The animation industry is growing worldwide, and the Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity (BIMAP) says Barbadians are taking advantage of the courses it is offering in that field.
BIMAP recently started offering courses in animation at both the beginner and intermediate levels, and response has so far been encouraging.
“In the first cohort, we had close to 20 people of all ages. They included a couple of art teachers, people who are established graphic artists, as well as a cartoonist,” disclosed director of training at BIMAP, Kenroy Burke.
“Many of them did not know what to expect when they got started, but they eventually realized the potential of the industry, in that it is something lucrative they can do in their spare time.”
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, BIMAP executive director Sonia Greenidge-Franklyn said there was a lot of potential in that arena.
“The good thing about animation is that you can stay at your computer here in Barbados and produce a film for somebody in Europe. Also, organizations are realizing it is more cost-efficient to produce a film, advertisement or excerpt via animation, than to bring in a big crew to film a live action production. It is a growing industry and very much in demand, and it is something we can use in Barbados as a foreign exchange earner,” she said.
The BIMAP officials were speaking at the end of a three-week animation camp for children between the ages of 12 and 17 at their facility in Harbour Industrial Park.
Burke deemed the camp a success as he outlined some of what the students learned.
“We went into some basic movements with 2D animation. The children also would have honed their drawing skills, both in terms of sketching and on the computer. Their parents are all saying they have seen a significant improvement in that area,” he said.
Beyond that, the students also went on field trips which took them into businesses that were using animation in their work, to get a firsthand look at how the work they were doing in the classroom applied to the real world.
Camper Lynch said the camp was very entertaining and he learned a lot.
“I thought it was going to be hard to understand at first, but it was easier than I thought and I have it in my mind now as something to do when I grow up,” the 12-year-old said.
Kayden Crichlow, 15, said he was pleasantly surprised at what the camp turned out to be.
“I thought it would be just another boring camp but it was exciting to some extent. I learned [that], in animation, although there are lots of ups and you can make lots of money. There are some downs and it might be bit tiring, but you still have to put in the work. I never thought about it before, but my mother told me about it and I thought I’d give it a go, and now I think it’s something I would want to do in the future.”