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  • Writer's pictureCatie Joyce Bulay

Meet Ruby & the person who brought her to life

Meet Ruby, our new museum's sweet and playful mascot. She was created by Rusty Lamar, our museum designer and she's excited to come play in the new spaces he's starting to build. You'll see more of her soon to help point out exciting museum happenings, but today we wanted to introduce you to the woman who brought her to life, animator Emma Malbon. She graduated in 2020 from Maine College of Art & Design with a degree in game art & animation.

This is Emma's first job in animation and she's excited to work with us. "This is the first stepping stone into my future with animation, and I’m very excited to see where this will lead me," she said.

Children's Discovery Museum: How would you describe your job to a 5 year old?

Emma: As an animator, it is my job to make drawings come to life! Animation is made by adding drawings on top of each other, usually on different pieces of paper (I do mine on a special program on my computer). Each drawing has something different than the last, so when it’s time to flip through, the drawing moves!

I do animations for fun and I do animations for other people. I don’t get paid for the ones I do for myself, but it’s good practice, and practice makes perfect!

CDM: Where did you grow up and what did you want to be when you grew up?

Emma: I grew up in Topsham, Maine, and when I was little I wanted to be all sorts of things. I wanted to be a princess, a baker, a teacher; and eventually once I made it into middle school, I settled on making art as my career.

In college I wanted to be an illustrator for books and comics, but I had always been in love with animation for as long as I could remember. It just took the right class for me to officially decide that animation was going to be my thing!

CDM: How did you become interested in animation?

Emma: When I was in middle school, around 10 years old, I was given my own laptop (issued by the school) to use for homework. When I wasn’t doing my homework, however, I was watching animations on YouTube made by people like me. I was absolutely fascinated by what you could do with animation, and even more fascinated with the idea that even I could do it. Anyone could do it.

I also loved the idea of being able to write my own stories and then watch them come to life. It’s like magic, but with a lot of work behind it!

CDM: What’s your favorite thing about what you do?

Emma: My favorite thing about what I do is being able to sit back and watch my hard work come to life. I spend a lot of time hunched over my drawings, constantly switching between them to make sure my animation is going in the direction I want it to. Being able to problem solve and watch my process work out in the end fills me with an unimaginable amount of happiness. I think that’s what makes it worth it, besides when I get to see someone watch it for the first time.

CDM: What will you be doing for the children’s museum?

Emma: For the Children’s museum, I am animating very short cartoons for their website and email blasts. They’ll loop, meaning it’ll look like it’s going on forever and ever!

CDM: If you could be a crayon color, what would it be and why?

Emma: If I were a crayon color, I would be yellow. Mustard yellow to be specific. I love how warm it is and it reminds me of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, which is one of my favorite paintings. Plus it goes well with so many other colors, I love all the pretty combinations I can make with it!

Learn more about Emma here and follow her on Instagram here.

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