Former Disney animators give tips for aspiring artists at UT

Former Disney animators, Tom and Tony Bancroft, visited UT on Feb. 18 to share some animating secrets with the public and aspiring artists.

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Former Disney animators, Tom and Tony Bancroft, gave a lecture on Thursday, Feb. 18 in the Art and Architecture Building.

With over 30 years of experience in the animation industry, the identical twin brothers lectured about their careers, specifically about their work with Disney and their individual projects as freelance animators.

Tom and Tony presented their work in Disney films such as “Mulan,” “The Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin” in a slideshow that included rough sketches of characters and a video that included scenes from the films.

“Remember, this was pre-internet. We literally mailed the drawings back and forth,” said Tom.

“We wanted to create characters that impacted the world somehow,” added Tony.

The lecture included the process of how animated films are created. Both Tom and Tony acknowledged that each movie takes up to four years to make, the first two consisting of only developing the script, which takes up to 400 people to create.

“Animation to me is like magic,” said John McAmis, a junior at UT. “You have complete creative control over a blank sheet of paper and you can do anything with it.”

For students seeking an art career, Tom and Tony gave six tips to help survive it:

1.       Persistence is more important than talent…sometimes.

2.       Be focused. It is important to have goals set out for yourself in the distance.

3.       Be confident in yourself and your work. If you want to be artist, then call yourself an artist. That goes for anything.

4.       Understand the business side of animation or the business you’re getting into. Know the pay rates for what you do. Learn how long something takes. It can help determine your pay rate.

5.       Never stop learning. Know that it is only the beginning when you leave school. Always be looking for what is next. It is going to take work in whatever you do.

6.       Market yourself. You live in an age where the internet is your best friend. You shouldn’t leave school without a website with your work on it. Join clubs and organizations that can help market you and get the word out. No excuses.

For more information on Tom and Tony Bancroft and other animators, visit this website.

Featured image by Kaitlin Flippo

Edited by Katy Hill

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