Davey Slootjes


My name is Davey Slootjes and I'm an animator with experience in Belgian and Dutch Animation studios. I graduated from LUCA School of Arts in Genk with a Bachelor's degree in Animation and in the past I've also worked as a Graphic Designer for corporate identities.

My mian bread and butter is hand-drawn animation, though I'm always looking to expand my horizons and have been implementing rigged and 3D animation in my workflow as well.

When I'm not drawing for work, I'm probably drawing anyways. Animation and illustration truly is something I enjoy to the fullest so most of my time is spent behind a tablet or sketchbook.

Q: Tell us about yourself and your journey as an animator (How did you get started? What inspired you to get into the animation space? Etc.)

My journey to becoming an animator started with a lot of twists and turns at the start. As a young man -or boy- really, coming from a working class environment art and drawing was something I was always interested in and wanted to pursue, but only really started taking serious after I felt unhappy graduating my practical education as a carpenter and working in that field for a short while.

I decided to continue my education as a Graphic Designer and eventually obtained a bachelor's degree in animation and got the opportunity to work on films and series shortly after.

Q: What animation style/s do you animate in? How has your style evolved over time?

When I started drawing as a boy my main influences were the saturday morning cartoons, but as I got older my interests shifted to Anime.

Personally I feel as if my style has naturally evolved into a blend of these over time.

Q: Are there any animators, films or art movements that inspire your style?

Most of my inspiration for art actually comes from mangas, comics and games more so than animation. Mangakas such as Naoki Urasawa, Hiromu Arakawa, Junji Ito and Sui Ishida produce both stunning artwork and stories.

I've always got a spot on my bookshelves reserved for their works.

Q: What genre do you find most fulfilling or enjoyable to animate?

While action oriented scenes are a blast to work on and the results are the most eye-catching, scenes I personally enjoy animating and seeing the results of are the moments that expand on a character's personality in a small way.

Ghibli films do this a lot with cooking or other reserved gestures, and it's an interesting change of pace to go from these large and over the top movements to something that's so close and personal.

Q: What tools and software do you use?

Most of my tools are now digital and so my workspace is pretty much completely designed for that. I use a pretty hefty older model display tablet in conjuction with Clip Studio Paint and Adobe software for most of my drawing and frame-by frame animation.In the animation industry it's important to not get tunnel-visioned with software, so depending on the production requirements I've also worked in software such as TV Paint, Toonboom and 3D software such as Blender.

Q: What does your creative process look like? What comes first?

A lot of sketching, and I mean A LOT. This is one of the few parts of the process where I prefer old-fahsioned pen and paper. It's not as easy to fall into the trap of undoing mistakes when you're working traditionally, and in art, mistakes can turn out to be "happy little accidents" in the long run, as I'm sure a lot of us have heard.From there it's a lot of refining and sometimes making a fool out of yourself by acting out scenes when you reach the animation process. It's all worth it in the end.

Q: Which part of the animation process is your favorite? (character design, storyboarding, animatics, etc.)

For me it depends on the project, really. I naturally gravitate towards character design, but for other projects getting to flesh out the environments and worlds is really interesting, and sometimes it's the challenge of figuring out the flow of a certain scene in storyboards.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring animators based on personal experience and industry insights?

In my experience I've always found more success and personal enjoyment out of improving my craft outside of the educational system. It might not be the best advice, as studios do notice your degree when you apply.

But if you're really passionate about your work, and you can review and be critical of your own art for the sake of improvement; it will shine through in your portfolio and demoreel.

Animation is one of the most work-intensive art forms out there, especially if we're talking frame-by-frame. Be patient with yourself and enjoy the process.

Q: How do you navigate periods of creative block?

For me the best solution to a creative block is to not worry about re-inventing the wheel and return to doing studies. It helps to improve your fundementals as you're not waiting for that eureka moment to start drawing again and down the line some of those studies might end up being that spark that you needed.

Q: What did you enjoy the most about the latest story you animated for Storiaverse?

When I was first introduced to the story I think one of my first comments was how I enjoyed the creativity of the writer to tell such a classic story in a completely different and fresh setting. For me as an animator it really helps if I'm excited about the material I'm working with, and I couldn't wait to start visualising the characters and environments after reading.

Q: What was the most challenging?

For me the most challenging part of the story was where the tone dramatically shifted and the true nature of some of the characters was revealed. I wanted to do justice to some of the more shocking scenes but also felt like I had to be careful not to go overboard with the things I showed on screen. It's a fine line to walk, but I'm really happy with how those moments turned out.

Q: What motivated your decision to collaborate with Storiaverse?

As someone with a broader history in art than just animation, the creative freedom Storiaverse gave me to develop the animation was something I really enjoyed after working as an inbetweener and tie-down artist for a while.

In a typical animation studio setting you're usually working one or two roles at most for the entirety of the production. With Storiaverse I got to do Character Design, storyboarding and the opportunity to bring these ideas together in a way I wouldn't have been able to in a different studio.

Q: How do you think animation can play a role in promoting diversity and representation?

Animation should be able to provide a canvas for anyone and everyone to project themselves or their story upon. Especially with Social Media and the trend of Short Form content it's an ideal space to explore real stories and present them in a new and creative way to get people engaged with the subject matter or raise awareness.

Recently Animation, games and film have made massive leaps towards showing more of these characters and stories and I hope we'll keep seeing more.

Q: What do you love most about the animation space and what draws you to adult animation specifically?

During my time as an animator I've had the pleasure of not only seeing but also working on films and series with a wide range of creative directions. Animation as a medium has so many creative angles you can take to approach a project, from pixelation and stop motion to frame-to-frame and 3D.

I've even see people step out of these relatively safe directions and produce entire short films in oil paints or by manipulating sand on a light box.

Q: Where do you think the animation industry is heading?

There's been a lot of developments recently, especially when it comes to technology. While I think it's inevitable some of these tools are going to be incorporated in actual animation from the way things are looking, I doubt they'll ever phase out animation and animators as we know it.

Creativity and storytelling has always been key to creating engaging works, and I'm confident this will remain the driving force for not only animation but the entire art industry