Today, a teacher from Lakota Schools, Christy Knopp, sent us some of her student’s questions about graphic design & animation. We love to help the children in our community whenever we can, so we were very happy to answer their questions! Ms. Knopp teaches the gifted 5th grade, and we were very surprised at how specific some of the questions were. The questions were answered by one of our graphic designers.
1. What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is when I get to be creative. I usually doodle logos before I go to the computer to work out a final version. The last logo I designed, I sketched out 3 different versions, scanned them, then went to PhotoShop to create a final design by using the sketch as a basis. I also like it when I can use my sense of humor in our client’s social media posts.
2. Do you know how to make another person’s art into animation?
Yes I do, although I have not used that skill set in many years. The applications and programs that are available now make traditional animation almost obsolete, so it has become very easy, Yo can do it in PowerPoint. I also know how to do traditional animation (like Snow White). I went to a technical school for it in the 80s! 🙂
3. What subject would you recommend to get a head start on graphic arts/animation?
I think that if you want to have a career in graphics and animation, you should first know how to draw. As I said before, the programs that are out now make it almost obsolete, but you never know when you may need the most basic skills, like drawing. Remember, although some people are talented in art, drawing is a SKILL, like any other. The more you practice it, the better you get at it. I would also suggest taking courses in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Flash and anything else that comes along that emphasizes graphic design and/or animation.
4. Do you use math?
As much as I don’t like Math, yes, I do. Measurements are very important in graphic design and computer graphics. You have to make sure everything will fit where it needs to.
5. What do you use to put sound in your animations?
Again, that is a skill set I have not used in a few years, but I do have experience with it. Generally, we use sounds that are available online or we purchase them (as well as music) through a few different websites. I used to do sale proposals that were fully animated with sound effects and music.
6. How is the best way to learn how to shade artwork?
Wow! What a great question! The best way to learn how to shade artwork is by looking at shadows. When you see someone or an object, look at the shadows that are cast by the light source. Shadows can be tricky, especially when they are cast on a curved or rounded surface. Try drawing just the shadows that are cast by different objects… don’t draw the object, just the shadows cast by it. Do that enough, and you should be able to visualize shadows, even if you are drawing from your head… 🙂
7. Does having bad handwriting hurt you in your job?
I am generally the only one that reads my handwriting and it is only the notes I take on different projects and phone calls. When it is something that others in the office need to refer to, I usually put the info on a shared on-line notepad.
8. Do you need to be able to hand draw things to create art work?
No, you do not need to be able to hand draw, but I think that is a good foundation for graphic design. Some of the most famous works of art in the world were created by people that may have not have any skill at drawing… paintings by Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and many others or anything that Pixar Studios produces, for example. The Hulk in the latest Avengers movie is a complete computer animation, and you can be fooled into thinking he’s real. All you need is a creative mind & to be able to visualize something that you can actualize, whether it is with a pencil and paper or a computer and mouse.
9. What software is best for creation? Animation?
I personally like using the Adobe Creative Suite (PhotoShop, Illustrator, etc.), but I think it’s because that’s what I know best. I have had friends tell me that CorelDraw is also a good program for graphic design. Maya 3D is a great program for animation.