Meet Our Studio Intern: Shalayah Smith!

There is an ancient Latvian saying that you measure a friendship by how much salt you have used by eating together. Salt added to a meal just by a pinch meant it took a long time to build a friendship. Nowadays we use salt by spoonfuls so friendships are faster to seal. Since my interns, assistants, studio producers and managers and me eat lunches together we probably are pretty close to somewhat knowing each other. That’s why I enjoy interviewing my interns - to sum up the relationships from their point of view..

But when Shalayah’s last day of internship came I was away on my trip to Stuttgart, so Yasemin had to step in. She interviewed Shalayah, edited the footage and did a very good job at it.

Shalayah came to our studio by a suggestion of a friend who had a friend who worked at the Red Hook Initiative, an organization that connects local young people to opportunities that may help them to fulfill the most ambitious of their dreams. Shalayah gave an impressive interview and later proved herself as a hard working, persistent intern. Being intelligent and articulate made her a fun lunch mate.

Now that she is off doing other things in other places we wish we shared more salt with her.

THANK YOU, Shalayah!

Meet Our Studio Intern: Nayana Sturzeneker!

After a few past bad experiences I decided to have a policy of not accepting high school students for internships at my studio. So when Nayana emailed me a request to consider her for an internship I had to throw some cold water on that aspiration and asked her to write a short essay why should I accept her since she was still a high school student. Well, it turned out that in order to do this internship Nayana graduated from her high school early and that she is quite an accomplished web comic artist with a solid following. Her work was a proof that she is serious about her craft and is able to deliver.

So, I made an exception to my policy and accepted Nayana for an 8 week internship. Now that the internship is over, I am willing to reconsider this whole “I will not accept high school students” policy. Nayana was exceptionally focussed and dedicated to all the tasks given to her. She applied her creative spirit to everything she did. But the one thing that made her an amazing intern was her attitude - she was always in a bright mood, ready to jump at another challenge, willing to take another task, nothing was too boring or too challenging for her.
Lets meet Nayana in the video shot by Sturgis and edited by Yasemin!

Please do check out Nayana’s original suspense webcomic “Out Of Focus” HERE.

And HERE is a video link for a fan storyboard Nayana made in 3 days, in tribute for the game Super Smash Brothers Ultimate.

Nayana just got accepted in several great colleges. Make sure you follow her before she get famous!

THANK YOU for your work, Nayana!

Meet Our Studio Interns: Katy Chow

Katy contacted me through the contact form on this website and asked if she could intern at my studio. I thought since Katy was an illustration student and wanted to learn animation, this was a win-win situation for all of us - she would learn and we get some work done. I love win-win situations! Katy was indeed a very diligent intern, a very quick study, with lots of amazing abilities and talents. We will miss her here.

What school you are from?

I graduated from The City College of New York in June 2018, and majoring in Studio Art.

How did you get this internship?

I found this internship from a group page of my animation professor. I looked up Signe’s website and found her works are very inspiring. She has a great style and a unique way to express meaningful stories. Her films really caught my eye that I’d love to be one of her interns and learn more about the pipeline of animation production.

What were your tasks during this internship?

During my internship, my tasks were coloring Signe’s drawings on Photoshop, compositing them in After Effects, creating exposure sheets, and scanning the drawings. Every task was important as it is the process to create one of the shots in the animated feature film “My Love Affair with Marriage”.

What is one good thing about this internship?

There’s much more to learn than what I expected. Interning at Signe’s studio was fun and enjoyable. I love every task I worked on, such as coloring Signe’s drawings and composing them in After Effects. Some of them were challenging but Signe was very patient teaching me everything that I didn’t know. There’s a lot of improvement on my software skills and animation knowledge after the internship.

What is your least favorite thing about this internship ?

I don’t think there is any. One thing I would say is the location. Besides the fact that I live kind of far away from the studio, it’s actually not too bad, but requires a little bit of walking from the subway.

What defines you as an artist?

Focus, passionate and strong work ethic. As an artist, I always try to make my work better and better. Keep learning and practicing are the key components to become a successful artist.

You can check out Katy’s work here:

https://katyaikar.wixsite.com/ykc-katy

THANK YOU, Katy!

Sturgis, Katy and Signe


Meet Our Studio Interns: John Vargas

Another great intern this summer was from City College of New York - John Vargas. I really liked his attitude - no task was too hard or too boring for him. Scanning drawings in 450 dpi can make one feel like bleeding from injuries of boredom, but John always saw scanning as an opportunity to learn more about animation. That's the right approach to work!

I asked John a few questions about this internship. You can watch the 3 minute interview here:

THANK YOU, John!

Please check out John's work on Behance:

https://www.behance.net/vargas394ldb85

And follow John on Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/vargas394leo/?hl=en

Meet Our Studio Interns: Max Tunney

Max worked at my studio from May 10th until last Friday. I was impressed with his persistence – when a task was a bit out of his field of expertise, he did whatever it took to see the task through to its successful completion. Showing up and doing the work is Max's strength. 

I asked him a couple of questions about the internship and here are his answers:

What were your tasks during the internship?

