Taught by College second-years Zariya Johnson and Sydney Fagerstrom.
How did you become passionate about cartoons?
Zariya Johnson: I’ve been watching cartoons since I was little, and I never stopped! I think what really made it a passion was the fact that there were fandoms for these shows out there, and I started dipping into that world without knowing it. Cartoons let my imagination run wild. It also helps to have friends who are artists that I get to learn technical aspects of cartoons from. Really, I just like the stories cartoons tell and the worlds and characters I get to explore.
Sydney Fagerstrom: I guess it started when I was young and like a lot of kids watched cartoons on TV, and as I got older I would re-watch the ones I really liked. I developed a real passion for them when I realized that cartoons have a charm that live-action can’t replicate, and from there I branched out and realized how much I loved the fantasy, style, and stories that were cartoons.
What does a class look like? How did you have to reimagine this class for COVID-19, especially given that your class is in-person?
ZJ: Our class is a lecture/discussion class. We’ll lecture on a topic and ask some questions throughout, though COVID-19 has made it a bit more difficult for discussions to take place. Our classes are held in-person with the desks six feet apart, so it’s hard to arrange the desks in a way that invites discussion.
How have meetings gone so far? What have been your challenges and successes?
ZJ: Meetings have gone well so far. We’ve done both in-person and Zoom, and we think in-person was easier to work with since visual aids are right there on the projector screen, and you can physically interact with others. It’s challenging to try and teach about cartoons when you can’t use examples carelessly; not everyone has seen the same cartoons, so context is always needed. Also, it’s hard to get to know everyone as much as we would without COVID-19.
Teach us something!
It takes a lot of steps and people to animate, design, and produce a show whether they’re on their first or one-hundredth episode.
Some of the people involved in creating a show are
- showrunners (head supervisor to the show when it’s on its test run with the studio)
- storyboard artists
- background designers
- character designers
- prop and EFX artists (design the objects interacted within the show)
- background painters
- color stylists (in charge of lighting and palette)
- voice actors
A lot of our information was drawn from the crews of shows such as Infinity Train and Craig of the Creek — found on Tumblr — and the Tumblr of a former storyboard artist. This is a really cool video we showed about the process of animating some tentacles from Infinity Train.