It is safe to say that the animation industry will continue to thrive. The rise of social media platforms, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, enable aspiring and seasoned animators to get animation inspiration from new sources and upload their works to reach a broader audience.
Across these various platforms and disciplines of 2D animation, stop-motion, mixed media, storyboarding, and more, eight modern animators have gained a following and are on a fast break to solidifying their mark in the animation industry:
1. The Copeland Brothers: Justin and Chris Copeland
Creativity must be something that ran in the drinking water of the Copeland household. Born and raised on the North Side of Chicago, United States, Justin, and Chris Copeland are siblings who are quickly becoming renowned animators.
Notable works by Justin and Chris Copeland include the 2019 direct-to-video animated superhero film Wonder Woman: Bloodlines, Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the TV series Guardians of the Galaxy, and Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts.
2. Domee Shi
Chinese-born Canadian modern animator Domee Shi is making waves in the animation industry. After working as a storyboard artist for the 2015 American 3D computer-animated adventure comedy-drama, Inside Out, and the animation adventure drama, The Good Dinosaur, Domee Shi's contributions to the films put her on the map.
Her popularity skyrocketed after being the first woman ever to solo-direct a short film for Pixar. Domee Shi wrote and directed Bao, a Pixar short that dives into the ups and downs of the parent-child relationship.
3. Wendell Dalit
Born in Manila, Philippines, but raised in San Jose, California, Wendell Dalit is a rising animation star, having already worked on the Acadamy Award-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse as a visual development artist.
The Emoji Movie is also one of the successful animations under his belt. Though he has always been artistic since a young age, like other modern animators, Wendell Dalit didn't think he would end up pursuing a career in animation.
4. Sung Shin
When finding 2D animation projects in the U.S was getting more difficult by the day, Sung Shin decided to take a chance and work overseas in South Korea for Studio Mir. His most notable project is The Legend of Korra, the sequel to the hit animation Avatar: The Last Airbender that aired from 2005 to 2008.
When he got back to America, Sung Shin landed animation jobs and honed his animator skills further as he worked on films like Avengers Assemble, Young Justice, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Voltron: Legendary Defender.
5. James Rallison
James Rallison, better known as TheOdd1sOut, is more than just part of a group of modern animators. He is also a writer, cartoonist, voice actor, and American YouTuber. With a massive following on his YouTube channel, TheOdd1sOut, of over 17.7 million subscribers, James Rallison has consistently been uploading animations since 2014.
When he first started his channel, he was just 19 years old. Since then James Rallison's animations have a combined view number of more than 3 billion on YouTube. And yes, that was not a typo.
6. Science Akbar A.K.A King Science
The 22-year-old animator, Science Akbar, typically known as King Science, is as modern as modern animators go. With over 12.7 million followers on TikTok, King Science is one of the top animators on TikTok and among the app's most-followed content creators.
King Science has also managed to lock down partnerships with NBA and other big companies and brands like HP and Adobe. He is so popular that entertainment magazines like Hollywood Reporter and news websites like The Verge, under Vox Media, featured the young modern animator.
7. Lizz Hickey
Are you a fan of watching and scrolling through animation shorts on TikTok? Then you probably are familiar with modern animator Lizz Hickey's works! One of which is Official Helga & Honey or @weirdhelga on TikTok, which she created with the media company BuzzFeed, and the fellow cartoonist and animator Jonni Phillips.
Lizz Hickey has worked for VOCE Media Inc., where she drew original comics for the official site and has created animated pilots for the Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. She also works as a creative director and voice actor.
8. Fernanda Frick
Modern animator Fernanda Frick is an animation director, cartoonist, and illustrator. Her art burst into the international scene when her animated short film Heres The Plan went viral in 2017. It has been nominated in plenty of international festivals and won 4 awards, one of which is the Best Chilean Short Film award in 2017 from the Chilemonos International Animation Festival.
Currently, she owns her own animation studio, appropriately called The Fernanda Frick studio, where she develops, manages, directs, and collaborates with other talented animators.