Sunday, September 9, 2012

Advice for Animators from TWO of the Best

Hungarian born animator Tissa David (Wall Street Journal article) will be remembered as one of the first female animators who overcame all odds to achieve her own success. She had excellent advice, what was called "golden nuggets", that she would pass along to other animators who braved her honest assessments or tough love advice including:

~ "Animation is all caricature"
~ "Don't show what isn't absolutely necessary to the story"
~ "Always think of how your character feels"
~ "The greatest animation is the simplest" 
~ "Animation is such a long, hard have to keep doing, doing, doing to learn." 
~ "You can only have one love if you want to be an animator: animation. You can't devote yourself to it part-time."

Ms. David's credits include European and American projects, animated characters in children's films like "Raggedy Ann and Andy: A Musical Adventure", animated letters in "Sesame Street", scores of  television commercials in the 50's, 60's and 70's geared to the adult population, and way too many to mention here.

Per Nicholas Blechman's suggestion I contacted his respected father R.O. Blechman (Founder of the New York-based animation studio The Ink Tank) who hired and worked closely with Ms. David to share his thoughts since her passing. 

R.O. quickly responded via email to a few questions: 
1.  What was it about Ms. David that made you hire her initially as a solo animator? "Tissa was more-- far more-- than an animator.  She was an animated filmmaker who had a special gift for creating or adapting existing storyboards."

  2. What special personality traits/talents/skills did she possess to keep her career going? "She was extremely visual, intellectual, emotional-- and a charming person besides."

  3. What advice would you give to illustrators today? "Do what Frank Sinatra did. Do it "your own way."

I ended my conversation with R.O. complimenting him on his amazing talent and career and he humbly said, "A lot of "my" talent was Tissa's."

Mr. Canemaker in  his Wall Street Journal article said,  "To those privileged to have known her and her extraordinary art, Tissa David was "Animation in person."

Ms. David and Mr. Blechman - both absolutely amazing talents with a lot of advice to share!

Read more abut Tissa David's career

Read more about R.O. Blechman's career

R.O. Blechman - illustrator and animator

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