How did you get your start in the animation industry?
I was fortunate enough to get a job right out of college, working for an animation studio called Mercury Filmworks in Ottawa. The first show I ever worked on was Jimmy Two Shoes. My first few years in the industry were pretty tough honestly.
They were filled with a lot of late nights, and weekends, trying to hone my skills, and a lot of lay offs. It’s taken years, but I’m finally starting to feel like I’m coming into my own as an artist. Seeing all that hard work pay off these last couple of years has been pretty satisfying.
What influenced you to become an artist?
Like many artist out there, my love for drawing came from Dragonball. Drawing Goku and his wacky looking hair was the cool thing to do among my group of friends. As time went on, most of them would move on to other hobbies, but I kept at it. Turns out drawing was the perfect creative outlet for a kid with a very active imagination. Drawing became such an integral part of me, that the older I got, the harder it was for me to envision myself doing anything that didn’t involve drawing in some way.
Originally, my plan was to try my hand at being a comic book artist. I was making my own little comics in my free time, so I figured I’d play to my strengths. Being an animator never really occurred to me, until I got a chance to play around with Adobe Flash in my high school computer science course. My teacher was nice enough to let me work on it every class, and I took a real liking to seeing my drawings come to life. Though my love for sequential story telling never really went away (more on that later), getting a chance to animate really opened my eyes to the things I can do with art as far as career choices go, and fortunately for me, Algonquin college had 3 year animation program, so I applied and the rest is history.
What projects have you worked on? and what was the most memorable?
I’ve worked on dozens of shows, some more memorable than others, but Atomic Puppet, was a special one for me because it was the first time I got to work on Storyboards. I love storyboarding, it combines my love of sequential storytelling and my love for animation.
I got my start as a revisionist on Atomic Puppet, making little fixes here and there, until one day, my supervisor approached me, and asked if wanted to do board out part of a fight scene. No script, and free range to do whatever I wanted (within reason). Anyone who knows me, knows I love to watch a good fight. Animated, live action, or competitive. So getting the chance to come up with my own fight sequence was like Christmas, and the most fun I’ve had working on a project to date!
How has the industry changed since you started?
The biggest change I’ve seen in the last decade is how much the industry has grown. There’s a lot of work to go around, especially now that streaming services are having an arms race to deliver more original content. It’s great, because it’s opening more doors to more people from diverse backgrounds and walk of life, giving them the opportunity to tell their stories to an audience craving fresh ideas. And the shows that are coming out today are a reflection of that.
Anything else you’d like to mention that I didn’t ask?
The Animation industry is by no means an easy one, but ever since I’ve decided to be a part of it, it has made me a better artist, introduced me to life long friends, and given me the opportunity to make a living, doing the thing I love most. Can’t wait to see what how the next 10 years will play out!