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Animator during the pandemic

Stop motion animator… working from home?

This coronavirus pandemic is hitting hard in the animation industry as well. For some it’s not so bad; in this digital age so many 2D and 3D studios are considering hiring remotely more than ever, rare in Mexico where that just didn’t happen (companies in general don’t seem to trust their workers to do so).

However ‘home-office’ is a difficult concept for a stop motion animator. Computers are involved but mostly we work with our hands, in a proper studio with the necessary photo and lighting equipment. Like many workers I was sent home when lockdown started and many stop motion studios and productions are struggling right now with trying to stay afloat.

Being stuck at home did have its advantages. Personally I enjoyed my house and my roommates like never before. I borrowed a camera from work and made a few small animations for social media. Limitation seeds creativity and I’m very proud of the experiments I came up with using objects at hand and natural light. I’m usually afraid of putting my own ideas on the table and seeing them through, even simple ones. This was my favorite:

Right at the height of the outbreak, the government decided that most businesses could reopen. We’ve been back to work at the studio for some time. Maybe it’s not the responsible thing to do but in such a fragile economy, we don’t have much of a choice. People don’t even seem afraid anymore and new clients have rolled in. We take our precautions and fortunately everyone is still healthy and with a job.

Still, so many things are limited and changing. These times bring new perspectives, don’t they? For me it’s partly finding acceptance after my plans for the following year have been shot out the window. I had one foot out the door ready to relocate to the next production, which is postponed indefinitely. It’s frustrating but I’m reminding myself to see the bigger picture: this is difficult for everyone, we need to be flexible, adapt and take advantage of these circumstances whenever possible, like focusing on reconnecting to ourselves, to others and to our life purposes.

I’m also optimistic in thinking that with care and patience, we can keep growing and learning through this pandemic, it won’t last forever. Now don’t get me wrong, I am VERY afraid of contracting Covid-19, but once you’re being as healthy and as safe as possible, it’s only sensical to keep moving. Art has never stopped in times of crisis and the world is seeing that we need it more than ever. As connection to others, as entertainment or distraction, and for some of us as a way of life.

I’m fighting through and I hope to see you all on the other side. Shout out to my great bosses and co-workers at Hobby Creative Studio.

2 thoughts on “Animator during the pandemic

  1. I feet completely identify with your, for one side as an stop motion animator during de outbrake i feel free to create and enjoy all my time at home, and for the first time I could dedicate all my time to create my puppets, but by the other way, I have no incomes, I lost my job and I don´t have how to support my family. I have to figure out how to do it. Thanks for sharing your experiences and your work.

    1. Hi Leon. I’m really sorry you lost your job. 🙁 I really hope you find something soon and hey, maybe the time to create your own content will result in more work in animation later on. And I’ve seen a few studios around the world recruiting. If you’d consider relocating, you should apply. I wish you the best.

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