Meet Natasha Ethel Larmie and the story of her journey from the east in animation.
I'm looking at some of your works and I see Japanese influence all over. Was that the connection to animation?
Yes. Being a Ghanaian raised in Asia, I feel my obsession for animation was inevitable. I would sneak down at night just to watch Fushigi Yugi at the young age of 9 and I'm almost certain I was brought up on Pokemon: I ate it, drank it, dreamed it...just everything. When I wasn't watching it I would be found drawing or painting or doing a craft related to it. Soon after I was brought back to Ghana in my teens, I'd find myself drawing in books, designing letters for people and dabbling in portraiture. Soon I found myself doing poetry during my time in university.
Ok. So you journeyed from the east to west African university with all that skills and passion to pursue... Landscape?
Lol. I know right? It was tough getting my parents to buy into the idea of doing animation. Eventually, after winning them over just a fraction, I managed to get their support to enroll into NAFTI for a certificate course in animation while doing my national service.
I can imagine the joy. That one tiny chance to be on your dream path
It was absolute bliss for me learning to be an animator. Anything to follow my dream.
Even during my national service at an architectural design company, I took the opportunity to learn to do 3D for architectural visualization. It helped me realize that drawing may not be the only way I could express myself as I was struggling to keep the practice going on the side. Regardless, I still have high regard for the art of 2D animation and aspire to it.
So landscape design and animation. How are you blending the two?
Currently, I am an interior designer with skills in 3D modelling and visualization which I have found useful to create background concepts for animation. I'm seriously working on to specialize in this area as well as it has potential to land me gigs. Aside my aspirations of becoming a unique interior designer, the goal is to learn 3D character animation and even if I truly may not be able to catch up with the drawing skills required, honing my story telling skills is the next best thing.
I can sense some deep love for animation despite your current line of work.
Animation is a lot of things to me. I can't possibly express it all here. I look up to Hayao Miyazaki a lot and currently have added Ryan Woodward to my list. I did my first animation at NAFTI and have been told I have a knack for curating stories ..which is exactly what I hope to do just the way Hayao Miyazaki portrays....with realism. My ultimate desire is to make a Ghanaian animated movie that I can be proud of and hopefully motivate another 9yr old kid somewhere in this world to sneak downstairs, - with his/her dreams, beliefs and emotions - to get lost in the world I create.
With all that awesome 3D background/environment render works and your passion, I have no doubt that 'one day' will soon come to be. Wish you the best and regards to Heyawo matajaki
Thanks and It's Hayao miyazaki.
Ok?? Mi-ya...za-ki...like you are saying "I'm going to zaki" in Ga. Nice