INTERVIEW: Marji Fortin

Marji Fortin is a 2D (Flash) animator and creator of the webcomic Proud Lands. Marji has primarily worked in television (Word Girl, Squidbilles), but she has recently started to specialize in animation for mobile games. She currently works on Minomonsters, a monster battling game for iOS.

In this interview with Paper Tape editor Kristy Harding, Marji talks about working as a traditional animator, webcomics, and storytelling.

PT: It first occurred to me to interview you for Paper Tape when you told me about a Women in Animation panel you served on where something you said took everyone by surprise. 

MF: I was invited to be on a panel by the San Francisco chapter of Women in Animation.  I feel like I was the least accomplished of the panelists as I shared the stage with a Pixar artist as well as a stop-motion artist who had worked on The Nightmare Before Christmas!  I guess I was the only traditional animator in the group, though, and the audience of (primarily) animation students were pretty interested to hear that I had found work in my field–and that I firmly believed others could too!

Once Disney Feature Animation went under everyone pretty much believed it was a dead art form.  3D was the wave of the future (and is still going strong), and I knew several friends who had switched to it not from a love of it but from a worry that they wouldn’t have work if they didn’t.

Animation is not an easy field for anyone and can be especially challenging for those who are focused on traditional (hand-drawn) animation, but there’s a surprising amount of options out there.  Flash, ToonBoom, and other programs that facilitate the process mean that there are still 2D animators here in the states.

The panel itself was held at the Walt Disney Family Museum here in San Francisco and was really fun!  I loved hearing from such a varied group of artists and animators.  You forget about other areas of even your own field sometimes and it was nice to see how varied it can be.  There was a girl whose expertise was in prop-making, who had worked in stop motion but also on Mythbusters and now other shows, helping to build whatever needed building on set!  I never even knew that job existed!  It was pretty great.

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