Words From an Aspiring Artist: Animation Desk User Story

Today, we are joined by Nick Sorrels, a self-taught artist from California with aspirations of becoming a professional. Nick uses Animation Desk, in addition to other programs, to refine his animation skills. Check out his interview to learn how these animation resources helped Nick teach himself to become an artist.

Hello Nick, thank you for taking time to join us for an interview. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 


Sure! Currently, I’m keeping busy with my crafting work, but I am also interested in a career in the creative industry. I grew up around the likes of the typical 90’s nostalgic cartoons from Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. I enjoyed anime as a teenager and collected every Naruto manga I could get my hands on. As I got older, I started getting interested in shows like Avatar the Last Airbender, Inuyasha, One Piece, and many others.

How long have you been studying animation? What motivates you to continue learning about animation? 

I’ve really only been animating for about six months. I just kind of picked it up from years of storyboard work. I’ve found that there are a lot of opportunities to succeed and monetize if you are able to market yourself well.

From your experience, what does it take to be a successful self-taught artist? What are some challenges you faced along the way? What are some strengths that helped you overcome them? 

Networking and marketing is everything. I find it frustrating how you can hype yourself up only to learn you don’t have the right resources to advertise your ideas to the right demographic. Most artists are very opinionated about their work, which leads to a lot of arguments. There’s not much you can do to overcome these things except to keep throwing your work out there and hope it catches someone’s interest.

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Thank you for choosing Animation Desk as one of the resources to help you grow as an artist. Can you tell us a little about how Animation Desk aided you throughout your learning process? What are some of the most helpful features?  

I’d bought an iPad a while ago and as much as I love drawing, painting, etc., I was always interested in making my own animation series. Animation Desk was the only app available with the tools necessary to achieve what I wanted to some degree. Relatively simple interface, okay-quality exporting, and Apple Pencil support.

Are there other applications or gadgets you use to practice sketching or animating? How do they work? 

I use nothing but Animation Desk. I draw out my storyboards on paper, snap a pic and run from there. If I ever need sound added, I normally ask my audio-savvy brother.

The well-thought-out storylines in your short animations are very impressive. Do you have any stories that you’re excited to tell in your upcoming work? 

There’s currently nothing on the horizon as far as stories go. I’d love to go back to animating my piece, The Grand Epic, but I haven’t had much time due to the daily grind.

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Can you recommend some resources for the readers who also want to learn animation on their own?

Watch as much anime as possible. Also, Don Bluth makes fantastic videos on YouTube about expressing yourself through animation that I’d recommend as well.

Is there anything you’d like to say to the readers and other Animation Desk users?

Don’t let lack of patience become what deters you from completing your masterpiece. For the longest time I was tempted to give up but like any good story or product, if YOU enjoy it, SOMEONE out there will enjoy it too. Just have patience.

Check out Nick’s work:



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Author: Joey DiGangi III

Joey DiGangi is a global marketing specialist with Kdan Mobile, located in the US office in Pennsylvania. He graduated in May 2018 from Juniata College with a degree in marketing management and a minor in communication.