My Animated Life: From Crayon to Cintiq

Animated gif by Emma Pennington.

Animated gif by Emma Pennington.

By Emma Pennington

Greetings, my name is Emma Pennington and I am an Animation senior. I love telling stories and, for me, animation is the perfect medium to communicate those stories.

Since I was small, I've adored cartoons. I also really love drawing-—ever since I could hold a crayon. A pivotal moment in my childhood was realizing that there was a team behind my favorite animations, and I knew that I wanted to be on one of those teams someday. I'm one of the few who knew what I wanted to do before going to college.

One summer in high school, my uncle gave me The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams. It took me awhile to get through because I took vigorous notes and traced the many diagrams. It was my first exposure to the basics of animation. It broke down various walk cycles and other simple gestures. Reading it made me feel more confident in my choice to pursue animation.

Recent sketches by Emma Pennington.

Recent sketches by Emma Pennington.

As far away as it seems, I know graduation is just around the corner. The past three years have gone by pretty quickly, and I imagine this year will be no exception.

Before we're handed our diplomas, I have a few events I'm looking forward to:

First, I will be venturing out to California for the first time in November. I'm from Ohio, so it's pretty exciting to head to the West Coast. The Creative Talent Network Expo is a great opportunity to meet industry professionals and get portfolio feedback. I will be attending with a group of other animation students and faculty.

Sketching at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

Sketching at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

I'm also working with cintiqs here at ccad, an industry standard, to produce a couple of animated shorts. My thesis animation will be developed on my own this year under the mentorship of Andy Friz and Nikki Lemon in Pipeline for Animation. I also made it into the Animation Lab Team course. (Students had to submit portfolios to get in, and I'm thrilled to be selected). In this class, we will be producing an animated short over the course of the semester. We have a great team, and I'm really excited to watch this project grow. This is the same course that created Lumin, an animated short still receiving awards, so we have some big shoes to fill.

As you can probably tell, I'm very passionate about what I do. I am thrilled to be sharing my exciting experiences as I embark on my last year here!

Emma Pennington is a CCAD senior animation major who enjoys watching Netflix, quoting the Simpsons, and sharing sketches on her personal blog.