My name is Randy Santa Ana and I am an Animator. A Flash Animator. A 2D Flash Animator, to be exact.
It was a career choice that I became an animator. I graduated with a degree in Architecture and I worked as a draftsman for some years, an AutoCad Operator the next, then as an Architectural and Interior Designer for another number of years before that fateful day when I decided I did not want to do that kind of work anymore.
That day came when I chanced upon a job ad in the newspaper. It was from Fil-Cartoons, an animation studio based in Mandaluyong City, the Philippines. The ad stated simply: IF YOU CAN DRAW, THEN YOU ARE QUALIFIED. I could not remember the exact wordings of the ad, but that was the gist as far as I can remember. And that spurred me to unearth my resume, update it, and rush to their office to drop it off.
I’ve always liked cartoons. I watched it a lot when I was young and there’s a television around (my mother prohibited us from watching TV back when me and my sisters were kids). I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed watching cartoons, even as an adult. I would watch anything, but lately I’ve become picky and would watch only those that can really keep my attention.
And that is what made me become interested in animation. I had some rough kind of idea as to how a cartoon show is done: you draw an image in one sheet of paper and then you draw another image on another page, only this time the image is different that the first one, and then you draw another on another page, and so on and so forth until you come up with a series of drawings. If you then view the images sequentially the image would appear to move. I used to do that in the corners of my text books. It was called flipbook animation. Way back in high school almost all the corner pages of my text books were filled with animations of stick figures fighting, playing basketball and other silly stuff.
Now the day I chanced upon the newpaper ad was in 1999. As far as I know, Fil-Cartoons has been operating for several years earlier than that. In fact, I never knew that an animation studio such as Fil-Cartoons existed in the Philippines until a friend of mine told me so. And when I did learn about it, I discouraged myself from going to Fil-Cartoons and apply for a job. I thought they were looking for “artists”. I studied architecture, not fine arts, so in my young mind that pretty much disqualified me from any job position in that company. But when they posted the ad looking for someone who can draw, regardless of what course you took in college, well that sort of made my mind up for me!
And that’s how I became an animator. But I did not became one overnight; oh no, I had to go through a lot. And that is another story altogether.