It’s true! For the most part, animation is extremely technical and I was in a really new program (the year I started was the first year they offered it as a major at MICA, where I went to school) so I spent a good majority of my college experience just doing animation exercises. I think the teachers were sort of building the program as we went and I’m sure it’s really different now. But I didn’t mind at all, because I wasn’t invested in animation - I was just frustrated with fine art, so I chose it as a major sort of out a knee jerk reaction, and because I knew I would learn a lot of really new things, from sound editing to lighting to photography to illustration to storytelling to really technical computer programs. I was mostly interested in stop-motion animation.
I only made one animation that was actually a fully realized short, and that was my junior thesis project that I did when I was abroad in France. I was totally cramming together a lot of stuff that I was brand brand new at, and it was hard! My senior thesis project ended up being a total flop for some of those reasons (I spent the whole first semester building sets, and when I went to animate them second semester, I realized I had built them too small and fragile to actually work with and everything fell apart - and I didn’t have enough time to rebuild, so I used After Effects to animate it digitally and I had never done that before so I just was bad at it! But it was a great learning experience.)
I didn’t draw comics yet at this time. I actually started drawing comics after college, because I realized the storyboarding part of animation was the part I enjoyed most and the rest I could do without. It’s such a labor intensive medium! Comics are too, but don’t even compare to animation on that front. I couldn’t really illustrate for the life of me when I decided to be an animation major. I could just draw and paint from observation, very realistically (i.e. my pet portraits). When it came to making stuff up, it was really hard for me! I got better at drawing comics from making my zine, List, because it didn’t feel like my real ‘work’ so it didn’t matter if I was bad at it, and through doing several issues of List, my illustration skills got better without me even noticing it.
That’s what I love about comics. Coming up with a world that feels believable and consistent enough that you forget it isn’t realistic. That was a huge challenge for me to arrive at because I’m such a logic brain that doing something so stylized was much harder for me than just making it look like what I saw in real life - and I’m still working on it. Sometimes my comics “world” still isn’t as consistent and effortless as I would like.
Long answer to a short/easy question. Sorry!
Here’s my animation from my junior year- 2005! Holy cow, so long ago. http://youtu.be/pZlCFgIT1e4