Valeria Montemayor created an animated comic named Skull-Kidz!, which gave her the chance to combine animation and comic books in a unique way that allowed her to expand her skills as a digital artist. She also had the opportunity to engage with an online audience, write her own scripts, and build her portfolio.
Please describe your project and how you came up with the idea
Skull-Kidz! combines 2D animation and a comic layout in GIF format so it can be easily accessible to everyone. I always wanted to create an animated series, but I knew that if I did it normally, it would take a year or more to release an episode. I would never have gotten to tell the story I wanted to if it took this long, and the fans would get bored of waiting. So I decided to make an animated comic instead, one that didn’t use flash but instead used simple GIF images that progressed like a T.V. scene.
What was the most rewarding aspect of your Connecting Experience?
The most rewarding part of my project was figuring out how to go about this work and interacting with fans. It’s always a joy to get positive feedback from my online community and use it to motivate myself to take on such a heavy project. Animation isn’t easy!
In what ways has this Connecting Experience shaped your plans for the future?
I realized that I really want to work for a studio, and not support myself entirely on freelance work or donations. Freelancing is not a stable career path, and can be quite stressful when the websites you use change drastically in a negative way.
Discuss the relationship you had with your faculty mentor and how they helped you during this Connecting Experience.
I had two mentors, Neal Daugherty and Kathleen Tyner, which I’m grateful for. Professor Tyner helped me get started with the story aspect of the series, and presenting my ideas in a clearer manner. She pushed me to look at a business perspective—to see how my project could help me in the future and where I wanted my art to go. Neal’s supportive comments aided me whenever I doubted my abilities or got lost. I’ve realized now that there’s no need to box myself in one category.