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Bill Plympton's Guide To Telling Animated Stories

Learn about animation from the pros

Bill Plympton's Guide To Telling Animated Stories

Postby Charles » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:13 am


Master Class: Bill Plympton's Guide To Telling Animated Stories

By Joe Burkowitz

Via The Entertainment Economy

Bill Plympton is an independent animation icon. His drawings have appeared in syndicated columns, Academy Award-nominated shorts, videos for musicians like Kanye West, commercials for Microsoft, and more. Although he doesn't believe much in art school, here he shares some lessons with Co.Create.

Imagine that it's always been your dream to work as an animator for The Walt Disney Company. Now, imagine that early in your career, after one of your short films is nominated for an Academy Award, Disney comes calling with a generous offer in hand. It's a wish-fulfillment scenario that, coincidentally, sounds as though it were plucked straight from a Disney movie. When it actually happened to Bill Plympton, though, he had to turn down the offer. The thought of having his ideas become somebody else's intellectual property was more than he could bear.

Plympton is an independent animation legend with a style all his own. In addition to his reputation for not selling out, Plympton is independent in that every single frame of his hand-drawn animations comes from the artist himself. Although he's worked with MTV, Microsoft, and Kanye West, he's kept to his own path, as documented in the career-spanning film, Adventures in Plymptoons.

Bill Plympton isn't just famous for his independence, though. He also happens to have an inimitable style, a Ginsu-sharp wit, and a twisted sense of humor. He's also a master at branding, as you might discern from watching some of his most famous shorts, labeled, appropriately enough, Plymptoons. Here, he talks with Co.Create about the importance of storyboarding, the artificiality of computer animation, and what to do (and not to do) when starting out as an animator (hint: don't draw your hands too big).

Click here for Bill Plympton's Masterclass site.

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