Video Thumbnail: The power of confidence with Javadoodles and Wacom

The power of confidence: a special animation and interview with Javadoodles

May 2, 2024
Javadoodles Headshot

Javadoodles is a YouTube creator, business owner, and fully remote animation studio. After blowing up on TikTok in 2021, Javadoodles became recognized around the world as one of the fastest-growing animation channels. Javadoodles has since gotten over 1 million subscribers on YouTube and does not plan on stopping!

Java created this special animation just for us, about the power of confidence — and how having the right tools at your disposal, like a Wacom pen display or pen tablet, can help give you the boost you need to create your best work. We also interviewed them about their work, their career journey, and what they have coming up.

The interview below has been edited for clarity and length.

How did you get into art and animation in the first place? Were you a creative kid?

I got into art pretty much from the moment I was born. It was the only thing that really made sense to me as a kid (and I still feel the same way as an adult!). I was an incredibly creative kid. Teachers would always get annoyed with me for drawing all over my notebook. But I didn’t care. I just kept doing what I love and it seemed to work.

What were some of the pros and cons of going to art school? Would you recommend art school to a young creative in 2024?

I went to art school. At the time, it seemed like the best option for me, but for young artists I don’t think it’s the only option. Art school has gotten outrageously expensive. I would suggest looking into other options like online courses, YouTube videos, etc. There are hundreds more ways to invest in your art career now than there ever was! I’d take full advantage of that and save your money!

You worked in animation for years at major studios before your original work blew upon social media. How did you break into that industry? What tips or advice do you have for young animators who want to pursue an animation career?

I broke into the industry with a combination of aligned action and luck. I had been concentrating on my craft for many years leading up to my first job, and I also did three unpaid internships for industry artists and studios. I don’t think unpaid internships are really a thing anymore, but I do think it gave me a really good sense of how the industry works and I made some incredible contacts that I am still in touch with today. These experiences helped me find a sense of confidence that I otherwise would not have had.

And then upon my graduation, I was recruited by a studio in New York from a mutual contact that I had there. I had been originally planning to move to Los Angeles right out of college, but the job opportunity was too big and I opted to take the job in New York.

My biggest word of advice is to keep persisting even when things seem bleak. Defeat the voices in your head that tell you that you can’t do it or that you’re not good enough. Keep practicing, keep persisting, and don’t give up. Your circumstances are temporary and do not matter. Your career won’t end just because you didn’t get the job you applied for. You will find the right job for you and new opportunities always happen.

What are some of your fondest memories or biggest lessons you learned in the industry during that time?

One of my fondest (and most important) memories was seeing my own animations on television for the first time. It was during a commercial break between TV shows. I was amazed and astounded, but I also felt a little weird.

I figured that this accomplishment would make me feel this grand sense of fulfillment, but the elated emotion lasted only a few moments. It helped me realize that I am not my accomplishments. It’s like that scene in BoJack Horseman, when Diane tells him, “You’re gonna win that Oscar, and you’re gonna go up on that stage and give your little speech, and then you’re gonna go home.”

It taught me to be proud of my accomplishments, but not to identify with them to the point where I equate them to my self-worth. I recommend keeping a level head and always finding ways to look forward to the next project, and to not identify too strongly with a project to the point where you’re questioning your own self-worth.

Do you do your own original work now full-time? How would you compare and contrast working in major studios to freelancing?

I do a mixture of my own animation work for my channel, my own fine artwork that I sell online, client work, and work for animation studios. To me, it’s all under the same umbrella, since I’m using the same skills I have.

Personally, I thrive when I’m not stuck at a desk all day. Working Monday through Friday at a studio was beneficial for a while, but I eventually felt like it no longer made sense for me and my goals/ambitions. As an animator who thrives working at night, I need that freedom in my schedule to work when I feel like it, and totake breaks when I feel like it. A 9-5 job doesn’t have the same flexibility.

Some of your most popular animations are the auto-tuned, animated stories, especially those voiced by Kevin James Thornton. How did that collaboration come about? Are you planning to continue with the auto-tuned stories?

The collaboration was very spontaneous. I just saw his storytime videos on my Tiktok “for you” page and was hysterically laughing at him. I had this creative vision in my head and literally saw the animation idea play out as I was listening to his story! It was just so silly and inspiring to me so I went over to my Wacom Cintiq and got to work.

The “muscles” animation took me about 3.5 hours, and it was an overnight viral sensation. People in the comments kept asking for more collaborations with Kevin! It’s probably the best thing I could have done! I just followed my creative intuition and trusted my own sense of humor. Yes, I love the autotune effect. I find that whenever I don’t use the effect, everyone in the comments asks why it’s missing!

How would you describe your “style” or “point of view” as an animator?

I’m the kind of person who loves candid conversation and I love being a fly on the wall for random peoples conversations. Sometimes I go for a more spontaneous vibe, whereas, other times I go for a more direct storytelling approach.

I think for me, I’m still discovering my creative voice and what I want it to be. I don’t think too hard about it, and I think that’s where a lot of other artists might find difficulties. Art isn’t supposed to be this perfect thing. I find comfort in its imperfections, and I don’t try too hard to achieve a certain defined “style.” I think it just is what it is. And then I move on to another project.

What is your process like, and what’s your tech setup like?

My process is pretty simple. Sometimes I find audio on TikTok and other times I collaborate with a voice actor, like my friend Spencer Ortega (“Out The Window” guy). My tech setup is a MacBook Pro, TVPaint Animation software, and a Wacom 22HD Cintiq. Although I do have my eye on one of the Cintiq Pros.

Recently I’ve also been using the Wacom One for on-the-go work, which has been a huge addition to my setup. I love it!

How long have you been using Wacom, and why do you choose to stick with it?

I’ve been using Wacom products since I was a teenager (I’m in my 30s now, so you can do the math). I think Wacom products are truly top-of-the-line, and I wouldn’t switch brands for anything. I’ve tried other brands and they just don’t have that same feel that Wacom products do. It’s an absurdly easy decision to stick to Wacom products. They’re sturdy, reliable, last a long time, and your customer service team is top-notch. Can’t really ask for more!

Do you have anything coming up we should keep an eye out for?

I’m writing a book on YouTube and content creation, and it will be out by the end of 2024. It’s kind of a how-to guide, combined with a memoir on my career. I don’t think there’s a book like it that really exists. I don’t really consider myself a writer by any means, but I don’t care about that. I just want to get out there, tell my story, and encourage other aspiring animators/content creators out there. Anyone can do it if they put their mind to it.

Additionally, I have a weird animated series I’m creating called Blobbo & Xavier. There’s already a few episodes on my channel. They’re incredibly silly, zany, weird blob characters who talk about life, existence, and the universe. It’s basically my form of journaling my own thoughts about life. You might find it cool. Who knows?k

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