Member Spotlight: Emy Yugbovwre of Ajebotoons Animation Studio
It’s our first member spotlight of the year!
Each month, we sit down with a member of our community to talk about their work, their experience working out of CapitalSquare, and to just generally let the world know how awesome they are!
This January, our spotlight is on the talented Emy, the founder and lead animator at Ajebotoons Animation Studio.
Who: Eguvwe Majomi Yugbovwre
What she does: Lead animator and founder at Ajebotoons Animation Studios
Working from CapitalSquare since: October 2016
Hi, Emy! Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
My name is Eguvwe Majomi Yugbovwre. Emy for short. I'm an illustrator and animator, and I've been doing this professionally for a few years now. Since 2014 to be exact. I’m the lead animator and founder of Ajebotoons Animation Studio, an animation and design company with a focus on Afrocentric content. I actually have a degree in mass communication from the University of PortHarcourt but drawing and cartoons have always been my thing for as long as I can remember.
I’ve always enjoyed drawing and watching cartoons, but until I got to into the university, I had no clue that I could do this professionally. The moment I realized this could be a career path, I began to draw consistently and take my drawing seriously, watching videos and practicing what I learnt, to improve my craft. I love how excited kids get when they are watching their favorite cartoons, so the thought that I can make another happy through what I do motivates me.
Your background is in mass-communication. Besides, online videos, do you have any formal training in animation?
I’m mostly self-taught. After my bachelors, I wanted to study animation in a school in Canada but I couldn’t afford the tuition at the time. I decided to focus on learning what I could via practicing and watching videos on YouTube. Specifically, 2D animation. However, in 2011 the New York film academy came to Nigeria to offer a month-long training in several areas of film making, including 3D animation.
I was really excited about the opportunity to study 3D, because I had never tried my hands at it. It was one of the most memorable moments in my career, especially because I was the best graduating student in 3D animation. Ironically, I haven’t touched 3D animation since then.
Tell us about past projects and what are you currently working on
Apart from tons of freelance work, I’ve worked on a few interesting projects, including the Bino and Fino series, an e-learning platform called WizitUp, promo videos for MTN Nigeria and campaign videos for PDP and APC.
I’m currently working on a personal project, called Aje and Kpako, a series focused on storytelling from an African perspective. I enjoy creating animation that is relatable and focused on African stories.
What inspires your work?
Life in general. Online comments, getting around Lagos via public transportation. My nephews and nieces. My style is quirky, funny and a bit weird, so it doesn’t take much to get the ideas flowing. I’m also inspired by the works of Maxwell Oginni and Josiah Brooks. I also enjoy Japanese anime, particularly one piece and hunter x hunter. I certainly would love to pick the creator’s brains and understand their creative process.
Animation is a somewhat unconventional career path in Nigeria, so you must get some not-so-positive reactions. What keeps you going?
I live and breathe animation. For me, it’s not just a job, it’s a calling. (corny, I know.) I’ve had people tell me to go and get a real job and do something meaningful with my life. But I see the value that what I do brings, so, I know I’m onto something. For me, proving the critics wrong by succeeding, is all the motivation I need when I get stuck.
When you’re not animating?
Gosh, I love swimming. Playing in water is my thing. I enjoy watching movies and listening to music as well.
You’re a new member of the community. What are your thoughts about CapitalSquare?
I’ve worked out of capital square for about 6 weeks now, and I really love the space, facilities, ambience and community. I’ve met kindred spirits and made friends here. I love the fact that I can draw without being disturbed, and when I need a break, there’s always someone in the kitchenette to chat with.
Words of wisdom for aspiring animators?
Work constantly to refine your craft. Sooner or later, all your efforts will pay off.
Thank you for your time, Emy. It’s been great chatting with you!
The pleasure is all mine.
That’s all, folks! You can get in touch with Emy via:
Her website: www.ajebotoons.com