Meet Junesoo: Finding Success in 2D Animation

Junesoo Lee always knew he wanted a creative career. He liked the idea of bringing new products to life, so industrial design seemed like the way to go. He earned his degree and got a few temporary jobs under his belt. But the work wasn’t as fulfilling as he’d hoped.

What he really wanted to do was focus on anime and animation. But the thought of several more years in school didn’t appeal to him at all.

Then he discovered the 2D animation program at Herzing College. It was exactly what he was looking for: only one year long, with a heavy focus on industry-standard software, and an included internship with a major studio.

Today, Junesoo is a junior animator at the very same studio where he did his internship. We caught up with him recently to get his thoughts about his time at Herzing and how the training helped him get on the right path.

Here’s his story.

Q. Can you share a bit about your background? What were you doing before Herzing?

Junesoo: Right after high school, I went to Carleton University for a degree in industrial design. That program is like engineering, but it also covers product design. I did that for four years and then got some temporary jobs.

However, industrial design work wasn’t something I was satisfied with. It was fun, but it didn’t allow me to be very creative because it’s more focused on the engineering aspects.

I’ve wanted to do animation ever since I was a kid. It’s always been my interest. So I looked into some schools.

Multiple views of a cartoon monkeyExample of Junesoo’s work


Q. What made you choose Herzing?

Junesoo: I looked at Algonquin and some schools in Toronto, but I’d already done four years of university and I didn’t want to spend another three years studying animation.

But then I found an online ad for a 2D animation program at Herzing. It was only a one-year program, and I thought that was interesting. Another thing I liked about the program was that they teach you a specific software called Toon Boom Harmony, which a lot of studios use for their shows.

I already had drawing and design skills, but I needed to learn how to use Toon Boom. So I thought Herzing was a good choice for me.

Four cartoon characters on a promotional posterExample of the work Junesoo did at Herzing with Toon Boom Harmony


Q. How was your overall experience in the program?

Junesoo: I thought Herzing was pretty fun. They teach you a lot of stuff in just one year—not only how to use Toon Boom, but also the principles of animation.

It was a very small class, like maybe three or four people. So we got to know each other a bit more and we felt more comfortable. And because it was a small group, our instructor Gabe Choquette had more time to focus on each of us.

The first few weeks we learned about the history of animation, and then we learned some basic skills like how to draw hands and anatomy and everything. We also got into Toon Boom and started learning things like timing and pacing.

The last few months we started to work on our final project. That’s when we took every project we’d done and put them together to build a demo reel. Here's mine:

We also had to create a final video. It could be pretty much anything we wanted; it just needed to be a simple story and about a minute and a half long. We had to animate the story and turn it into a short film.

So at the end of the program, we had our final video and our demo reel. We also got help with building our resumes and cover letters.


Q. Tell me about your internship. Where did you work and what did you do?

Junesoo: Everyone in my class did their internships at Sphere Animation. They would give us an unprepped scene and a storyboard and we would have to build the scene based on the storyboard.

We had to animate the scene under certain timing, so they expected us to finish the scene in say eight hours and then we would hand it in to them through email. They checked our work and gave us feedback on how we did.


Q. You got hired straight out of your internship! How did that come about?

Junesoo: Right from the beginning, Sphere had said that they were looking for candidates during the internship process. And around the fourth week they contacted me saying that they wanted me to continue with them. I’ve been a junior animator with Sphere for almost a year now.


Q. Can you describe your role?

Junesoo: The work is very similar to what I did as an intern, except that instead of four hours a day it’s now eight hours. The workload has also increased—during the internship they gave me maybe one scene a week, but now they expect more like seven scenes a week.

When I was at Herzing, the instructor really pushed us to get faster in our work. He emphasized that the industry is mainly about speed, and you really have to meet deadlines.

In my current job, the supervisor actually encourages us to reuse cycles. Instead of spending a lot of your time working on a pose, when that pose already exists, it’s better to ask other animators to reuse their cycles. And that speeds things up.


Q. What qualities would you say someone needs to succeed in 2D animation?

Junesoo: I think you have to be really good at drawing. You also need to understand anatomy and how the body moves. And you have to pay really close attention to detail.

It’s also important to be able to work fast and meet deadlines and work under pressure.


Q. What advice would you give someone who was considering 2D animation at Herzing?

Junesoo: A lot of people want to do animation because they think it’s fun and they don’t think that it’ll be very difficult. But then they get discouraged when it’s a lot of work and pressure.

So my advice would be: expect it to be difficult. It’s going to be a lot of work, and it will be stressful. But at the same time, if you really love animation, you will enjoy it.

As long as you keep practising, you will get better and it will become less stressful. And it’ll all be worth it.



Herzing’s 2D animation course is delivered online and takes just 12 months to complete. Students get comprehensive training on Toon Boom Harmony and complete a six-week internship with an animation studio.

Click below to get complete program details and chat live with an admissions advisor. We’re here to help!

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