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Meet Ariel Hart

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ariel Hart.

Ariel, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m an animator. I have a degree in experimental animation, which usually leaves people with more questions than answers. My favorite way to think about it is applying animation to new media. In my case, I entered the field right around the time big companies were paying attention to animation as a part of social media marketing. My first salary job was making gifs for big box movies on Tumblr. I worked through traditional marketing roles until I was a creative director and dealing with art more in theory than in practice. I backed away from those types of gigs as a commitment to only dealing with work that is “animation first”. It doesn’t matter what the application is, as long as it’s about utilizing animation in the best way possible. This has led me from doing anything from brand identity to TV consulting.

Has it been a smooth road?
Marketing start-ups build themselves on the backs of animators, illustrators, designers and motion graphic designers. The only reward is a career track that limits their income by remaining an artist, pulls them into management or a layoff. There aren’t a lot of people like me at the top of agencies. Even if I followed a career track in marketing or animation, I’ve never seen black women in a top position. I freelance because there’s nothing for me to aspire to in a traditional studio or agency setting.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
Aside from doing tradition 2D animation and motion graphics, companies hire me to recruit animators. I act as a liason between non-artists and talent to make sure that projects succeed and their relationship remains intact.

I’m especially good at assembling and leading teams of animators. I have a good eye for talent whether that person is a fit right away or is willing to do the training to become what’s necessary. I can break any animated project down into an executable plan. I like setting artists up for success and giving them training they need to get gigs they want and, of course, charge what they’re worth.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is the best city in the world to be an animator. It’s such a small industry spread out all over the world and it just feels so easy to get the work done here.

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