Just like Baman and Piderman, two of the characters in their animated web series, Alex and Lindsay Small-Butera are the best of “fwends.” Now partners in work and life, Alex and Lindsay first met while studying animation at MassArt. Their relationship grew out of a first collaboration to produce an animation screening as part of the All School Show, an annual college-wide showcase of student work. They also began sharing a joint sketch book and have been collaborating on projects ever since.
Their love child, Baman Piderman, began in response to an animation homework assignment. The animated short film was screened at the Ottawa International Animation Festival in Canada and became an internet hit with over three million views. They ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for the series that raised over $112,000. Alex and Lindsay have created over 20 web episodes to date.
Since graduating from MassArt in 2008 and 2009 with BFA’s in Animation, Alex and Lindsay have co-developed the pilot for SuperGo!, an animated series for the Cartoon Network; they have worked on several other projects for the network, including an episode of the Clarence series. Lindsay is currently the art director and lead designer for Hero4Hire Creative, a three-time Emmy-nominated production company. Along with continuing to co-develop episodes of Baman Piderman with Lindsay, Alex has worked on multiple seasons of Word Girl for Soup 2 Nuts, an award-winning animation studio. They both also take on freelance projects, and have been invited to personally pitch for Nickelodeon. They’ve created educational animations for the Smithsonian Institute, videos for College Humor, and an animated music video for the band Garfunkel and Oates.
Alex and Lindsay agree that promoting themselves and their work on the internet has played a key role in launching and maintaining their careers. “We live in an internet culture,” says Alex. “Having web presences under our own names and brand has brought us so many opportunities.” Their advice to young artists and designers is to put your work out there everywhere you can on all the portfolio sites you can find and to create a big web presence for yourself. “Although it is scary out there and it can be tough to succeed in animation, it is kinder out there than you think it is,” adds Lindsay. “Just working as hard as you are able will take you way more places than you think it will.”