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A Day in the Life: Michael Tanzillo of Academy of Animated Art

Headshot Michael Tanzillo Headshot Michael Tanzillo

Creators on Teachable come from every walk of life and share knowledge on every topic around. In our new series, A Day in the Life, we take a look at what a typical day looks like for real Teachable creators. They’ll share with us the quiet moments, the busy moments, and glimpses into what life really looks like behind the curtain. First up in our series is Michael Tanzillo of Academy of Animated Art.

Michael and his partner Jasmine knew there had to be a better way to prepare those in the animation field for a career in the industry. Michael had previous experience in lighting and Jasmine in visual effects and animation, so the pair was primed to be the ones to teach it. They took to Teachable to begin educating the next generation of animators.

Read on to see a day in the life of Michael.

Michael Tanzillo Academy of Animated Art day in the life Michael Tanzillo Academy of Animated Art day in the life

Read Michael’s full transcript below.

6-8 a.m.

Wake up. I have a two-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter, so it’s a good day if I make it all the way to 6 a.m. Breakfast, family time, and music. “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd and The Superman orchestral theme song are both very popular in my apartment.

8-10 a.m.

My spouse or I drop our son off at preschool, and I take my daughter for a run around Central Park. She’s in the jogging stroller while I clear my head listening to an audiobook.

Return to my apartment and pass my daughter off to her nanny. I grab some cold brew and check my email and all other communication apps.

10-1 p.m.

With correspondence out of the way, I focus on crafting my daily to-do list. I try and tackle all my image-making and writing tasks early in the day. I find that my focus and creativity are at their best during these times. [So] I try my best to not schedule meetings so I can focus and do some deep dives into these tasks.

“It’s so important to me to set realistic, achievable goals each day. I don’t like stressing over unfinished tasks in the evenings so this is a very important part of the day.”

1-2 p.m.

Critique time! Every day I schedule time on Discord where I’m available to review my students’ artwork and offer critiques and feedback. All these sessions are recorded and posted to YouTube so even if students cannot attend live, they can still have their work reviewed.

2-5 p.m.

Meetings, presentations, record lectures, or collaboration time. I find that this is the time of day when I’m more motivated to be social and can knock out a live demo or recorded lecture.

5-8 p.m.

Dinner break and family time. I put away my phone and shut off my computer and dive into being a dad. This is either making dinner, taking the kids out to eat, or taking a walk around the neighborhood. This time always ends with a chaotic bath time and reading books where I try my best to do all the voices.

8-9 p.m.

With kids in bed, I’m back to checking correspondence and wrapping up any last-minute tasks on the to-do list.

9-11 p.m.

Relaxing time. This is usually hanging with my wife, watching a movie, reading a book, or just lounging on the sofa.
Bedtime! I used to be bad about staying up late but now I try to always be in bed by 11 p.m. to make sure to get at least six hours of sleep.

Like what you see? Follow along with Michael Tanzillo and Jasmine Katatikarn at the Academy of Animated Art on social media. Or sign up for their free master class here.



Author: Caitlin Miller, Caitlin Miller is the Manager of Content Marketing Strategy at Teachable. In her spare time, she's often found listening to vinyl records, buying too many house plants, and enjoying a run on the streets of Brooklyn.

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