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Andy Bailey

Andy Bailey (Andymation)

Mr. Andy Bailey (Andymation) is a professional stop-motion animator and worked on Laika's highly acclaimed movies such as ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings, and Missing Link. On his YouTube channel, he is posting videos of his unique flipbooks, animation, and short films.
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He is a big fan of Copic markers and has used them in many of his works. We are lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview Andymation, and he talked about where his creative ideas come from and his favorite art materials.

 

— Please tell us a little about your background. You've been making your own flipbooks since you were a little kid, right?

Andy Bailey:Yes, I started experimenting with flipbooks and stop-motion animation as a kid. One of my teachers in school taught our class how to make a simple flipbook. I got really excited about it and went home and made my own. And ever since then I have loved the simpleness and magic feeling of flipbook animation.

— It is only natural that your passion for flipbooks led you to become interested in creating animation. Who/what were your biggest influences?

Andy Bailey:I was extremely inspired by the “Claymation” animation from Will Vinton’s studio. I also loved Gumby and other clay animation. I was very inspired by an animator named Mike Jittlov, who made a short film called the Wizard of Speed and Time. He used some really interesting animation techniques in that film, and it made an impression on me. I was also very influenced by Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and anything from Aardman, like Wallace and Grommit and Chicken Run.

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— When did you start working as a professional animator?

Andy Bailey:Around 2005 is when I started animating professionally for the first time, at a small independent animation studio, while I was finishing a Filmmaking degree in college. My animation was pretty rough in the beginning, but I absolutely loved creating performances with those characters.

— It is interesting that you have shifted your career to 3D stop-motion animation instead of typical 2D animation. Could you please tell us the reason? 

Andy Bailey:I am a big fan of all types of animation. Stop-motion specifically resonated with me for reasons similar to flipbooks. Like flipbook making, stop-motion always felt so magical--because while watching it, you know you’re looking at real tangible objects that exist in real life--yet you’re watching them move and emote on screen as if they are alive.

— After building a successful career as a professional animator, you are now very active as a YouTuber. 

Andy Bailey:Yes, I love YouTube. It’s amazing being part of a community centered around a specific artform. And I love the interaction I get to have with my fans. It’s been awesome to see people being inspired and making animations of their own.

— You have a number of flipbook videos on your YouTube channel. Is this a kind of return to your roots? 

Andy Bailey:Definitely. Even after working on Oscar nominated movies, I still had such nostalgia and fondness for flipbooks. I saved all of my flipbooks from when I was a kid, and I loved showing them to my own kids. And it has been really cool getting to do new things with flipbooks and other animation on my channel.

The second annual flipbook contest was held last year, and you received about 1,600 entries from all over the world. Please tell us how you feel about that. 

Andy Bailey:It wasn’t sure what to expect or how many entries we would receive, but it was amazing. I loved seeing what everyone did and all of the different ideas and senses of humor. There was a huge range of ages, so that was great to see. Overall, it made me feel even closer to my community. So we are looking forward to doing it again. We just have to figure out how to manage receiving even more packages next time!

— When did you first start using Copic markers and what made you decide to use them?

Andy Bailey:I started using Copic markers on my original Grumpy Cloud flipbook. I was looking for good art markers and discovered Copic. They were highly recommended, and the fact that they were alcohol based and that you can blend colors… that was fantastic.

—Your flipbooks are so vivid, and they really bring out the appeal of Copic. Are there any specific colors you routinely use? 

Andy Bailey:I have so many colors at this point. Many different blues. I use a LOT of black, and I love the range of grays.

— Could we have your message or advice for young who want to become an illustrator or animator?

Andy Bailey:My best advice is to study books by reputable artists or animators and practice following their techniques. Learn animation by doing it. Then examine your own work and try to figure out how you can improve it. Look closely at other artists’ work and analyze what they are doing. For animation, find examples you like, then watch them frame by frame. Really study it and then try it yourself. The more you do that, the more you will develop your “eye” for understanding animation and truly seeing your own work.

 
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