Drawing inspiration with Mai, Animal Logic Academy graduate
Jasper: Can you tell us about your job?
Mai: I’m a 3D animator. My job is to take the scenes that were put together by a layout artist and add movements and expressions to the characters to bring them to life.
Jasper: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Mai: I’ve always known that I wanted to draw and make stories through pictures as I loved making images in any form. I was greatly influenced by Japanese comics and animated films. I remember watching Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo and Spirited Away when I was younger and I had tears in my eyes because they were just beautiful. I so badly wanted to be part of the movies. Maybe becoming an animator was always meant to be my destiny.
Jasper: What was your favourite subject at school and why?
Mai: Surprisingly, I wasn’t interested in art at all! I thought the way they taught us how to draw was old school. I preferred doodling in my own style and created comics with my friends. I loved maths because it was fun – I just loved solving things.
Jasper: How have STEM subjects helped get you where you are today?
Mai: Animating can be technical at times, especially when we are working with 3D or computer generated images. Maths encourages me to think analytically which is important for problem solving.
Jasper: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced to get where you are today?
Mai: I decided to come to Australia from Vietnam to study and make my dream a reality. People around me didn’t understand what I was chasing but I was stubborn and determined to make it, no matter what! Living alone, overseas, with an uncertain future has presented some challenges, but I am lucky that my parents have supported me even though they didn’t know if I’d succeed.
Jasper: What inspired you about working on Jasper?
Mai: The project’s message is magical - to be a dreamer and to be brave. It’s what I have always believed in. Growing up, although I knew what I wanted to become, I was told “NO” many times and people told me animation wasn’t “a good choice”. I think films like Jasper are important to say “YES” to young people - have the courage to follow your own dreams and don’t be put off by others. The only person who truly understands who you can be is you.
Jasper: What is your wish for the young people who see the Jasper animation?
Mai: When I was working on Jasper, I had a lot of throwbacks to when I was young - playing, dreaming and creating crafts on the field at the back of my house. I hope that the young people who see Jasper feel the connection as well and that they are inspired to start building their dreams. Most importantly, I want them to feel brave, determined and believe that the future is limitless.
Jasper: Thanks Mai. I can’t wait to see your future creations!
See more of Mai's artwork