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What Goes Around...Comes Around | Mark Phillips

Fable·Jan 20, 2023

What Goes Around...Comes Around | Mark Phillips | Ideas in Motion

Brought to you by Fable–Ideas in Motion is a series, streaming live on select Friday afternoons on YouTube. It's a space for real conversations with seasoned creators about motion, design, life, learnings, and more.

In today's episode, join Adrian and Senior Animator Mark Phillips as they discuss the animation industry, its cyclical nature, and how to best navigate the turning of the tides as creators. From the golden era of animation to commercial saturation, to the death of cel, the pivot to “motion design,” then back to cel, and the now once again “offing” of animation as streaming platforms shift formats, they dare to broach the hottest topic, the talk of the town, the latest introduction to the cycle: AI. What could it mean for the breaking of the cycle?

Watch Mark complete a live-drawn animation of a butt and find out why he has a soft spot in his heart for the weird, the hairy, and the taboo.

Stream the episode here.

Where to find Mark Phillips:



  • The Ren & Stimpy Show
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  • Stranger than Fiction
  • Maya and the Three
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender
  • Sober” by Demi Lovato


Animators & Creatives



In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Live

(00:10) Intro

(01:58) Mark’s reel

(02:59) Welcome to the show

(03:17) Saturday morning cartoons

(06:49) Filling the margins

(08:19) Where to work & Myspace receipts

(12:30) Animating in Chicago

(15:30) Moving to New York and the Lifelong Friendship Society

(16:14) Seeking projects for the people and working with legends

(19:44) What makes an animation stand out?

(22:35) Cycles of animation

(28:59) Animation with the pandemic

(30:52) What’s killing animation?

(33:05) Out-of-date reels and what they really means

(34:39) NDAs and non-competes

(36:21) Future of the animation industry

(39:25) AI–let's get into it

(46:08) Stranger than Fiction and that one scene

(47:20) Midjourney

(50:21) Keeping up with the times and staying positive

(55:24) More AI with a sprinkle of environmental lamentation

(56:20) Drawing demo

(58:41) Listening to music while working and process

(1:04:37) Music videos

(1:07:43) Instagram and social media

(1:12:33) The drawing becomes a butt

(1:13:47) Deciding when an animation is done

(1:14:52) Community and working with others

(1:18:44) Freelancer tips

(1:19:50) The big reveal

Don’t miss a beat–more incredible guests with ideas to boot coming soon.

Watch the latest on YouTube and subscribe to get notified of upcoming episodes.

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For inquiries about Ideas in Motion, email

Let us know what topics you’d like to see covered, your thoughts on the episode, or anything else!

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