Atlantan Fatimah Abdulah

Fatimah Abdulah

Location: The Department Store (ASIFA-Atlanta headquarters for the 12n12 competition)

Date taken: October 21, 2012

As soon as she was old enough to draw and sketch, Fatimah Abdulah was enamored with animation. PBS’s show Arthur about a young aardvark contributed to Fatimah’s fascination. She recalls a segment of Arthur called “A Word From Us Kids” where the show’s creators visited a local elementary school, collected drawings from the students and then animated the drawings.

“I remember thinking ‘Wow, kids can do that. I want to do that,” said Fatimah, a native of Marietta, Ga.. “Animators were and still are so impressive to me because not only do they draw something — they also bring it to life. It is completely imagination. There are no limits.”

Fatimah was on track to pursue a career as an animator until one day in college when her dad called to tell her that Disney had laid off a large number of its animators. Instead of animation, Fatimah decided to use her skills and artistic abilities (she’s also a painter) in administration.

Now, the Georgia State graduate manages creative projects for Bark Bark as her day job, but in her free time, she serves as the president of the Atlanta chapter of the International Society for the Animated Film (also known as ASIFA-Atlanta). In this role, Fatimah not only works to provide resources and community for animators, but she is a part of introducing people to animation – from the different styles around the world to letting people see their drawings in animation.

“I love being able to simplify animation for people,” said Fatimah, who occasionally does her own animation projects. “When we lead a workshop and people see what they have drawn come to life on the screen, there’s usually a collective gasp. I love that. I love that people are awed by it. I am too.”

Interested in viewing animated films from around the world? October 28 is the 11th Annual International Animation Day. ASIFA-Atlanta will be hosting a day of animated short films at the Plaza Theatre. Also, check out workshops offered by ASIFA-Atlanta throughout the year – including how to build your own animation stand.

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