Anđela Joković has been making short movies and cartoons for 14 years, and she even won awards for some of them. The catch? Anđela is only 18 years old! This self-taught animation wunderkind from Smederevska Palanka already displays enviable skill. As a company with a talented team of animators, we felt obligated to reach out to her.

Last year, the Eipix Cinematic department took Anđela under their wing for a few weeks and provided her with the tools she needed in order to realize her full potential. It is always hard for a young artist to find their place in the world, and as working artists, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to reach out to someone as inspiring as her.

This month, we invited her for another round, only now we raised the stakes. Anđela will give professional animation a shot by helping us create cinematics for our games! We will see her cinematics when the next installments of the Amaranthine Voyage and Dead Reckoning series get released, but while we wait, we sat down with Anđela and talked to her about her artistic preferences and process. Read on to find out how a young girl made a name for herself in animation, in a country from which many  older talents choose to emigrate.

Hi Anđela! Tell us a bit about yourself – how and when did you wind up in the world of animation?

Anđela joković (AJ): Well, my parents tell me that I was always fascinated by cartoons. When I was 3 or 4 years old, I got a Kinder Surprise, and the toy inside was a miniature flipbook. That is when I started to understand how cartoons were made, and I tried to make my own flipbook. Once I started, I never stopped – my parents helped me go digital, I used MS Paint and Sony Vegas for a very long time to make cartoons, frame by frame. My love for animation grew every day, since.

At what moment did you know that this was it, you were going to become an animator?

AJ: I went to an animation workshop in Lozovik, a village near Smederevska Palanka, sometime in 3rd grade. There I met a lot of people who were also passionate about animation, and I was really glad to know that there were more people like me. I realized that I wanted to pursue animation in life then.

What motivates you to make movies? Walk us through your creative process.

AJ: When I have a raw idea and want to work on it, I usually just listen to music – it is usually some kind of instrumental composition, they really help me develop an idea and make it into a story. Sometimes I go outdoors and listen to music. The peace and music feel great.

Are there any big names in animation that you really look up to?

AJ: Hayao Miyazaki, of course! I also like Jennifer Lee, one of the first women directors in Disney. She directed Frozen, and she’s my animation role model.

You visited the Eipix Cinematics department for the first time last year, as an intern. How would you describe that experience?

AJ: It was great! I came to a place where everything is closely connected to something I like doing, full of people who love animation and do it professionally. This has been incredible for me. Everybody was so relaxed in this pleasant work environment. It really helped that, whenever I had a problem, I could ask anybody for help and they would always come to my assistance. It was a truly great experience.

When we first saw your movies, you were working slowly and carefully, using nothing but MS Paint to draw and Sony Vegas to animate. Since then, you’ve attended an internship at Eipix, and you’ve also made a lot of progress on your own. What are your tools of trade today?

AJ: That’s right! Ibrahim who works in the Eipix Cinematic department works in TVPaint, and he recommended that I try it out. I really like this program because it is so much easier to do traditional animation in it than in MS Paint. During my first internship at Eipix, I learned to use After Effects, and found it much simpler to use than Sony Vegas. I think I’ve improved a lot since last year.

How would you compare your current internship to the tasks you worked on when you were here last time? How much more advanced did the tasks become?

AJ: The first time I was at Eipix, I only worked on animation exercises. Now, I’ve been assigned two tasks related to actual game cinematic production. The new tasks are far more complicated, but I want to do them right. I need to be up to the job!

You started dabbling in animation when you were very young, so logically, you are very skilled for your age. Do you have any plans for the future, or do you let your imagination lead the way?

AJ: Whenever I get an idea, I let my imagination guide me. All I have to do is make sure that when I play around with possibilities, I can’t get too carried away. It has to make sense for the piece that I want to create.

Beside animated movies, you also make short live action movies. Do you prefer one method to the other?

AJ: This is a difficult question! But because I started out with it, and also because there is more artistic freedom in it, I think I prefer animation to live action. I don’t depend on weather or actors. I can create anything I want, the way I imagined it – all I need is the will to do so. Yes, I like animation better by far.

You can see Anđela’s work on her Youtube channel.