If you’re a woman working in animation, keep at it! You might just be the next female animator to end up in the history books!
In honor of women's month, let us take a look at women in animation freelance animators can learn from. Get ready to be inspired!
1. Retta Scott
Scott became the first female animator to ever get credit for her work in a Disney film. This was a great victory and paved the way for more women to work in the animation industry.
Scott posthumously received a Disney Legend Award in 2000 to honor her contributions to early Disney films.
2. Brenda Chapman
Chapman is one of the women in the animation industry that has left her mark and continues to do so while also encouraging girls in animation to go after their dreams.
Chapman has some sound advice to those who want to take a shot at making it in the animation industry:
"Just do it. Believe in yourself and try to have confidence. Draw. Practice your craft and your art. Be passionate and open to collaboration, not bullying or condescension. [...] But most importantly, embrace what is unique about your work, which is advice I give to anyone."
3. Niki Yang
Yang is Hollywood's most sought-after storyboard artist and an inspiration to female animators everywhere.
Her advice to women and girls who want to work in the animation industry is simple, "Anyone who loves animation, I would encourage [you] to just dive into your dream. Don't let your gender or ethnicity stop you. We've grown and will grow even taller and stronger."
4. Daron Nefcy
Nefcy is only the second woman that has created an animated series for Disney. Nefcy is actively working to ensure more jobs for women in animation. For the third season of "Star vs. Forces of Evil", she had 12 storyboard artists working on the show. Nine of them were women.
Here's her advice to ambitious female animators out there, "Make stuff. Just make stuff. Keep making stuff. Draw, write your own things and [create] your own ideas." Simply keep practicing until you get it right.
5. Emily Dean
Dean was nominated for an Australian Academy Award in 2011 for the first animated short titled "Forget Me Not." She was also included as one of Variety's "Animators to Watch" in 2019 and was selected as one of Piaget's Extraordinary Woman in 2021.
Her advice to other women in the amination industry is to "follow their dreams." She also echoes Nefcy's advice to work hard at honing your skills, saying, "Anything you practice you will get good at. Connect with people in the industry who synergize with you creatively and empathize with you personally. Develop your connections in a meaningful way. Be patient. Be persistent. A career in animation takes a long time, so when the opportunity comes, make sure you are ready."
6. Aphton Corbin
Corbin was featured as one of variety's "10 Animators to Watch in 2021" Way back in 2016 some news stories featured the iconic cartoons that she drew in honor of Black History Month.
One of the messages that Corbin wanted to bring home with the comic was the lack of black characters in animation, and that if she wanted to see more black representation in animation she was going to have to do it herself. This probably served as a call to many other black animators out there to let their voices be heard and pave the way for more diverse characters in animation.
If there's one thing Corbin has taught us so far, is that animators should not let self-doubt get the best of them.
7. Lindsey Olivares
Olivares kicked off her career by working on a massive project: "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" She worked on a few other projects with DreamWorks Animation and then dove straight into the business of freelancing. She jumped at the chance of working with Sony Pictures Animation and ended up working on a big film that would later become a hit, titled "The Mitchells vs the Machines."
Her advice to aspiring animators is this: "Post your work, find a community online, even if it's among peers. Its important to find your voice, find why you like doing things, and your work will be more genuine for it."
8. Victoria Vincent
Female animators were plenty in Variety's "10 Animators to Watch in 2021" and Victoria Vincent was surely a worthy candidate. Netflix recruited her to work on an episode of its series titled "We, the People." Her work on YouTube has an audience of almost a million subscribers.
At the end of 2021, Vincent was hard at work on a show titled "Dirt Girls," which she wrote and produced. It will premiere on Fox sometime in 2022. Vincent drew most of the inspiration for the story from her childhood.