Diane Aarts is an accomplished artist and one stellar animation supervisor, currently working on Season 4 of Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood. In between revisions, we caught up with Diane to talk tools of the trade and get her unique thoughts on what it takes to animate!
1. First up, what is your life motto or favourite quote?
I haven’t had to put this into words, so I’ll just quote King Friday:
“You can choose to be kind!”
Respect others, listen to people, let things go if they won’t matter in a week, and be helpful and courteous whenever possible. And lastly don’t put your wants above other’s needs.
2. What is your role at Brown Bag Films Toronto?
I’m an animation supervisor on Season 4 of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.
3. What do you love most about your job?
I’ve worked on a lot of preschool stuff, and I’m a fan of the fact that the lessons we’ve been teaching to kids are actually good ones.
I’m also a perfectionist so it’s nice to get my hands on something and make it better.
4. What tools and programs do you work with most these days?
Adobe animate. We did all our previous seasons of Daniel Tiger in CS5.5, and our work was VERY focused around being able to animate without Flash crashing constantly. We may have done some leaping out of seats when we saw how much the latest version could handle in comparison.
5. What is your origins story? Aka, how did you get to where you are today in your career?
I was one of the few students to get a job right out of school, and it was scary to watch so many friends search for jobs all summer with little success. Then the fall hit, and suddenly there were openings everywhere. I finished my first background painting job on a Friday, found a place to live in Toronto on the Saturday, moved in Sunday and was starting work on Season 1 of Daniel Tiger that Monday morning.
6. Who is one of your biggest influencers or inspirations?
I’ll be stereotypical when it comes to animators and say the masters of Disney – Glen Keane, Aaron Blaise, James Baxter, The Nine Old Men. I’m still floored watching their pencil tests. Also in love with the designs of Brittney Lee!
7. What have you found is the most challenging thing about working in the animation industry?
I’ ve been working on how I can have more of a voice as a woman in this field. It’s surprising how often I’ve had my own job explained to me.
8. What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a career as an animator?
The program doesn’t matter, learn how to animate first and foremost.
9. A tip or trick you might want to share about what you do?
Hey! You! Check your scene frame-by-frame people! The animators who do this save themselves a lot of time on revisions.
10. What do you love about animation?
There are no limits! We can create beautiful, emotional, awesome things. That still blows my mind.
11. Outside of work what is your story?
I’m a Dungeon Master! I DM a Pathfinder game for a group of friends once a month. We roll out mats, use minis, do character voices- the whole nine yards. We’ve been playing this particular game for 3 years now.
Check out more of Diane’s work here: