Some of Daniea’s digital artworks.
Facial expressions and mouth-motion have to be in sync with the song.

Thirteen-year-old Daniea Elisha taught herself animation and two years later, has a loyal fan following that includes successful animators


PARENTING counsellors often caution that what their kids do online might surprise them. However, Ros Amanie Mansor, whose daughter Daniea Elisha Mohd Hafizuddin is gaining popularity on YouTube, has nothing to worry about.

Daniea, 13, has friends and subscribers from all over the world for her animation meme channel Danimation.

An animated meme usually features an original character (OC) moving to a clip from a song. What started out as a hobby for Daniea over a year ago has become a hit with meme fans and she now has more than 15,000 subscribers.


SELF-TAUGHT ANIMATOR
Daniea, who likes anime and cartoons very much, enjoyed watching them on YouTube up until she saw one of the videos had a FlipaClip watermark on it. She began to do some research and found the app on Apple’s App Store and she downloaded it on her iPad.

Daniea, who was 11 years old at that time, tried out every feature in FlipaClip.


Daniea showing her artwork to her family.

Ironically, her father Dr Mohd Hafizuddin Mohd Yusof, who is deputy dean at the Faculty of Creative Multimedia at Multimedia University Cyberjaya, has never taught Daniea animation. She watched videos and tutorials on YouTube on how to do animation. It didn’t take long for Daniea to get the hang of it and she was able to create a 30-second clip during her first try.

“I started with simple animation such as a moving circle, to familiarise myself with the app. The first clip I published only took a day to finish,” says Daniea.

As she does not compose her own music, she would download the music first from other sources and start drawing the animation to sync with the song — facial expressions and mouth motions that move in accordance with the lyrics.

Once done, she would get her parents’ consent first before posting it on her YouTube account.

In terms of copying other artists’ style of animating, Daniea says she is a very detail-oriented person. “Most of the time, I will draw something that I can associate with. I’m very particular about originality, so I don’t copy and paste my drawings for a different story.

“I start drawing everything from scratch,” says Daniea, who draws all her animations on the iPad using her finger.


Daniea uses an iPad for her artwork.


TECH MAKES IT EASIER
According to Ros Amanie, her daughter has liked drawing since young, starting with pen and paper, before moving on to the iPad.

“When we were in the UK for four and a half years because Daniea’s father was pursuing his PhD, she had an iPad subject taught in school.


Drawings done by Daniea.

The iPad eventually became hers and she’s been using it for her drawings and animation now,” says Ros Amanie. They returned to Malaysia at the end of 2016.

The sudden change in school curriculum and difficulty adjusting to local schools made Ros Amanie decide to homeschool her two children, Daniea and Daniel Emtiaz, 10.

Once they were back in Malaysia, Daniea became more interested in animation and would spend her time on her iPad after completing her homework.


ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED
When Daniea’s animation meme clips were featured by famous Australian YouTuber Jordan Sweeto, she was beyond happy.

Sweeto, who writes his own original music and creates fun videos, is also an animator. He does compilations of animations that he considers good and Danimation was included.

He praised Daniea for her fluid and smooth animation transitions and how she uses a clean version of songs to make it more G-Rated. That night alone, her subscription rose by 400.

Her animation meme for the song Ghost Town received the most views, over 300,000. All Daniea’s inspirations are from YouTube.

“Some members of the animation meme community on YouTube became my friends. We support each other’s artwork and even collaborate together.

“We did a few clips featuring our own original characters in the same video,” says Daniea, who now has created eight original characters for her animation meme.


Some of Daniea’s digital artworks.

To add to her achievements, Daniea was recently selected to be among the top 20 contestants for a national comic contest by Alliance Bank.

“We only got to know about the competition five days before it ended. I managed to finish an eight-page comic about money-saving. “I believe if given more time, I would have done better in terms of drawings,” she adds.


MOVING FORWARD
Although finding a job or career is not the main thing right now for Daniea, she is not stopping anytime soon and will continue to create more digital animation and sharpen her skills.

In September this year, she will be conducting a class to teach children how to do animation at Galeri Petronas. Daniea will also teach them how to download the FlipaClip app and how to use it. Entrance fee is RM25 per child.

In line with the digital month that the art gallery is organising, there will also be a talk on digital privacy for parents.