Career progressions and industry insights with Alumni, Matthew Senn.
We sat down with Alumni, Matthew Senn to discuss his career success. He shared some insights on working through the pandemic and what made the biggest difference for him in his animation career.
What was your first job after graduating from the 2D Animation & Digital Art Program?
Animator at Yeti Farm Creative, here in Kelowna.
Tell us about your animation career progression since that first job – what projects have you worked on and what have been your roles on those projects?
I first started on season 2 of Hotel Transylvania the series as junior animator. It was a big production to go feet first in. It took a while to get used to the speed of production, but soon I got used to the style and characters.
Afterward came many shorter projects and pilots, of which I became a full time animator on, such as Alpha Betas, Sonic Colours: Rise of the Wisps, The Pole, and Sweet Tweets.
For the last 2 years, we have been hard at work on Summer Memories, which currently airs on Family Channel.
I also have had opprotunities as an animator outside Yeti, such as MAUD Collective’s AR Bernard in Kelowna and Northern Reflections in Calgary, using AR technology to bring murals to life through animation.
Where are you working now and what’s it like?
Still at Yeti Farm. It’s gone through a lot of change over the last three years and moved office locations in 2022, but it still a good studio, especially for those just starting out.
What made you choose the CAT 2D Animation & Digital Art Program?
Originally, I wanted to go into comics, but there were no schools for comic artists. So the next best thing was animation school. A friend of mine was applying for the 3D program, so I decided to apply with him, but to the 2D program, as handrawn animation appealed more to me.
What things did you learn at CAT that have been helpful to you?
- Asking questions if you are unsure about something
- Keeping to a deadline/schedule
- Getting along with others is a valuable asset
What advice would you give to current animation students?
You get out the work you put in. A lot of the basic lessons may seem boring, but they give you incredibly valuable fundamentals you’ll be using throughout your animation career.
Also, while working remotely has aided animation greatly over the last couple of years, there’s still something valuable about going into a studio in person, if you can manage to do so. Meeting your coworkers and supervisors face to face creates more meaningful connections, and being in an actual work environment has helped me with my production greatly.
What are your long-term goals?
I was planning on climbing the animation ladder (lead, supervisor, director, etc), but recently opprotunities have arisen that may allow me to pursue some of my own projects, such as my comic strip Poppy: The Girl Who Slept-In 100 Years. Time will tell which direction I go from from here, but either way, I’ll still be creating animations.
Any parting words for our readers?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Keep working, keep trying, and keep improving.