Artist - Nneka Myers

TAAFI 2016 is around the corner (April 22-25) and coinciding with the  release of this year's poster by Nneka Myers, the Canadian Animation Blog is profiling the Nelvana concept designer as today's Artist of the Day.

A Brief Animation Biography
Nneka is a design artist currently at Nelvana! From a very young age, she always loved to draw and went to Sheridan College to study Animation. She loves to paint both traditionally (gouache is her favourite) and digitally! She also loves to drink tea and play video games in her spare time!

Aphrodite by Nneka Myers

What part of Canada do you live in? Why did you choose it?
I live in Toronto, Ontario! I was born here and never left!

What inspired you to work in animation?
When I was young, I was very much deep into anime and Disney films. I loved seeing the characters move and told my mom I wanted to do that too! I have worked hard since then, leaning more towards the preproduction side of animation, like character design and visual development.

How would you describe your artistic style?
I tend to draw and paint with a lot of texture and bright colours. I also tend to draw girls the majority of the time!

Nebula Witch by Nneka Myers

Can you share a piece of art work that no one has seen before?
I think everything I can potentially share that no one has seen is NDA...

What is one of your strongest pieces of artwork at this time, and what about it makes you feel that way?
I am not sure if it is my strongest, but it is my favourite and it has sentimental value. The Waterbearer piece was a gift for my mom in 2013. It was also a dare in a sense, because she said I didn’t draw enough women of colour and she wanted one for the apartment. I told her I totally can, and spent a while conceptualizing the piece that summer! I think since then I love painting different skin tones whenever I can.

Waterbearer by Nneka Myers

What role do you play in the creation of animation?
I am a character and prop designer but I dabble in visual development projects here and there.

Swim like a Merm by by Nneka Myers

What is one project that you are proud to have been involved in?
The Cece sticker pack on Facebook is a project I am super happy to have worked on! Mainly because she was the first black character in the sticker shop and Facebook really wanted her to be appreciated online and in the community, in time for Black History Month. I am still honoured they entrusted me with that privilege.

Do you have examples of the development stages your artworks or illustrations goes through while you work on them? 

From Sketch to Final by by Nneka Myers

What projects are you working on now?
Nothing much, but playing around with a paranormal hunter character! Everything else is sadly NDA…

Who is one of your favourite Canadian animators?
I have so many that it’s really hard to pick one…but one of them would be Kei Acedera! Her designs are so magical with dreamy colours!

Turtle Dove by Kea Acedera

What is one of your favourite animation books? 
The Color and Light book by James Gurney has been my staple go-to book since first year of college! It’s a book I always recommend when someone wants to get more involved with colour whether it be traditionally or digitally!

Who is an up-and-coming or relatively unknown Canadian animator that everyone should check out?
Ruby Poon:

BB8 and Rey by Ruby Poon

Are you involved with any animation organizations in Canada?
Not that I am aware of!

Kissing Frogs by Nneka Myers
What career or artistic goals do you hope to achieve in the next five years?
Creating another short film or another zine has always been on my mind. I also would like to play with a concept for a vinyl toy or figure haha. More than anything, I really just want to create without boundaries – to continue creating stuff that makes me happy. If I do that then I think I can do anything that I put my mind to, whether it be 5 years or a week from now!

To see more of your work where can people go?