Skip to main content

TAIS Animation ABC's Studio Spotlight Residency - Laura Dobson

"DON'T GIVE UP" is a short film by Laura Dobson, which was completed during the Toronto Animated Image Society's one week residency (Feb 14 - 20, 2016) called "Animation ABC's". In this residency, four animators were asked to create an animated piece to reflect on their process.

What inspired you to get into animation?
I kind of fell into animation! It was a natural occurrence - I've always been drawing and there was a need to express further than that with motion. My first experiments with animation were actually stop-motions. I remember photographing my brother's budgie and getting so excited that I could chop up its movements and turn it into something totally strange and eerie with a few simple steps. And so, why not apply that to the images I've already been creating? I just learned digital animation this past fall, but the potential is staggering and I'm really excited to push forward!

How did you hear about this residency?
A great friend and a great artist, Benjamin Edelberg (also a board member at TAIS), introduced me to TAIS and told them I've been making some work. I had always been admiring TAIS from afar, but didn't make the connection that this was something that I could be participating in.

How do you feel about making an autobiographical/fictional work about your animation practice? 
All of my work is autobiographical, but I keep it at a wider perspective so it's relatable. In this instance, while the character is definitely based after me, I think the struggle and frustration of creating work is something that's universal. Depicting that part of the process was important; if you're surrounded by crumpled up pieces of paper you're not alone!

What was your biggest challenge during the residency? Your biggest discovery/breakthrough? 
The biggest challenge, to be honest, was to not compare my work with others'. I'm still fairly new to After Effects, and although everyone was using different mediums and methods, I felt a bit insecure at times. Which is so human! But the biggest breakthrough was realizing that we were all bringing something unique and awesome to the table, and that there's never any shame in learning and putting yourself out there. TAIS was such a great and encouraging environment, and my experience there definitely contributed to my growth as in artist in such a positive way. 

Do you have any upcoming/other projects that you would like to mention?
No events on the horizon at this present moment, but I'll be polishing up a short computer game I made called "1" for possible festival circuitry and hopefully working on some comics!

Where can people go to see more of your work?


Popular posts from this blog

"RUBBED THE WRONG WAY" Created & Written by Struan Sutherland & Bill Corkum

Official Sneak Peek
Subscribe, Comment, and Like if you want to see more!

The series follows Genie’s absurd journey through the courts, from his wrongful arrest by an overzealous cop to his trial and eventual incarceration.

Genie finds himself increasingly annoyed by his supporting cast of incompetents that occupy various positions in the twisted oddity that is the criminal justice system. It’s a bizarre, yet all-too-realistic depiction of the court process where a mystical being turns out to be the only voice of reason.

Created & Written by Struan Sutherland & Bill Corkum
Direction/Animation: Struan Sutherland
Voice Performers: Bill Corkum, Nicole Steeves, Struan Sutherland

Artist - Bobby Chiu

A Brief Animation Biography
Bobby’s art career started at the age of two with a box of crayons and his family’s white living room walls. He got his first professional art job at the age of seventeen, designing Disney, Warner Bros., and Star Wars toys. Bobby has since won a number of awards for his independent work and is featured perennially in various juried art annuals and magazines. He presently works in concept and character design, teaches digital painting online at, publishes art books, and works on other top secret projects that he’s not allowed to talk about.

NOTE: Bobby Chiu is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to lower Schoolism subscription fees.  Click here to read the Canadian Animation interview with Bobby about that campaign.

The campaign has raised $465,021 as of this date, and has 6 days to go. If the campaign reaches it's stretch goal of $500,000 - Schoolism Fees will be lowered to $12 US Dollars per month. Check out the Kickstarter campaign …


Acclaimed and emerging artists use wit and satire to examine modern society
*French will follow*
January 23, 2017 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB) Now online, Naked Island is a bold new National Film Board of Canada (NFB) series of 14 super-short and incisive films, framed as Public Service Alerts, from some of Canada’s most talented animators and artists, exploring their visions of modern-day society. Available for free streaming at as well as the NFB’s YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and Instagram channels, Naked Island blends the art of animation with the format of advertising to address an array of topics, from global warming to politics to our obsession with technology. Ranging from Oscar and Genie winners and nominees to emerging talent in animation and fine arts, Naked Island filmmakers make bold statements in a variety of styles to create ultimate anti-advertisements, using wit and satire to encourage us to stop a…