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Name: Kevin Fraser
Years of experience: 25
Occupation: Director of the Traditional Arts and Animation program at Toronto’s International Academy of Design and Technology, (
Q: How did you get started in animation?
A: I was self-motivated at a very young age to draw. I entered a classical animation program, and was hired upon graduation by a company called Sullivan Bluth Studios located in Ireland.
Q: What are the ideal qualities a person should have to succeed?
A: To succeed in this business an individual should have an interest in art from a young age and the ability to express themselves.
Q: What kind of background, either educational or other, best suits someone starting out in the industry?
A: Classical animation training is very important. The fundamentals matter most. That’s what employers are looking for in a new employee.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I liked the fact that I was able to travel to different parts of the world if I wanted. Every project was different therefore there was little repetition in the job. The job itself can lead to other opportunities within the arts community. I was never limited to do just animation. I created characters for children’s books, and CD covers — at the moment I’m involved in the pre-production of my own series. The animation business is like that. It opens up different creative areas to be explored.
Q: What are the most challenging aspects of the animation industry?
A: Meeting deadlines. Animation is very time consuming, and requires a lot of dedication. Revisions are a big part in the production process as we discover ways to make the product better.
Q: For newcomers to the industry, what tips would you offer them on getting started in their career?
A: Learn to draw. Keep a sketchbook. Make observations and put them in your work. You need to practice to get good at this craft. Also trace drawings — look up references from other designs, and try to copy them. It is through this process you learn to draw and create.
Q: What kind of local associations/organizations/volunteer activities would you recommend?
A: Attend animation festivals. Check out T.A.I.S or Toronto Animated Image Society and The Animation World Network’s website, www.awn.com, is great for people interested in animation. They post jobs, festivals, events from all over the world.