self-taught animator

Meet Eric – The 2D Animator and Illustrator

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Eric Collins Chima Ifeji, also known as Colz, is an Illustrator, 2D Animator and Graphic Designer.

2d animator

He had a lot to say when asked about how he started, “My art is mostly cartoons. I used to be a programmer but knew deep down I wasn’t enjoying myself. So in 2017, I had to take a step back, relax and reflect on what makes me happy. I have always believed the saying that goes “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” So in my moment of reflection and self realization, I realized that the best parts of my days are when I’m enjoying a cartoon series/movie or playing video games. For a long time, I’d wondered how these characters and stories were made. At that point, I set out to understand how to design cartoon characters and to ultimately tell animated stories with them. It’s been about a year and it’s been a fun journey so far. I have illustrated and animated a number of characters. Now I am taking on projects to tell beautiful animated stories using my Illustrations.”

The illustrator admitted that his major challenge is drawing and explicit expression. “I have always found actual drawing difficult. It is not a skill I was born with like some would say they were. It is a skill I have been working on for about a year and I know that I’m not where I want to be yet with it. This is accompanied by the worry that I have not been so far able to explicitly express how I feel through my animations and Illustrations. I want viewers to look at my animations and not only understand the story I’m trying to tell, but also the rush of emotions that comes with these stories. Every day I continue to work on this knowing I’m one step closer.”

animations                   animations

Music is the main source of his inspiration. “My art is mostly inspired by music. Every good song I listen to immediately rearranges into a animated story in my head. I see myself listening and playing out all sort of animated scenarios and characters in my mind. I then proceed to illustrate these characters. Good music is beautiful and it always has me lost in imagination. I find it amazing how artistes are able to fully express their emotions with their music, their art. I hope to create this as well.”

“I am yet to handle a note worthy project,” he says about the project he has done that increased his belief in himself. “I have done some personal animations and Illustrations for clients, friends. All of that though will be different this year as I’m currently working on a couple of animated projects. They’ll be music animated series I’ll be releasing regularly on my social media accounts. Keep an eye out.”

Now, he is hoping to be part of those that will change the narrative in the Nigerian animation industry. “Last year was a big one for the creative space in Nigeria. I only see this getting better. There are so many awesome guys out there doing beautiful stuff with their art, animations, designs and it’s all just amazing to watch. The next couple years are going be huge for the Nigerian (and African) animation industry and I intend to be in the front row of those showing Nigerian animation to the world.”

Animations    

He gave his two cents as well on youth empowerment in the country. “Youth empowerment is still being underrated and it needs to change from the roots of our education system. People are still being told (counselled) in Primary and Secondary Schools that the Science Courses are for the intelligent and the not so smart are dumped in art classes. Young people have no access to resources they need to catch up with their fellows around the world as our leaders continue to ignore the importance of having our young ones properly educated. Laws and policies in the country continue to stifle creativity and nothing’s been done about it. A lot needs to change and it needs to change now.”

Connect with him via

Instagram and Twitter: @ericcollinz

Email: ericcollinz8@gmail.com.

 

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