George Siosi Samuels ~ Anipreneur
I met George Siosi Samuels through our mutual friend JC Little, another Amused Now Featured Artist. Like JC, George is passionate about animation. His Anipreneur website teaches animators to “apply what they know to their bank accounts.”
George founded Anipreneur to help animators translate their skills into something that makes them money, in spite of our global financial crisis and highly competitive nature of the animation industry. He feels animators have a lot to contribute to the entrepreneur space and to other types of clients as well. He shares his own business experience and the ways he makes money as an animator.
“There’s this saying that goes around: if you’re an artist or creative or an animator, there’s no money to be made. But if you look at the likes of Disney and Pixar, that statement is contradicted. So, it’s a matter of belief.”
On his web site, Siosism, you can learn how George builds his own bank account by producing explainer videos (also known as product demo videos). He learned about explainer videos through Miguel Hernandez of Grumo Media. George creates 60-120 second videos that explain an idea, product or service. They are “really simple, really engaging and really succinct.”
George started offering those videos to the entrepreneurs he knew and they became really popular. When they first came out, explainer videos were $10,000 for the first minute and another $5,000 for subsequent minutes. With increased competition, they can go for as low as $499 for the first minute. “If you establish a solid brand with trust, that allows you to keep your prices set higher.”
The explainer videos allow George to fund his cultural animation videos, namely Tales from Nanumea. These tales are based on the myths and legends his mother told him while growing up about her homeland Nanumea Tuvalu. The videos bring the stories to life. They’re something he can pass down to his children that are more than just an oral tradition.
After he produced the third episode, he quit his job at a design studio to pursue making cultural animation videos as a potential career. He launched a successful crowd funding campaign for the project.
George’s love for animation began when he saw he first Disney film, Aladdin. As he grew up, he learned about computer programming and design. When he attended university, he chose the more creative path of animation and multimedia. He was accepted into a master’s course in animation.
Adobe helped sponsor his Tales from Nanumea series, so he has access to their software: Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects and Premiere. George uses Toon Boom animation software too, as they’re another sponsor of his cultural animation series.
George describes Toon Boom as a “hidden gem.” Disney used the software to create The Princess and the Frog, one of their last traditionally animated films. The Simpsons are created using Toon Boom too. The company now focuses primarily on education now, using their software to help students learn.
For budding animators, George says the most important thing is “apply what you know to every other aspect of your life.” He applies what he knows about animation into the world of money and business and entrepreneurship.
“I find that it is important to become wiser, not just knowledgeable about animation, because there are a lot of different types of animators. Develop your mindset as well as your skill set.” George recommends reading Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
George reminded me that someone once said, “Work for money, but create out of love.” Anything that’s worth working towards is going to be harder at the beginning. The more you work towards it, the closer you’ll be to getting what you want.
Sage advice from someone so young.
To watch the entire video interview with George Siosi Samuels on YouTube: http://youtu.be/VA9WLwkgm00
Amused Now Featured Artist Series
Enjoy these pictures from the Tales from Nanumea series: