Animator and Illustrator Mary C. Taylor Focuses on Storytelling
Based in Kansas City, the starting place for animators like Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, Mary C. Taylor is just as in love with the medium as her fellow hometowners. It's also why she named her studio Flipt Pictures. "Animation is made up of a series of pictures, which when quickly flipped through, creates an illusion of movement. And if I've done my job right, an illusion of life."
"Doing my job right means a focus on good storytelling, design and animation. By doing that I am able to communicate the story in a fun and memorable way. Animation is a time-intensive medium - it takes a lot of work. So from the start, I am always looking to create something that makes me smile and laugh. It is a huge bonus when you get that smile and laugh from the audience as well. That is one of the best feelings in the world."
Mary often likes to combine traditional and digital techniques. "I start with sketches and thumbnails with those tried and true artist's tools, the pencil and paper. Then I refine those ideas in software such as Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects and Toon Boom Harmony. As of late, I have been getting into a combination of physical techniques with digital techniques. It feels good to get my hands dirty every once in awhile." With 15 years of experiences behind her, Mary is the most proud of the independent work she's done, like How to Put a Square Peg Into a Round Hole and Some Days Are Bug Days. It takes a lot of determination to create an animation independently.
You've probably seen some of her posts online about the animation process for Some Days Are Bug Days. "That's my latest short animation I just released in June. I have just begun to enter it into some animation film festivals, but it's too early to know if it's gotten into any."
We were curious to know how Mary felt about our technology; "I very much like the 2D animation capabilities of Toon Boom Harmony. It was great to be able to take the 2d character animation I created in Harmony with the backgrounds I created in Photoshop, and composite them all together in After Effects. Combining these pieces of software made for an easy workflow. As I was learning Harmony on my own, I definitely made use of the video tutorials Toon Boom provides. They helped quite a bit. And, like with any program, once I got a handle on the basics I was off and running."
Mary is looking forward to seeing her new short animation screen in front of audiences and is hoping they will get a smile and a chuckle or two out of it as well. She is currently working on her next short animation which will be part of a series of short films, Lessons from Exes, produced by filmmaker Lyn Elliot. "I love the tools within Toon Boom Harmony and how the software fits into my workflow. I will be continuing to use it in my upcoming projects and am looking forward to seeing even more of what I can do with it."