“Having your own style is great, but in the animation industry you will be most valued if you are versatile and creative and willing to learn. And keep in mind the best styles emerge from learning from so many places. It might take long time but the journey itself is worth the long road.” Vadim Kapridov, Brown Bag Films Toronto (formerly 9 Story), Director
In this artist profile, we chat with Director, Vadim Karidov and get his take on what it takes to make it in the animation industry and how sketching from real life can lead you to new and unexpected creative directions.
1. First up, what is your life motto?
Never stop learning, try to learn something new every day.
2. What do you do at Toronto?
Currently I direct Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood and help with new series development.
3. What do you love most about your job?
Working with creative people. Nothing is more exhilarating than a successful brainstorming especially in very tight time-frames and it is always magical to see the stories come to life in animation. It is a truly wonderful world.
4. What is your origins story? Aka, how did you get to where you are today in your career?
I started in illustration and design and even worked at a newspaper and magazine, both daily-deadline-driven environments, and eventually I moved to cartooning and then my drive for storytelling led me to animation quite naturally.
5. Who is one of your biggest influence or inspiration?
There are so many from the past and today it’s impossible to name all - starting from Rembrandt and Hokusai, to Miyazaki and Tartakovsky. And don’t get me started on Guillermo Del Toro and George R.R. Martin!
6. What have you found is the most challenging thing about working in the animation industry?
Coping with technology down times.
7. What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a career in animation?
Never stop learning and be part of the team. It is a collaborative industry and the ability to grasp the style is invaluable. Having your own style is great, but in the animation industry you will be most valued if you are versatile and creative and willing to learn. And keep in mind the best styles emerge from learning from so many places. It might take long time but the journey itself is worth the long road.
8. Outside of work what is your story?
I work daily in my sketchbooks to just warm up for the day but also to improvise and explore new ideas and styles. Even quick sketching from life can lead to playful illustrations and create kind of little stories or unexpected dynamics. Always fun and useful. And there’s biking, hiking and jazz guitar.
You can see more of Vadim’s beautiful and dynamic sketches here on his blog!