Using the combined power of her vivid imagination and 2D character animations – Chrissy Sykes is an award-winning Singer/Songwriter who is educating young people about themselves and the world around them, producing 2D animated videos with Cartoon Animator for her YouTube channel “My Body Is My Body”.
Generously offering her programme free of charge, people are using this site in over 40 countries and so far her channel has reached well over 1 million children.
Today, Chrissy speaks to Reallusion about how working within a budget and the need for total control over every aspect of her animated projects led her to the decision that Cartoon Animator was the right tool for the job.
“I think the main advantages are speed and ease of use. Cartoon Animator makes my job easy and fun! I can sit down in my office and look at my watch and 4 hours would have easily passed – I get so engrossed with the work and love bringing the characters to life.”Chrissy Sykes – Award winning Singer/Songwriter
Q: Hello Chrissy, and welcome to our Reallusion Feature Stories. Kindly tell us about the work you’re doing with Cartoon Animator?
Hi there, thank you for inviting me. I have a “Body Safety” programme that teaches children how to keep safe. It consists of 6 songs, each with different objectives such as listening to their feelings in unsafe situations, talking to people if they have problems and saying no to secrets.
Six years ago, I was looking at a way to get my programme on YouTube. The programme is aimed at young children (3 – 10 years), so I thought 2d character animations were the best format. As I offer the programme and resources free of charge I had to find a way that didn’t cost too much so I learned to do the animations myself.
I have created around 200 videos in the past six years as I have the programme in several different languages, and have tried to keep the animated videos culturally sensitive. My YouTube Channel is now nearly at one million views.
Q: Could you tell us why did you choose Cartoon Animator as the platform to create your content?
As I had never done any animating, I looked around at different 2d animation software long and hard, and for my level of expertise (which was none!), Cartoon Animator (CTA) was perfect. I fell in love with the product and have been using it ever since.
I love the integration from Cartoon Animator to Affinity Photo – where I can personalize the designs of the avatars to suit my creations. The pre-built cartoons are a great base to work from and I have purchased the CTA 3D Face Tracker and I am working on a project using this. Then because I do mostly music videos – the premade dance motions are fantastic and make my life so much easier.
“The pre-built cartoons are a great base to work from with the CTA 3D Face Tracker. If I had to sit and work out the movements myself – it would take me days for each one.”Chrissy Sykes – Award winning Singer/Songwriter
Q: Chrissy, what would you say is your favorite genre or theme to work with when animating?
Apart from the educational work I do, as I am a singer-songwriter I really enjoy doing music videos. I recently created a video for a record label in Nashville for a Pete Drake song. Pete was an American record producer and pedal steel guitar player.
I have also created animations from my own music albums. In fact, I have recently completed an animation of the George Gershwin song I’ve Got a Crush On You, and now that I have purchased Leap Motion Controller for the Cartoon Animator hand motions I would like to do this one again with the pianist playing the keyboards properly.
Q: Do you find the process of creating characters and content for Cartoon Animator easy and enjoyable?
As with anything, it takes practice. I have found it challenging from time to time, but it has become much easier over time especially with editing now available in Photoshop. I still have so much to learn, but if I can learn how to do this, anyone can.
I know from trying out other 2d animation software that Cartoon Animator saves me time every day. From the fantastic characters to the amazing movements available to all the little props (many of them animated ). The ability to keyframe your character into any position you want is also easy. There is so much that you can do with your characters. I hope to continue to improve my animations as I learn to manipulate my characters and their movements more. I must say – I just love animating !!
Q: From your experience, what advice would you have for inspiring developers looking to break into the Reallusion Marketplace and sell their content?
The advice to anyone using Cartoon Animator is to get to know what all the assets are – as there are so many – as it will help you with ideas and your workflow. Preparation is key before starting any animation.
I think Cartoon Animator is a great platform to work with and if you are looking at putting content together, try to create content that everyone is talking about. Remember that nearly every niche area of business is using animation to advertise so there are great opportunities for creating new content.
Q: Aside from your current work, do you have any plans for future content in the works?
Absolutely! I have so many ideas and things I want to do. I am currently working on a series of children’s educational videos about our world and the environment. I have also written two children’s books that I would like to animate.
I have published a children’s book called “Eric and his Sticky Uppy Hair” available on Amazon and I am going to animate this into a short video.
This story is all about bullying and changing perspectives for children. Eric has been bullied at school because of his Sticky Uppy hair in the middle of his head – the children all make fun of him and he tries everything to get his hair to lay flat. After trying many different things, his mother suggests – Let’s put gel on all your hair to make it all stick up – that would look great!
After that, all the children in the school started wearing their hair like Eric’s.
Q: After using it for your channel, what advantages do you find Cartoon Animator gives you?
I think the main advantages are speed and ease of use. Cartoon Animator makes my job easy and fun! I can sit down in my office and look at my watch and 4 hours would have easily passed – I get so engrossed with the work and love bringing the characters to life. With all the motions that I have purchased, I can do most things that I want to do with the characters.
Q: What projects have you most recently been working on?
I recently uploaded an environmental video for children to my YouTube channel called Betsy Bee Presents – ALL ABOUT BEES – All about bees.
I am hoping to create more music videos like Mama Don’t Allow No with Pete Drake.
And then I have also animated a jazz cover from my album I’ve Got a crush On You by George Gershwin.
The next book I will be animating will be released in the next few months and again follows the story of Eric. He is spending the summer with his 2 great aunts. This time it is about him saving a baby hedgehog who has been separated from his family during a terrible storm. It follows the story of the 2 great Aunts – Sniffella (who is lovely ) and Prunella (who is the villain).
I am excited to animate this one – but I think it will be a long job as the book is 6,000 words long.
Follow more of Chrissy’s work:
My Body is My Body – Website:
My Body is My Body – YouTube:
Chrissy Syke’s YouTube:
Thank you so much Garry for a great interview, I absolutely love Cartoon Animator and look forward to many more projects using this platform.
Excellent work Chrissy.
As your friend Chrissy I see how much effort you put into anything you do. I’m proud of what your doing for the children and love Eric’s hair.
Fantastic worthwhile work that you are doing to help young children be aware of their bodies. Loved the little girl reading the story of Eric and his sticky up hair. An informative fun resource for parents, carers and teachers. I will definitely share the link. Thank you. Janet S.