My name is Tafadzwa Tarumbwa. After my high school studies I studied fine art for a year, and used myself animation skills to work as a Graphic designer/ Animator at an advertising agency. There I made animatics to demostrate TV ad concepts to clients. After two years of that I started freelancing, my first work being Salad Chick. This won me two awards; one as the Zimbabwe International Film Festival (ZIFF) best short Animation of the year, and another as ZIFF 2009's Most Promising Film Director of the year. My first animation was a crude piece I created in 2004, Salad chick's success came years after with sweat and tears. After making 3 mini episodes of Salad Chick I was nominated for 2 National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA Zimbabwe). This was now in 2011. Apart from Salad Chick, the other nominated work was an animated musical video titled Mirira. This was a huge step for an animated musical video to be nominated amongst regular music videos.
Currently, I'm searching for my next inspiration while working on some projects. Like any other animator out there I'm also currently doing smaller jobs to feed my belly. Most of that money comes from comic strips and Graphic design. At the beginning of this year, thanks to a reshuffle in the local animation scene that catapulted me into the current Vice President for Joint African Animation Group (JAAG). The same non-profit / non-governmental organization that launched the local animation festival. One of my most recent achievements was the two awards I scooped from Reallusion's Animation Salad Contest. It's a great honor to be able to continue receiving support from Reallusion, and if you ask me the journey has just begun!
A Passionate Motion Graphic Designer & Animator
Q: Please share with us how you promote animation in your country.
In the past 3 years animators have been rallying together in Harare, Zimbabwe to celebrate! The Zimbabwean Festival of African inspired animation (ZIMFAIA) brings us African lovers of African animation together. Though it's still in its infancy, burning passion is what fuels the Zimbabwean animation industry. The family-like vibe is the heart and soul of ZIMFAIA, a festival built on friendship and teamwork. When ZIMFAIA first kicked-off these self-taught animators agreed that they needed to setup their own platform. A platform to showcase their talent and potential. The existence of ZIMFAIA gave birth to international relationships between Zimbabwean animators and the rest of the world. This annual festival can only get bigger from here.
Q: What's your experience with CrazyTalk Animator?
I have really enjoyed using CrazyTalk Animator, and since the first time I used it I won 2 awards in the Reallusion Animation Salad contest. That was an amazing achievement for me to attain, considering I was new to the package. All that goes to testify its simplicity.
After that I have been enjoying creating content for other animators, which they buy in the Reallusion Market place. I have a lot of templates I want to soon add to my own shop!
Q: Where does your inspiration come from for the styles you have in the Marketplace?
I have always been passionate about animation, that's what drives me ever since I can remember. When I create content for the Marketplace I look at needs fellow animators might have. My Trees collection is a good example. Whilst in the midst of the moment, animating your walk cycle and scene sometimes you don't have time to draw background trees. That's what made me create the package. So now you just buy the trees and keep doing the more fun stuff.
Q: How do CrazyTalk and CrazyTalk Animator help children with learning and what are the benefits for children?
When I do my workshops I have had children as young as 5 sitting and paying attention. It's phenomenal that animation can reach such young minds, and the beauty of CrazyTalk and CrazyTalk Animator is the way it works, its so user friendly that even children can grasp what's going on. Most software are unfriendly to the user, and it takes an amazing product to have a tension free user interaction. That's exactly what CrazyTalk offers.
In order for children to learn nowadays we need visual and vibrant multimedia materials. It's the future, and I think the team from Reallusion realized that while creating their software packages.
I left Zimbabwe sooner than I expected but I managed to write notes from two of the people that got CrazyTalk Animator. They really enjoyed it and here are some of the quotes of what they said:
Ngonidzaishe Sylvester Ruzvidzo (21 years old):
"It's got proper walk cycles already! You just have to tweak it a little bit to your exact expectations, I was really shocked."
"For a animator whom I want to convince to use CrazyTalk Animator I'll just say if you don't want to sleep at 2 o'clock in the morning use CrazyTalk Animator!"
"If you can't draw, all you have to do is take a picture, crop it and you can animate!"
"What attracted me most was just watching Tafadzwa (demonstrating CrazyTalk Animator) I could see the simplicity of it. For me I wasn't as intimidated as like for example using Anime Studio. My technical disability doesn't stop me from doing work."
"I don't have to be a big-time artist to actually create something"
Tafadzwa's award winning animation, The God Feather.