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?