Over October/November I travelled from Perth to Vancouver, BC to attend Spark Animation 2019, the annual animation conference put on by the Spark CG Society. Every year, animators from all over the globe get together to attend panels, talks and workshops by the world’s most talented artists, directors, and studio luminaries. The knowledge and insights presented over the Conference weekend delivers exactly what you need to unleash your creative spirit.

Accompanying the conference, the full spectrum of animation can be experienced at the Spark Film Festival. From indie shorts to feature premieres, CG to stop-motion, the Festival not only celebrates the best of today’s animation but offers great opportunities to be inspired.


Away by Gints Zilbalodis. Click through to watch the trailer for the animation short.

Away | Gints Zilbalodis – My favourite animation of the conference

My biggest takeaways

To best share my experiences and insights I gained from the conference, here are 3 of my personal highlights:

  1. Meeting other animators
    In between panels and during lunch breaks, I was able to talk to other animators in different fields, with different specialties, from all over the world. With Perth having a relatively small animation industry, it was refreshing to be surrounded by others within my field to discuss experience and the work we do. It can sometimes be a great benefit to seek out those kinds of people that can provide you with different perspectives on the industry.
  2. Seeing behind-the-scenes
    During many of the panels, I was granted an exclusive look at the animation and/or design process for upcoming feature films. I can’t overstate how exciting and inspiring it was to see industry professionals and art directors talk about their work with passion and years of experience, seeing how they work and the processes that animated films go through to get to the end product.
  3. Getting inspired by other animations
    The animation film festival gave me a unique look at what is out there; independent animated films that push boundaries both in technique and story granted me the greatest amount of inspiration to push myself further and carry that new inspiration into my own work. Film festivals are always a worthwhile excursion, but being able to see so much variety and style in my own field was particularly special.


Scene from Sister by Siqi Song. Click through to watch the short

Sister | Siqi Song – Winner of Best in Show


Looking Forward

I will carry this experience with me and will likely make further efforts to attend similar conferences in the future. These kinds of events serve a very important purpose in any creative industry. They allow networking and socialising with others in your specialty; they inspire those who attend to further their skills and knowledge and push their own creative abilities further than ever before. I am very grateful that I have been able to be a part of the Spark Animation Conference for 2019 on behalf of Studio Orange, and I’m sure I will be back again in 2020.