When people ask what I do, I always start out by explaining that I have the best job in the world. It’s a glib line, and it’s meant to be, but it’s also absolutely true. Naturally, listeners usually want me to be a bit more specific. Am I a movie actor? An investment banker? A professional waterslide tester? (These, it would appear, are the best jobs in the world, by common consensus.) I, of course, inform them that I’m none of the above. I’m an animator. I sit in front of a computer all day and move pixels around on a screen. This, needless to say, is not what people generally expect to hear. But after their eyebrows have returned from the backs of their heads, I explain why I love my job so much.
First and foremost, I get to be creative. As far back as I can remember, I’ve felt an irresistible urge to create. I’ve tried writing, painting, sculpting, photography, graphic design, and directing music videos, with varying degrees of success. Nothing satisfies the creative itch, though, like animating. Maybe it’s the amount of freedom that animation gives me as an artist. With animation, anything can happen. Pigs can fly, dogs can talk, entire worlds can appear in a puff of smoke. The possibilities are limitless.
Just as important, though, I get to collaborate with other creative people. I’m not just referring here to the scriptwriters who work at Richter – although, of course, their input is invaluable – but also our clients, as well. I’m always amazed at how many wonderful ideas clients bring to the table. Half the fun of my job is taking those ideas and bringing them to life on the screen, turning words and concepts into vibrant, moving pictures. Making videos is a team effort, and I get a thrill just from being part of that team.
Finally, my job is never boring. Each project is unique, which, of course, means that it comes with unique challenges but also unique possibilities. Every project I work on is an opportunity to try out something new: a new character, a new effect, a new way of telling stories with images. That, in short, is what I do: I dream up new, original ways to write in images. And it’s why I love my job so much. Not that I doubt that actors, investment bankers, and professional waterslide testers have fun, too. But for me, I can’t imagine doing anything else.
~Graham Daseler, Editor/Animator