Today we throw the spotlight on Capilano University student Aidana Murat, a character and creature animator currently living in Vancouver, Canada.

Can you tell our readers a little bit about your background and how you discovered your passion for animation?

I just graduated this April from Capilano University in Vancouver. Fresh out of school and looking for opportunities.

I've always enjoyed movies with very good VFX and realistic animation. I also been a gamer for the most portion of my life. So I always knew that I wanted to pursue a career in 3D field. My passion for animation discovery was a more gradual process.

I guess I've always had a love for it. I just never felt excitement and desire to create. Until the assignments I was getting in the animation class started to be more complex (not just bouncing ball and dialogue/monologue with steady camera acting) but very open at the same time.

I let my imagination go wild and started to create what I really wanted to create. My amazing animation teacher Corey was also a huge inspiration. That was the time when I actually realized that I became very passionate about and obsessed with realistic action animation and realistic acting.

Can you describe your working environment? What kind of music do you listen to while working?

I have Maya opened in one screen, youtube on another. Usually I like to listen to synthwave, game soundtracks, podcasts or movies and tv shows that I really love and seen thousands of times before. So I won't feel the urge to look away from Maya.

Which of your artwork pieces is your favourite, and why?

I think my best shot for now is the tiger. It took me a long time to nail down the paw shakes. The whole animation is not perfect but I think I got close. I also really like my shot in the temple with girl warrior and cyborgs. The model for it was done by my amazing classmate Arnon Lau and my amazing teacher Charlie at Capilano University rigged her for me. The animation is far from perfect but I like the camera moves, composition and lighting. Those things also took a while to finalize.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I feel really pumped and excited after watching cinematic game trailers done by Digic Pictures, Platige Image, Blur Studio, Axis Studios. They are all so cool! Cutscenes in Naughty Dog games, parkour and fighting gameplay animations in Assassin's Creed games also really inspire me and any good vfx animation in movies.

I also really like to browse through concept arts. I get a lot of inspiration from them too. Often I wish those artworks were done in 3D as short films so I could animate them. Some of my favourite artists are: Simon Stalenhag, Jakub Rozalski, Steve Wang (Swang), Martin Deschambault.

Are there any other Rookies' that you recommend our readers check out?

There is my classmate from Dawson College Nick Ladd. He does an amazing stuff in VR! Wilson Yuan from Capilano University, also a Rookie, is an amazing modeler.

What’s left on the agenda for the rest of the year? Any interesting projects lined up?

Right now I'm working on a personal animation project. It's again more action focused that acting. I really like it and hope to finish soon.

And finally, if you had to give one piece of advice to artists like you what would it be?

My teacher always told me: never forget what made you to pursue an art career. Always remember that feeling of excitement and passion towards your chosen profession.

I'm just starting a career so I can't really give a piece of advice to staring artists and certainly not to artists who are in the industry. But if your teacher never told you those words, well you read them now. May be you can find them useful.

I heard a lot of stories about the artists who after a long time in the industry forget those feelings and just do studio work everyday. I certainly don't want to become one of them. So I try to keep those words in my mind.

Aidana Murat - I was born in Almaty in Kazakhstan in 1996. In 2009 I was 13 and saw James Cameron's Avatar. That movie shook me to the core. From that time, I knew that I want to be a part of the magical world of vfx. Visual Effects and animation industries are practically non-existent in Kazakhstan. My parents were shocked when I said that I see myself as a 3D artist in the future because they knew nothing about the game and vfx industry. But They still didn't try to discourage me and were very supportive.