Smith Micro Graphics Software Blog

Tips for the BEST Teamwork Ever!

Posted by Kayla Cytron-Thaler on Apr 1, 2015 2:00:55 AM

Smith Micro is launching a series of weekly Featured Artists to promote skilled digital artists who use our software; Anime Studio, Poser, and Manga Studio aka Clip Studio Paint. This week we are featuring a different artist each day. These featured artists are also promoted on our Twitter page & Facebook page. A piece of their work will be shared on both of those platforms on their featured day. Thanks for reading. Enjoy!

Tips for the Best Teamwork Ever!

Written by Irina Ari

InaMation studio is made up of two friends: Marina and myself, Irina! Working together on animations is a lot of fun and can lead to bigger, better projects. Here are some things to consider if you’re looking to work in a team!

Complimentary Skills

What does everyone add to the team? Each person’s strengths and weaknesses should balance out the others, and fill in gaps of knowledge or skills.

I’m an experienced painter and I know Photoshop like the back of my hand, but my animation experience isn’t so great. Marina, on the other hand, has a natural affinity for animating. She seems to always be figuring out new tricks in Anime Studio! We complement each other in lots of big and small ways that make working together a breeze.

If you’re not already familiar with what everyone is good at, write down a list and compare! Even tasks like writing and project/time management count. Working together will go more smoothly if people are doing things they like to do and are best at.

Studio Space

Consider how -literally, how- you will be working together. Do you have a space that everyone can meet in? If you’re friends, like Marina and I are, someone can host in their home. If not, think public spaces, like coffee shops or libraries.

We find it convenient to work in the same room: I can quickly paint up a texture and email it to Marina. Then she applies it to the character, background, etc. and I can walk over and we can look it over at the same time and quickly come to new decisions.

If meeting face to face isn’t an option, there are plenty of virtual ways to meet. Google’s services are our go-to hub for projects. We use Google Drive to share files, and Google Hangouts’ video chat to discuss projects and goals. Dropbox and Skype can do the trick too, and there’s many other file sharing / free chat clients out there!


Between us, we have no problem saying something isn’t working or we don’t like how something looks. But we’re also vocal about the things we DO like, and compliment each other often! Being able to discuss BOTH the negative and the positive without getting defensive allows us to find solutions and get cool new ideas.

Get comfortable discussing all aspects of a project with your team, from the concepts to the final product and yes, even the pay rate and hours (if you’re doing paid work). Sometimes disagreements may spark negative emotions, but remember what you’re working towards! Discuss things calmly and choose to compromise. “Stay calm and carry on” is a great motto for collaboration!

Bonus Tip: As freelancers, we use Google Drive’s Excel-look-a-like to keep track of our hours and rate. We also make separate sections for ourselves, since not everyone works the same hours.


Get out there, find people you want to work with, and have a great time animating!

FOLLOW Irina on Tumblr & on DeviantArt! LIKE her on Facebook & VISIT her Website!

FOLLOW Marina on Tumblr!

Topics: Featured Artists

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