Jodi Sandler Demo Reel 2013 - A compilation of clips from projects over the last year.

GL: What part of Canada are you from?

JS: I was born in South Africa, but moved to Toronto when I was 5.

GL: How long would you say you've been animating for?

JS: 6 years professionally.

GL: Why did you choose animation as a career?

Still from 'Explode' - Animated by Jodi Sandler
JS: I always loved to draw and was always interested in anything animated.  In high school, one of my art teachers brought in models for us to draw.  I think I was the only student that got past the (mostly) naked bodies and wanted to draw them.  I found out that Sheridan had life drawing classes in the summer so I took a summer class there and was hooked.  But before that, I had watched a show called Splat (I think), which was a half-hour series about animation.  I don’t remember the details of the show, but I remember watching and thinking, I want to be a part of that world.

GL: How did you come up with the concept for you series 'Little Boxes'?

JS: The series was inspired by my relationship with my girlfriend, Zahra.  We didn’t know each other as kids and this is my way of reliving our childhoods together.  The sketches really came to life on their own, so I went with it and decided to produce shorts that would allow me to explore the characters a bit further.

GL: How are you finding Film Annex as a distribution platform?

JS: I really like the concept of the site, and I believe it pushed me to produce the shorts.  It serves as a great resource to make a bit of revenue off the work that I do in my down time, and it’s great for promoting a newcomer like myself.

GL: What are some animation projects you've been stoked to be involved with?

JS: I’ve been very lucky with the opportunities I’ve had.  All of the music videos I’ve done have been for bands that I really like.  Last year I was also fortunate to do the illustrations for a series of short animated films that were done for the NFB!

GL: What was the most difficult challenge you've overcome in your career thus far?

JS: Everyday is a challenge in trying to make myself a better artist.  I think the hardest part is balancing that with deadlines.

GL: Do you have a favourite Canadian animator? If so, who, and why?

JS: I’m a big fan of the NFB animators, particularly Kaj Pindal and Cordell Barker.  Another favourite is Charlie Bonifacio (Mulan, Lilo & Stitch, etc).    Charlie taught at Sheridan for a couple of years and I was lucky to have him for a character design teacher.  He would help make your design better, not change it into his own style.  He helped me realize that a good animator understands form and design and can translate good acting into beautiful shapes/actions.

GL: Are there any animators you keep tabs on for inspiration?

JS: Quite a few...but Pascal Campion is probably the one I watch the most.

GL: How has your animation style/technique evolved over the years?

JS: I’ve tried to stay away from an actual style, and have aimed to design something to suit the client and their message.  I’ve definitely been inspired by the simplicity of Pascal’s designs.

GL: How did you develop your skills as an animator?  Did you read a lot of books, watch a lot of animation, and/or pursue it through college or university programs?

JS: Before I went to Sheridan College I had a couple of books on drawing cartoons, but it wasn’t until I started at Sheridan that I really got a grasp of animation as a whole.

GL: Was there ever a particular technique or thought process that completely changed how you animate?

JS: I just aim to keep it simple. I love trying out different techniques, like combining 2d Flash elements with 3d layers in After Effects (I did that for the Sick of Sarah music video).

Uh Huh Her "Explode" - Animated by Jodi Sandler

GL: What kind of technology do you use to create your animation?

JS: I usually work in Flash and After Effects, using a Cintiq.  My goal is to actually get back to 2d animation on paper because I haven’t been able to use technology to get the same look and feel.

GL: And finally, what's it like being a freelance animator in Canada?

JS: I really love what I do, and hope I can ride the wave for a long time.  With the internet these days, it doesn’t really seem to matter where I am located. I have clients in the US that I haven’t ever met in person!

To stay up to date on what Jodi is up to you can follow her blog and check out her website: 
Jodi Sandler Blog
Jodi Sandler Website