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John's Arts & Culture Blog An interview with animator - HAYDEN AIELLO




How long have you been interested in animation?

Hayden: I took a class at SummerTech 4 years ago, but it wasn't until we've had all this free time that I really got serious.

What are you working on now?

Hayden: I'm working on a huge project (see video clip above) that will eventually be part of a series of pieces, each set in a different time period. This first animated short, tentatively called The Keye, takes place in the Middle Ages.

What the biggest challenge in animation?

Hayden: Learning the variety of techniques involved. I'm learning, in part, from a book by Richard Williams, one of the "Old Masters" of animation. He was the Animation Director for Who Framed Roger Rabbit. His book covers Storyboarding, Extreme Drawings, In-Between Drawings and a lot more. So far, for my animated short, I've made about 1000 individual drawings, which will add up to about 30 seconds of actual animation.

Who are some of your favorite animators?

Hayden: As an individual animator, Richard Williams is one of my favorites. But my favorite animation studio is Studio Ghibli. Watching a Studio Ghibli animation is an event. It's like entering the most magical and amazing world.

What's your favorite part of the animation process?

Hayden: It's incredibly fulfilling to see it done. There's a short clip above from my current project. I use Toon Boom Harmony Essentials software to create my pieces.

Thanks for sharing your project Hayden!

The gallery of photos above includes preparatory sketches, animation stills and a look inside Hayden's outdoor drawing studio.

In our next blog post we'll talk to Meryl Toan about what's new in her creative life as a painter!

49 views2 comments


Really cool, Hayden! Thank you for sharing with us! You are an incredible artist. I can’t wait to see what you do next!


Jul 30, 2020

Hayden, is there anything you're NOT good at?! I'm beyond impressed! I particularly love the first two images of your animations included above. Thanks so much for sharing with our community - I look forward to watching this project evolve! PS Jon had a drafting table very similar to the one shown here when he was your age - not a bad way to start out :)

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