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Daily Inspiration: Meet Maggie Miller

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maggie Miller.

Maggie, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’ve always been interested in art ever since I was young. I went to college at the School of Film and Animation at RIT. Originally I thought I would study concept art and character design, but as I took more classes I became increasingly interested in animation itself. It presented a really fun challenge of combining seemingly disparate fields of study like art and design, acting, and even physics. I graduated from college in 2017 after presenting my thesis film, Dog Clog, and spent the next year showing it at different film festivals across the country. In late 2018, I moved to LA with friends from college where I work as a freelance animator. I’m currently working from home on the creative team of a company in Chicago doing animation.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
In the past couple of years, I’ve learned how challenging it can be to balance work and personal projects. I want to still be learning and growing in my art, especially now that I’m out of school. The job I’m at currently has been a great support in this. All of the artists try to meet once a week to share personal projects we are working on and offer critique and support to others. We also had one animator host a class once a week for a couple of months to teach us how to rig in After Effects. It’s nice to have a sense of community even as we are all working from home. I feel like I’m still at the start of my career, so the most important thing for me to do is to continue to push myself and my art.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I’m primarily a 2D animator. Animation is so fun because it’s not constrained by the logic that dictates our lives. There are no limitations. When I animate characters, I enjoy using lots of squash and stretch and exaggerating all of their poses. I think it helps an audience to not only see the animation but to also feel it. I’m very proud of my film, Dog Clog. It’s a combo of everything I love in animation – humor, exaggerated animation. It was important to me to tell a story that was funny and unexpected. The art of making something funny was a challenge that I really enjoyed. The personal projects I’ve worked on since have been mostly study or small clips. It’s been a way for me to explore concepts or practice new techniques. At my current freelance work, I primarily do puppet animation in After Effects. Working on a smaller creative team is really fun because it allows me to have a hand in everything. I animate videos, but I also get to storyboard, do character design, rig new characters, etc.

Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
In addition to animation, I enjoy creating other types of art. For example, over the past few years, I’ve gotten into screen printing and embroidery. I use these techniques to create everything from t-shirts to tapestries. Working in other mediums helps me to be more creative in animation.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Ariel Evans – artist photo “The Other Side” – skiing animation “Dog Clog” – dog animation

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