The Animation Business – for Starters

Animation has evolved to not only be a good skill for the entertainment industry, but it also a handy tool for professors, book reviewers, trainers, coaches, mentors, preachers and anybody who needs to deliver information to an audience. Technology has made animation so easy and user friendly that slow learners have less challenges and visual learners are almost at par with audio learners or readers.

Let’s break it down a little. There are those who understand concepts as they read text books and essays or any prose writing. There are those who would really rather listen to an audio or watch a video with the same content. Then there are those who read pictures. This means, the prose/ text is translated to pictures and that is what they understand. Then there are those who learn best by using their physical sense of touch. Take them to a chemistry lab and the Periodic table makes sense. Tell them to cram the chemical formulae from a text book and you have lost them.

The journey to making some extra cash from animation and eventually build a business out of it

Animations are making lovely teaching aids for many, both at school and in the office. A look through YouTube will enable you see this concept at work.

NGOs, civil society and the government have tremendous budgets set aside for capacity building (aka training aka public awareness programs). Through the programs, illiterate people are sensitized towards different matters. Let’s take a common and simple example. Explaining devolution. A concept that would not be known if it wasn’t for a new constitution that advocates for counties to easier govern the masses. Through illustrations, such can easily be explained.

Requirements

You need to have

  • The skill of drawing and an eye for design
  • A computer with the appropriate software
  • A passion f or art and design
  • Ideas for the animation

Suggested paths for starters

  • Read a short motivational book and illustrate it as a reviewer
  • Read a short story book for children and illustrate it as a reviewer
  • Recall and improve on the stories told by grandparents and teacher e.g. about the fox and the crane, the hare and the tortoise etc.
  • Read the Bible and lift a story from it that can be illustrated to pass the message e.g. the story of Noah or Samson
  • Take a text book for an MBA class and illustrate a theory that has sub theories in it

If you begin to put up some of your illustrative videos on the internet, you are bound to get someone interested.

Next level

Once you start to build a following and a portfolio, you can get in touch with program managers, professors in colleges and universities and even the clergy. Identify the weakness in the delivery of their subject matter and offer to help them through their animations.

In a society where this is still not popular, I would advocate for this idea while you hold down another job from where you are getting some revenue and do this with consistency at your free time e.g. over the weekends.

Know your target and your audience, then maintain consistency and creativity.

On the medium and large scale:

  • Create illustrations that can go viral on the world wide web.
  • Start training other passionate individuals, be they students in primary school or higher levels to do what you are doing.
  • Build a network of illustrators with unique abilities so as to attend to different needs
  • Use illustrations to create product/ service campaigns for different brands and companies
  • Use illustrations to consistently review books that are in the market. Depending on how you place yourself avid readers will make you the first stop before buying a book.

Sources of revenue

This highly depends on the business model you decide to adopt. You can

  • Offer advertising slots for your videos
  • Blow up your illustrations to bigger sizes and sell them to education institutions
  • Sell the concept to teachers, lecturers, professors, peer educators and have them retain you for the different assignments they engage in

There are so many other ways that you can build a revenue and subsequently a lifestyle out of this venture.

For more insights I recommend you look through the creative YouTube Channel RSA Animate https://youtu.be/u6XAPnuFjJc

Special Note: Publishers Disclaimer: The publisher is not engaged in the business of rendering financial, legal or other professional advice. If such advice and or information is required in relation to the investment idea highlighted herein, the services of professionals should be sought. No responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of material in this publication can be accepted.

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Wangari Maina

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