I’ve gushed about Vong Yonghow’s Halcyon Realms blog on here in a previous post, but earlier this year it provided me with a new idol of the animating world: just a year my senior, Bahi JD has been providing some serious fuel to my otherwise flagging production engine.
Hailing from Vienna (a city – not-exclusively-but-mostly because of its production of Gustav Klimt – which holds a very dear place in my fat heart), Bahi’s story is a beautiful tale of ‘if you got the talent and the gutsu, you’ll make it, kid’. This interview from Halcyon Realms echoes a sentiment expressed almost daily in college:
‘Just get started and go for it, talk with people on that are also interested in animation and draw. I was just practicing animation and having fun. Also analyzing movement in video material, both animation and live-action frame by frame. Sometimes I also just analyze movement in real life, everywhere I see movement I study it. I couldn’t find many people that shared the same interests as me in Austria, so that‘s why a lot of it happened on the net.’
Bahi JD is now working with Studio 4°C (one of my fav-our-ite animation studios) among others, from his home in Vienna. He outlines an average working day in the interview, as well as the ‘rookie’ mistakes he started off with:
‘Before working with Studio 4°C, my timing, speed and schedule was a huge disaster. When I first started, I was running past deadlines the whole time. Imagine you have never been in a studio before, everyone you work with are thousands of miles away and you have no idea how they work.
I had just finished school and I was working like a rookie, no sleep, no food, just working till you drop, no balance, but I loved this work haha, so I didn’t mind. But that’s not really how someone should work, I had to change my working style both for the team and myself. It was difficult at the beginning but I was progressing and finding the balance.
Now I wake up at 7am, get some breakfast and run some chores. I plan and talk to the team (over in Japan) on Skype and do other stuff to prepare for the real work. Then I work til 1pm, while listening to music the whole time. I break an hour for lunch, and resume animating/drawing all the way to about 9. But sometimes I also end up working until midnight, which is quite normal. *laughs*’
I am in awe of his success, as well as this tangible evidence of the internet working. Look at this story: a beautiful example of futuristic optimism come true. I have been formulating plans to build many, many GIFs, and put them up for all the people to see. Now doing it is the only issue. I wish I wish I wish I could work from home, but until I have time out to get a job, raise lots of money and buy a laptop (this means excluding all other fun plans, like travelling to Vienna, for example), I am just going to have to spend every spare minute in college (and there aren’t going to be too many of them now in the coming weeks) drawing. Every spare minute at home, drawing. Improve linework, action, liveliness in drawings. Get good ideas. Draw fun things. Enjoy it all and really push myself. I want to work in an anime studio, even if it ends up being from a bedroom in Leeds, or even Belfast.
This other interview gives some more insight into the current situation of the anime industry from Bahi’s experience. It is especially interesting to read how he progressed from making GIFs with online friends, to working on animated music videos, to eventually getting work with bigger animation companies. When he mentions that ‘Some friends gave up their animation career because they couldn’t work for a living as animators in Japan’ it paints quite an intimate and knowledgeable picture of his involvement with the animation world, and his absolute love of animation is always plainly obvious from the interviews and from his work – one of the most evident reasons for his continued success in the industry. You must be completely dedicated to your work:
(from the Halcyon Realms interview) ‘Inoue Takehiko-san once said something like “A professional is someone who is always progressing.” I always keep this message in my head, it‘s something you need to survive and stay on the road.’
I am following his WordPress blog simply to keep me forever on my toes and wanting to draw, to improve, to make.
As for the making of things, it becomes a whole lot more enjoyable when I have someone to make them for:
I’d like to have produced a decent spread of GIFs for GIFs’ sake by the end of the year. Let’s see how it goes.