By Minal Abhange
What’s the secret to being a successful animation designer?
The most obvious answer is an eye for design, but it takes more than that. Add in a mix of adaptability and most importantly, motivation to leaping new boundaries, and you have a recipe for an animation designer that is anything but standard.
During a recent week-long visit to Stephenville, where he graduated from College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) Digital Animation program, Eduardo Castro says animation designers nowadays do much more than make cartoons, even though this is still a great career option.
With advances in technology, animation designers are now used in many different industries, such as television, movies, marketing and advertising, video games, and website development. Growing up in his home country of Mexico, Eduardo says he was always more inclined towards creating art.
“I had other interests like all kids, but my strength was drawing and computers.”
Unlike some international students, Eduardo never felt away from home.
“As a child, I visited my family in the U.S. a lot, which in a way, influenced my decision to study in Canada. I did a lot of research before deciding to move to Newfoundland for education. I was persuaded to pick the CNA over other schools because of the incredibly talented and experienced instructors.”
Eduardo graduated from CNA in 2009 and took more short-term certificate courses in Post Production and Modelling to explore other creative opportunities in Mexico.
“After completing the Digital Animation program I wanted to do something different, which brought me back home to Mexico. Although it was an unexpected journey it has in many ways, helped explore opportunities as an animation designer.”
Talking about his college journey, Eduardo recalled, “The program focuses on teaching industry-standard animation software tools and collaborative production techniques, with creative problem-solving and visual storytelling methods. I strongly feel this was one of the many stepping stones of my career, which helped boost my confidence and hone my skills.”
Since graduation, he says his life has become more focused on his future goals and returning back to Newfoundland.
“Coming to Newfoundland was one of the best decisions of my career. I met some great people, who are now more family than friends. For my future goals, I am looking forward to returning back to Newfoundland to make more memories and start my own business,” he added.
Eduardo’s favourite part of studying at CNA was the hands-on training and friendly people.
“I spent a lot of time at school, mostly working on assignments. My instructors and (fellow) students were very easy to talk to and were always open to sharing ideas and adopting new approaches while working on projects, which made it a fun learning experience.”
Eduardo’s passion to do something different and creative can be seen in his current job as a digital animator at VA Studio.
“Currently I work for a design studio, primarily on architectural visualization and interior decoration projects. My focus is primarily to use digital animation expertise and deliver realistic luxury interior decoration, furniture concepts to clients,” he says.
His message to international students aspiring to study in Newfoundland?
“Animation has evolved with technology and found a niche in every industry. Animation designers are in great demand in fields of engineering, medical care, hospitality and many other diverse industries. Do not be afraid to be different. Take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way.”
To find out more about the Digital Animation program at CNA visit www.cna.nl.ca.