Hello. Welcome. How are you? I’m fine, thanks for asking. I’m Jake, by the way… nice to meet you.

I’ll get straight to business; I’m starting this blog as a way to track my progress as I attempt to teach myself 2D animation.

I’ll backtrack a little bit… as long as I can remember throughout my entire life I’ve enjoyed drawing; it’s always been ‘my thing’. For all the hobbies I’ve explored and new interests developed the only one I’ve always come back to is drawing. Having the freedom to create whatever I feel like creating without any rules or boundaries to adhere to is something that really speaks to me and that’s something we usually don’t otherwise experience in day-to-day life.

As I mentioned a moment ago, I’ve had a lot of hobbies over the years; I think I’ve experimented with just about every ‘traditional’ art technique/medium at some point in my life. I’ve tried painting, sculpting/modelling, wood-work, paper-craft – I’ve really tested the waters of almost everything that has interested me… except for animation.

Now, there’s been multiple points over the past 6 years or so where I’ve thought about animation. Those thoughts usually go as follows: “I wish I could animate…” – I would then proceed to go home and slowly work my way to the darkest corners of YouTube where I’d end up binge-watching some sort of channel that records ‘experiments’ whereby a molten copper ball is placed on random house-hold items. It’s fair to say that these fleeting moments of interest weren’t enough to get my teenage-self into gear and consider animation.

Which brings us to present day. After recently having these thoughts again I almost immediately decided to act on them and downloaded the trial for Adobe Animate CC. I’ll be the first to admit that when I take an interest in something I become obsessed and can become a little over-eager to get into it so when Animate CC finished installing I immediately jumped in. I thought I could figure it out pretty quick as I’m no stranger to Adobe products and had watched a few tutorial videos on animation the day before. So, like a kid in a candy store not knowing what I wanted to break my teeth on first I started going through everything and trying to draw in it. I decided to start with something easy so I found a short voice track online and started trying to animate speech… I know, I know… over-eager.

Having done more research, reading up on the 12 rules of animation and watching various videos I now understand there’s much more suitable exercises I should be attempting. I recently found a list of 51 animation exercises ranging from the basics to more complex sequences – I found this on animatorisland.com and while it may have been posted nearly 4 years ago at this point the basics never change and there’s a lot for me to go through (I’ll link the article below).

My short-term goal is to now work through these 51 animation exercises and track my progress with each on this blog. I plan to post each exercise up individually and talk about the principles I’ve learned, what I found difficult and where I think I could improve; I hope to be able to use these posts to come back to and compare, maybe I’ll even recreate some of the exercises once I’ve identified what’s gone wrong.

Anyway, if you’re still here thanks for reading and I’ll speak to you again soon with my first animation exercise! As a little treat, have my very first gif while you wait for the posts to commence.

Animator Island article: http://www.animatorisland.com/51-great-animation-exercises-to-master/#more-1723