Get to know Tom

Our first instalment of ‘Get to know Box Animation Studio’ animation blog will highlight pathways into animation and the surrounding careers at the studio.

Meet Tom, who’s been an animator since 2016 but with us just over a year. He’s a prodigy in traditional styles, with his work having a natural charm to it.

Make sure you take in his tips for securing your first animator role and, of course, head to his recommended Brighton food spots.

How did you get into animation?

Growing up, I had always dabbled in comic strips and bits of stop motion animation but never assumed I would make it anything more than a hobby, if that. I had every intention of studying Fine Art when I went to university, so I took a foundation course as a stepping stone. In my first lecture, they attempted to convince the room that Michael Craig-Martin’s glass of water was, in fact, An Oak Tree. At that moment, I knew fine art would never be my calling, so I popped next door instead of where they were doing film, photography and animation, and the rest is history.

What is the key to a good animation portfolio?

A strong body of work showcasing various skills, or perhaps a few more honed areas of expertise as a focus. Good animation principles and an eye for design never go amiss either.

How long did it take you to secure your first animation role at an Animation studio?

We applied for short film funding while still in our last year of university, which allowed me and two others to work on a Random Acts animation for about 6 months. The producer for this film also became our first employer once we had wrapped up our studies. We spent a year working on an animated trailer for a feature film she intended to produce and pitched at Mifa Annecy in 2017.

What do you think it takes to become a successful animator?

Patience, persistence, flexibility in when and how you work, always looking to learn new skills, ability to communicate well with your clients and manage expectations, good coffee.

Where do you head for creative inspiration?

Outside, anywhere. Also, colourful art galleries and illustration/design websites. Seeing the work of others helps you figure out the kind of stuff you would like to produce and better yourself at.

What's your favourite part of working at Box?

There’s a lot of idea sharing and exchange between projects, so if I’m working on something and am looking to give it an extra push, I have wonderful co-animators I can rely on to weigh in. I get quite a variety of projects put in front of me, so it helps to get a few more eyes on it to bring out the best outcome possible. Also, there’s a lot of office dogs, though they’re not so great with After Effects.

What's your snack of choice when working?

Ritz crackers and Oreos (not mixed together).

Fave places to eat in Brighton

Really Happy Chicken @reallyhappychickn , What The Pitta @whatthepitta and Kokoro @kokorouk_official

Favourite Pieces of animation

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