Q&A with Farouk, animator from Nigeria

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animator nigeria

Farouk Sadiq, aka Rukq Man

  I am a 2D Animator and a music artist / producer. I started in animation 5 years ago.

A Personal Story

Hey, could you introduce yourself?

My name is Farouk Sadiq, aka Rukq Man. I am a 2D Animator and a music artist / producer. I started in animation 5 years ago. And I was awarded best student animator 2015 by the Eko international film festival and also that same year I had two nominations from the African International Film Festival. This little recognition has helped me as an animator in Africa Nigeria. I have being privileged to work with some companies like Vericore IT, F.M.A, Karabow IT etc. My dream is not just to become a Great animator but to use my gifts and skills to change lives, create employment, empowerment and establish. I come from a place of almost no opportunity, where one has to work very hard and skills or talent are not appreciated – but thank God today things are looking up.

What are you currently working on?

Presently I am working on a project called THE JUMBO’s, a simple comedy animated film about Nigerian families and Nigeria. To show how funny our attitude could be and we should learn from it, the film touches upon things like friendship, love, family, stupidity, etc. And a mix of our pidgin English and English. My challenge has being funding for the project but we are still working very hard to make it great.

How would you describe your life as an animator in Nigeria?

For a start the environment in Nigeria is not friendly as truth be told the economy is not as fair as that of the United States. Well I guess that was bad comparison but what I am trying to say is, our passion is our driving force. I could complain of a lot of things like when I was working on a project Tatiana, there was a general power cut due to bla bla bla that happened to the power plant and the power was restored in two months time which automatically slowed the project down and alternative power sources are quite expensive most especially for project that you get no money from. Well to make matters more beautiful my dad was so encouraging with words like all you are doing is rubbish. But in between that and more as a dreamer, an entrepreneur i kept working hard and never discouraged.

Well I see some improvements over the past few years, where small animation studios started springing up in Nigeria and most film festivals consider animation amongst their category, which really encourages more people to go into animation. To work here as an animator is quite crazy because animation requires patience, but Nigerians are not so patient. So you have to learn to work very fast. You give deadlines which you can beat so you can deliver before time. Recently as I work on my my animation company I focus on future films, which has being challenging financial wise and creative wise but as as a start up most of the work is done by me alone so I inspire myself and those with me by painting great visual pictures of the work so we can always see the possibilities. That keeps the creative juice flowing. Putting work out there is not so easy but social networking has really helped in self and work promotion. The problem with social networks is you have to be consistent and when you work as an animator posting can’t be so consistent. As an animator paying attention to details is important even if the drawings are bad. But the animation has to meet standards, that is one of my advice to animators.

Best case scenario, what does your work life look like five years from now?

My work life five years from now. I see Anim8me my animation company in full function and producing great films and I hope to also do collaboration with local and international studios.

What should change in the animation environment for that to come true?

Well quite a few things needs to change. Investors here need to see the gold mine in animated contents both for kids and for adults and be willing to invest and make the industry grow. And animators also have a great role to play here by also creating good content. Since investors want their ROI, I think a strategy on selling content also needs to change so that more people can get hold of the content when it’s ready. Great marketing equals great sales so even if animated films is almost the same as normal movies I think the branding and idea also needs to change so that there will be more acceptance of our local content here and the world at large. I am really glad it is changing for the project I am presently working on currently as it got a lot of positive feedback, which is a great encouragement to pursue. So definitely in five years time I know things will change greatly.

What International studios would you like to do business with?

There are a lot of international studios, great big names that everybody knows of which I will love to work with; ‎Disney studios and Pixar.  Their work from animation to sound and music has always being an inspiration. But I have seen great works also from other small studios or not so popular studios of which I am always willing to work and do good business with whoever is ready to make good money :).

If you could give one advice to people in similar situations, what would it be?

My advice to people in similar situation is let your passion drive you, if not animation find ‎what you are passionate about. And just do it.