i­ma­tion stu­dios in South Africa. “The ma­jor­ity of them­work in very sim­i­lar as­pects of the field, how­ever some spe­cial­ize in cer­tainaspects of an­i­ma­tion. The top An­i­ma­tion Stu­dio in SA is Trig­ger­fish An­i­ma­tions stu­dios, based in Cape Town”.

Hat­tingh dis­cusses the work op­por­tu­ni­ties, which can be for full-time em­ploy­ment ei­ther in stu­dios or ad­ver­tis­ing agen­cies for grad­u­ates in this field. “You can also free­lance as a graphic de­signer and an­i­ma­tor depend­ing on which com­pany you work for and the type of con­tract that you have signed. And of course graphic and de­sign form a huge part of the gam­ing in­dus­try –open­ing up even more em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties” he says.

Tips from Hat­tingh and Naidoo on what it takes to make it as a good graphic de­signer and an­i­ma­tor:

- Be able to work un­der pres­sure.

- Meet dead­lines -so that you don’t de­lay pro­duc­tion around you.

- Have ex­cel­lent com­mu­ni­ca­tion, so that you can com­mu­ni­cate with clients.

- Be able to work as part of ateam.

- Have cre­ativ­ity and artis­tic tal­ent

- Be able to think out of the box! Ap­proach each chal­lenge with new think­ing


- Bos­ton Me­dia House of­fers a 3 three year diploma in both an­i­ma­tion and graphic de­sign.

“Ca­reer op­tions are global due to the fact that your in­sti­tu­tion is in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­cred­ited” says Naidoo. “An­i­ma­tion and graph­ics are glob­ally in de­mand skills - an­i­ma­tion stu­dios look for an­i­ma­tors all the time. En­ter­tain­ment and cor­po­rate com­pa­nies need graphic de­sign­ers as these are still grow­ing in­dus­tries even though they have been around for a long time”.

As a graphic de­signer or an an­i­ma­tor you’re open to a whole new world ev­ery day. You get to work hand in hand with other in­dus­tries and fields within the me­dia in­dus­try. There are var­i­ous paths open to you like pub­lic re­la­tions where you would work with de­sign­ing a com­pany’s cor­po­rate iden­tity il­lus­tra­tion. You could work in news rooms, mar­ket­ing, and in the film and tele­vi­sion in­dus­try as well as the mu­sic in­dus­try. You could also de­sign movie and al­bum cov­ers, help in the making of 3D movies that might need some an­i­ma­tion in it.

“Our lec­tur­ers are pre­par­ing us for the world out there and still are. Our two lec­tures Ma­hen­dra Naidoo, an­i­ma­tion lec­turer, & Amy Wil­liams have been such an in­spi­ra­tion and of­fer as­sis­tance to us as stu­dents when un­der­go­ing this course”, says Jarid, a cur­rent an­i­ma­tion stu­dent.

“Bos­ton Me­dia House does its best to pre­pare you for the in­dus­try as best as they can. It’s never enough. Es­pe­cially on the busi­ness side of an­i­ma­tion or go­ing on your own, but the knowl­edge we are given does pre­pare us for the in­dus­try” says Makungu, an an­i­ma­tion grad­u­ate from Bos­ton Me­dia House.

Jarid Naidoo (2nd Year An­i­ma­tion stu­dent at Bos­ton Me­dia House)

Flip Hat­tingh Aca­demic Man­ager for graphic de­sign

Ma­hen­dra Naidoo An­i­ma­tion lec­turer at Bos­ton Me­dia House in Sand­ton

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