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Summer Internship: Cindy Ji '21

July 22, 2020

Name: Cindy Ji
Class Year: 2021
Major: Fine Arts
Hometown: South Korea

Internship Organization: Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities, Haverford College
Job Title: Doculab Student Fellow/student animator
Location: Remote (at home)

What’s happening at your internship?

As a Doculab student fellow, I am in the process of creating a two-minute independent animation that complements live action footage. The live action footage is a part of the documentary film called Smile4Kime which explores friendship and intimacy across mental illness, considering important themes of race, gender, and mental health. The two-minute animation is the second-to-last project that I will be working on for this summer.

There were two main components to the internship. One was to learn about anthropological concepts and frameworks regarding Smile4Kime. And the other was to learn about the foundation of animation using flipbooks and Adobe software. Other student fellows and I read and watched films regarding topics such as African diaspora religion and spirituality and Black Feminist disability framework. Then, we wrote reflections and discussed how we could incorporate what we discussed through making animation. We used multiple virtual platforms such as Slack, Zoom, and Google Meet to discuss the readings and films. We also used LinkedIn tutorials to learn Adobe software and to practice making short animations.

After a month of reading and practicing different software, we met with lead artists to learn about their working process. They showed us how they conceptualize and brainstorm ideas and communicate them through visual storyboards. With the skills that we learned through readings and workshops, we were able to come up with multiple ideas for the independent animations. After finishing the independent animations, we will be assisting the lead artists to finish another animated sequence.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied for this internship because I wanted to be a part of a narrative art project. I found Smile4Kime to be a compelling story as it showed multiple non-franchised themes such as race and mental health intersecting in Kime’s life in a way that showed her personality and humor. As a fine arts major, I try to use still images to communicate feelings or stories. However, I didn’t have a lot of experience working with animation. Since animation is a series of still images shown one after another to show the illusion of movement, I thought learning about animation would be a great opportunity to further my skill as an artist.

What is something you have learned from your internship that you didn’t expect?

Before the internship, I didn’t know what it would be like to work and brainstorm with other people about an art project. In the past, my experience with making art was an independent work. So, I didn’t know what to expect through collaboration. However, I found it to be a very helpful and eye-opening experience because the group challenged me in the ways that I thought that I could not improve. The group discussions led to better and polished ideas. Even when we were working on our individual projects, the group helped each other by challenging initial ideas and refining final products.

Working remotely for the first time? What has that experience been like for you?

Working remotely has been challenging in many ways. One of the things that was challenging was the time difference. South Korea is 13 hours ahead of Pennsylvania. So, it was hard to schedule a unanimous group meeting time for everyone. For me, that meant meeting at night. It was hard to get used to in the beginning, but I implemented certain strategies to overcome the time difference. 

Visit the Summer 2020 Internships page to read more student stories.

Fine Arts at Haverford College