Sonya Amin has turned her love of comics and science into a flourishing animation business. Amin, the co-founder of Toronto’s AXS Biomedical Animation Studio, remembers how she filled her lab notebooks with doodles while taking an undergraduate degree in developmental biology.
Time spent as a “fruit-fly wrangler” at U of T’s Medical Sciences Building convinced Amin that she wanted to make a living marrying her passion for science with her creative streak.
Amin enrolled in U of T’s biomedical communications master’s program, where she studied anatomy, pathology and computer art. During her studies, she chose to concentrate on 3-D animation with a view to teaching children about science.
Business took off in 2005 when Amin landed a three-year contract to do all the medical and science animation for the TV series ReGenesis, which follows a group of scientists as they investigate biotechnological mysteries. “We haven’t looked back since,” says Amin, 32.
Indeed, the firm has moved into a downtown office and doubled its revenue almost every year since its inception. It now enjoys a clientele that includes big-time pharmaceutical companies and biotech companies. The firm has also recently completed the animation for a CBC documentary about possible links between marijuana and mental illness.
“We’re still growing,” Amin says. “It’s hard not to be proud of ourselves.”