Hi Psych2Go Army, meet your animator Surey Camacho. Surey is currently a primary animator for Psych2Go. You may have seen her work from “5 Do’s and Don’ts of Dealing with Other People’s Mental Illness,” “The Three Types of Pracrastinators” or “10 Signs A Psychopath is Targeting You.” A few weeks ago before leaving for my trip, Surey and I had a catch up meeting. We discussed her journey as an animator, how she starts, and what inspires her. I thought her responses were so inspiring, that I share it with you lots.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Your upbringing and education.
I grew up an only child with wonderful, loving parents in sunny Puerto Rico. My parents love to tease me saying that I was born with a crayon in my hand and telling me about my first drawing: a big doodle on the bathroom mirror. They supplied me with crayons, colored pencils, paints, paper, notebooks, chalk – anything I would like to experiment with for my drawings, usually as rewards for good grades or as gifts. When doodling in my notebooks got me in trouble in school, I got a drawing notebook to fill with whatever came to mind each year. They encouraged me to develop my talent and I wouldn’t be here working as an animator with a Bachelor’s in Media Arts and Animation if it weren’t for them.
How did you first get involved with Psych2Go?
In my third year of college, I started looking for a job I could take alongside classes to get hands-on experience in my field. A friend of mine found Psych2Go’s Tumblr ad that mentioned they were looking for animators. A couple of emails later, I started working on my first video! It was fun to learn how to make whiteboard animations and incorporate traditional animation to them.
What drew you to Psych2Go?
After researching a little more on what I would be working with, I found the educational aspect of Psych2Go to be a wonderful cause to contribute to. The mind is a very powerful part of every person and we need to know how to take care of it and help it grow. Providing tips on how to do that, as well as how to identify mental illnesses and how to possibly help people that struggle with them, is a great way to help spread awareness.
What motivates you as an animator?
Bringing someone’s imagination to life is an amazing feeling. Animation lets you create worlds, characters, and stories that can walk, talk, and act in any way you like. The possibilities are endless! I enjoy character animation the most, as I enjoy the process of creating they key poses, filling in the in-betweens, and watching the magic happen when I hit play. Its hard work – I often work late into the night, but playing back the end product and seeing the characters come to life is worth the effort. If that creation inspires or makes someone happy, it’s even better!
What advice do you have for other animators who wish to have a head start in their career?
Organize yourself, be determined, and do what you love. Animation is time consuming and deadlines can sneak up on you when you least expect them to. If you love what you do, time will fly by even faster. Each project will be a learning experience. Put yourself out there, posting your work and developing a good demo reel and portfolio to show to employers. All that time, effort, and passion will make a difference! Don’t be afraid of being rejected – you can always try again. Little by little, you will make your own path!
How would you describe your animation process? What tools and software do you use?
I start my animations by breaking down the scripts I am given and writing down or sketching out a rough idea of what I want to do, including the time each shot would take. Usually, I do this by hand or type it up in a chart. Once I have a better picture of what I’m doing, I move to Adobe Animate and get right to work. I prefer animating straight ahead, but I do use the pose to pose method for more complex animations. In other words, I normally just draw what comes to mind and work out the kinks as I go unless I am doing something that needs more planning. For the whiteboard effect, I usually take the image into After Effects and use the brush tool to paint a mask on it that, when animated, looks like writing. When everything is done and dusted, usually after days of hard work, everything goes into After Effects for editing and sound.
What is your favorite part of animation?
I love the animating part. It’s like a puzzle, especially when it comes to timing and complex movements. I enjoy the challenge of figuring out when to move different parts and how to push the movement to get the most character and emotion out of it. It can get a bit tedious at times, but I’ve learned to push through it, usually after working on a different part or taking a break to clear my head.
What is a quote you stand by?
I don’t have a particular quote I stand by. I try to follow what feels right, what makes me happy, and what makes me feel satisfied as a person. Making a choice that meets those criteria can be hard at times, but it is worth the anxiety that creeps up on me when I do. I want to be a happy person, both for myself and so I can help others have a happier life.
What are your 3 favorite works you did with Psych2Go or yourself?
My favorite animations so far are the Superhero Therapy , the 10 Signs A Psychopath is Targeting You, and the new intro. They were incredibly fun to animate, not to mention that I learned a few new tricks while working on them. I’ve made three shirt designs, as well, and I really can’t pick between them. They’re so cute!