Bowie Toons Club encourages creativity through animation


Natalie Cullen

DECORATING THE BOARD: Seniors Rowan Pacconne (left), Ty Jones (second from left), Tyler Haynes (second from right), and Enrique Ramirez (right) continue the tradition of decorating their classroom’s whiteboard for the upcoming year. All four students are members of the Bowie Toons Animation club sponsored by CTE teacher Andrew Nourse.

Donna Kim, Print Staff

For senior Tyler Haynes, animation class is a hidden gem in the Bowie curriculum that many people are not aware of. The Bowie Toons Animation Club is a newly-formed community that Haynes helped create to put student made animations out in the world via social media, and show people their hidden talent of animating. 

“For a couple years, our animation teacher, Mr. Nourse, has been trying to make [Bowie Toons] a reality, kind of like a platform for animation students to get their work out there. But because of Covid, it kind of hampered the progress and made it really difficult,” Haynes said. “Earlier this year, when [Mr. Nourse] mentioned Bowie Toons, I started really thinking about it, and I saw the potential that this would be a great way to build a community at the animation program, and a great way of showcasing our work to other students, since I don’t think a lot of people know that this class exists.”

Bowie Toons mainly consists of animators from Animation three, as well as a few Animation two members that were interested in joining.

“I really saw the potential in this, so I thought it out and went around the classroom,” Haynes said. “I talked to students to see if they were on board with this project, and to see who was willing to help. Then I went to Mr. Nourse and told him my plan, and that’s how things just kind of started.”

The Bowie Toons community has social media platforms, where they post their student animations and projects.  When it comes to producing animations for these platforms, Haynes oversees many of the departments that work together to make producing and publishing content a reality.

“As of right now, we have an Instagram account and YouTube account, and this is where we primarily upload our content,” Haynes said. “We have it where we split [Animation three] and formed two teams, where one’s managing Instagram content related things, and on the other side, we have the people managing all the YouTube stuff.”

Creating and uploading the content for the club’s social media requires thought and planning in order to make sure the student’s work is being adequately showcased. The students in Bowie Toons follow an intricate process to produce and post their content on their social media platforms.

“When it comes to creating content, there’s a lot more content creation on the YouTube side of things. For longer form content, what we usually do is we’ll have the Instagram team post an animation made by students, or kind of tease a new video on the youtube channel that’s going to be released,” Haynes said. “We have them both working together so we can maximize our audience and our outreach. On the YouTube side of things, we usually group together, come up with video ideas, and we have roles assigned. We’ll have people film the actual video with cameras if we’re doing more in-live stuff, and then we’ll have editors work on it and we’ll do this simultaneously.”

The club’s main focus is to provide a platform for students to showcase their animations, and Nourse has facilitated the growth of Bowie Toons by providing resources for the members to expand their knowledge. 

“I’m the sponsor, so I guide the students with ideas, techniques, and resources. I supply materials, software, and hardware that [the students] use for their work. I suggest helpful tips of things to consider, but I’m not involved in the creation of content much because that’s for the students,” Nourse said. “I moderate everything and give feedback when students ask. I’m here to keep it positive and productive.”

For the animation students of Bowie Toons, Nourse gives them the available resources to help produce and publish their content. Haynes is always making sure to communicate with his fellow peers, and especially Nourse, when working on animation projects.

“Mr. Nourse plays a huge role because he provides all the resources and the tools to actually make this a reality. Because [animating] does take time, as long as we show that we have a good plan in mind, we’ll be granted time to actually work on that project,” Haynes said. “We also make sure that we communicate with [Mr. Nourse] to make sure that he’s ok with what we’re posting out there, because if we post something that’s considered inappropriate, the responsibility goes back to Mr. Nourse.

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Under Nourse and Hayne’s leadership, Bowie Toons has around 20 main members that help keep Bowie Toons Animation Club going. Senior Enrique Ramirez, a member and animator part of Bowie Toons, was inspired by Haynes to join. 

“My role in this club is as an animator, so I create content. I’m beginning to edit videos, and my main goal is to create music for the videos,” Ramirez said. “My goal in this club is to really be a part of the community, because in my past, I’ve never really experienced being a part of a team and never really worked with a team before. It’s just cool to be a part of that, and to help further our goals.”

As this is Haynes’ last year attending Bowie, he is helping prepare the club to thrive after he leaves.

“What I have in mind for how to make this continue on without us is that we go through trial and error through this first iteration of this project, and we create a system,” Haynes said. “Then we start getting Animation two kids, as well as just getting people more interested and involved. The key thing that is most important is to actually get them motivated, and actually interest them, because it would not be right to just leave and then just dump this on them without them prepping. I believe they can inherit this.”

As Bowie Toons is still fairly new, Nourse has been guiding his students for the future of this community, and has faith for the direction it will go.

“It’s been very exciting seeing students excel at something they are passionate about and seeing their interest in it becoming a part of the Bowie community for years to come,” Nourse said. “Our good rapport, communication, and collaboration of students in various grade levels will help in making it a success next year and years to come I’m sure. I’m thrilled to see where it goes in the future and am confident it will continue to be a beacon for inspiration for many students and years to come.”