This week I wanted to talk about the limited posting that happened last month as well as sharing a little bit more about myself. As you know my name is Monique Henry-Hudson. I am 25 years old and a native New Yorker! After attending an exhibit about animation and how stop motion is created back in 8th grade, I made up my mind then that I wanted to be an animator. I've been specifically chasing this dream up until fall of 2014.
I graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2011 with a BFA in Computer Art, Animation & VFX. Since graduating, I've had quite the struggle getting a paid position in the industry ( but who hasn't, especially in the film world?) After years of applying to almost everywhere and many, many career advisory meetings, resume and reel revisions, volunteer work and odd jobs, I landed a Programming Internship with the New York International Children's Film Festival. It was there that I got exposure to being apart of the animation world without actually being an animator or contributing artist. I was doing very well, I enjoyed the environment and the work I was doing. This watered the seed that maybe production management or producing can be something I can succeed in. I thought, I'm trained in 3D, I know the language, the technical stuff, the pipeline, I'm excellent with communicating and speaking engagements.... this could work!
When November came around and it was time for me to head west for CTN, I made sure that I attended their Production Management panels to gain a better understanding of what that entails. During this time my friend MontaQue Ruffin had linked me to Everett Downing. Everett was recruiting people to help turn his comic (Book of Mojo) into a 10 minute animated pilot episode. Fast forward to today I am the Co-Coordinator as well as the Social Media Coordinator for the project. It is quite the experience helping to manage a bi-coastal team. Every day I feel fulfilled with my contributions as we get closer to the end goal.
Last month, I felt that had I FINALLY received my break! A studio I was applying to for years offered me a Production Assistant position (better known as a "Runner" in this industry). I was super excited and ready to tough it out. I know PA's do a lot of grunt work, but this was the beginning of the rest of my professional life, I was elated! However, during my short time with the studio I became "homesick", if you will, for CG/3D. I wanted to sit with the artists and talk about what commercials they were working on, what they were compositing, modeling and animating. Leaving the studio was a difficult decision to come to but it took me too far and too fast away from being an artist, from blogging here, and from the Book of Mojo.
Which brings me to this moment. I am very accustomed to having short term goals and executing them. I've always tried to have a plan of action in moving forward, I'm a calculated risk taker. The thing is right now, I feel it has all gone out the window lol. I'm in a complete organic space where everything is new, and I'm figuring things out as I go. That does not eliminate my real life concerns of landing a full time salaried position in the industry, beginning to pay off my student debt or feeling more like an "adult" than a grown teenager but I feel really ok knowing that I have outlets and support. I'm going to see the Book of Mojo to its completion. It is an amazing project with so many talented people I would not have imagined being associated with at this time.
I want to be an artist, I want to work with and along side people who are using animation as a medium and not solely a means of revenue. I want to tell stories of people like myself and people unlike myself, whose voices are often muffled, muted and used as background noise. I want to help those stories get made. So yes "I wanted to be an animator..." but I now know I'm capable of that AND much more!