Filmmaker Xinhui Ma On How To Get Started as an Animator Image

Can you offer advice to other filmmakers about how to cope with burnout?

One thing I like to do is recharge, go outside take in the world, and be inspired by the new things you discovered just from a walk around the block. Another big thing I find super important is to have a project of your own and create just for yourself. I’ve been working on a comic book that is a coming of age story, it’s basically my childhood but with kids in school all turning into stationaries, so the protagonist Revolteen runaway from home ready to skip town, only to find the tiny town runs in a circle. I just put on some y2k music, and draw nostalgic stuff, and that that had been super fun and decompressing.

“…have a banging reel and portfolio, be dependable and easy to work with. It’s always hard in the beginning and requires some luck to land the first gig…”

What’s your favorite part during the animation production process?

The most fun you can have is definitely at the beginning when you’re just writing the story and figuring out how things are going to look in the style frame and storyboard phase. But the most rewarding part is probably when the linework is all cleaned up and you just drop bucketing the colors and have the satisfaction of seeing it all come together.

Color is a huge part of your work, can you describe the thought process that goes into your design choices?

It’s definitely more intuitive if anything, I’m just naturally more attracted to bright colors and my brain just looking to create strong contrast within an image. So my tendency is to reside to a more bold and minimal look.

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