During my internship, Signe was working on her animated feature film, “My Love Affair with Marriage”. My responsibilities included coloring Signe’s drawings in Photoshop, compositing them in After Effects, creating exposure sheets and scanning drawings. I was also involved with paper mache-ing and painting 3-D sets and props that will be used in “My Love Affair with Marriage”. I also had the occasional opportunity to create graphics in Photoshop for the film.

How did you get this internship?

Last semester, my Animation Studio professor screened a few segments of Signe’s films in class - I enjoyed her style, humor and the subject matters she tackled on film. Soon after, when I was looking for a summer internship, I saw on Pratt’s website that Signe was hiring interns. I applied right away, and was called the following week for an interview. I was thrilled when Signe offered me the position!

(Signe's note on this: I interviewed about 12 students over the course of 3 months for three summer internship slots and Max was the only one (only one!!!) who sent a thank you note after the interview. When presented with a choice to pick from 12 equally qualified candidates (and considering my personal agenda to help young women animators) that lone thank you note made a strong impact on my choice).

What school are you from?

I am currently a rising junior at Pratt Institute, majoring in 2-D Animation.

Can you say one good thing about this internship?

There are many good things to be said about this internship – I enjoyed working in such a creative environment and was happy to have the opportunity to enhance my technical skills. I really learned a lot from Signe. She has a very interesting way of thinking and a unique process for making films. She inspires those around her to be creative. Additionally, Signe provided valuable insight on what it is like to be a working artist.  She often spoke about the business and politics of the industry and what it takes to be an artist /animator today. Working with Signe, you get a complete picture of what is involved in creating an animated film, and putting it out for the world to see.

One bad thing about this internship?

The only bad thing is that the internship came to an end.

Check out Max's work here:

https://mtunney1.wixsite.com/maxtunneyportfolio

Max Tunney.JPG

THANK YOU, Max!

 

 

Meet our Studio Interns: Britt

Britt Sodersjerna worked in my studio  from late May until early July and she was a spectacular intern. I was impressed with her work ethics, focus and intelligence. With little explanation from my part she was able to correctly piece together the puzzle of what I intended to do with animation drawings in After Effects! But despite the reputation of her generation (they are not camera shy, I was told) she wasn't comfortable to give an interview on video. She preferred it in a written form. So, here it is.

What were your tasks during the internship?

For the most part, my job was coloring in Signe's drawings in Photoshop, and compositing them in After Effects. I occasionally had other roles too, including scanning the drawings, working on exposure sheets, and paper maché-ing and painting parts of the sets.

How did you get this internship?

During my spring semester in College, I was applying to just about every animation studio I could find in New York City. I looked through several different job and internship websites, as well as different studios own websites, but Signe was the first to respond to me! And I am so thankful that she did.

What school are you from?

I currently study 2D Animation in the Digital Arts Department at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. 

Can you tell us one good thing about this internship?

I think the best thing about this internship is how much I learned. With Signe's guidance, I am significantly more efficient in the programs I thought I had known how to use well. Signe is a wealth of information about animation and the industry as well, and she taught me so much while I worked for her.

And how about one bad thing about this internship?

Frankly, I wouldn't say any part of this internship was 'bad'. Many aspects of the work I did were challenging, but I really enjoy problem solving, especially when problems appear in After Effects. The only thing that wasn't ideal was the lack of air conditioning on the upper 90ºF days!

You can find Britt's work on www.instagram.com/britt.sodersjerna and https://vimeo.com/britts 

Britt Sodersjerna

THANK YOU, Britt!

PS I wanted to explain that not having an air conditioner is a budgetary choice between cooling down  2000 sf space with 14 feet ceilings or making an animated feature film. I feel I don't really have a choice.

We do have 6 fans drying our sweat.

Meet Our Studio Interns!

The one thing I enjoy about having interns at my studio is having lunches together. After hectic mornings of building sets, animating, writing exposure sheets or coloring in separate corners of the studio, we all come together at one table to eat, talk and laugh. These moments of getting to know my interns feel precious to me. The side effect of bonding with interns is that I feel sad when they have to move on. 

Frankelly has interned at the studio since January and today is his last day. In the video below we ask him 3 questions and his answers may give you insight on how to get an internship and what internships are all about.

Please check out Frankelly's work here:

https://vimeo.com/user48729263

Thank you!

Signe

 

Meet Our Studio Interns!

Internships are tricky, just like any other kind of human relationships. You have to find the right match to make it work. 

Our studio operations are small - we have only 2 up-to-date computers. And I am very busy working on 27565 large and small details that make the film, which makes me regard the idea of having another person in the studio as a distraction. That's why we are selective about who we let in the studio. 

The two interns who started to work at the studio in January 2018 - Joon and Frankelly - came to the studio by chance and by the strength of their interview. Their hard work, confidence and competence, as well as their sense of humor made them an excellent match to our studio. 

This is Joon and Frankelly's last week at the studio. They both are graduating from their schools and the internship and I would like to introduce them to you.

Here's a video with Joon. I ask him a few simple questions. If you are curious how he got the internship and what value he sees in it, here're his answers:

Please check out Joon's work on his website:

http://www.jooniepark.com

Thank you!

Signe

PS On Thursday I'll post the video with Frankelly