What is your name?
What would you say has been your primary job in animation?
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Back home in Ireland I worked in a factory doing injection molding for cell phones with some of the funniest and loveliest women I have ever known. Those were great days. A daughter of a publican in Ireland, naturally I have many bar stories to tell but the most enlightening days were as barmaid in Hayden’s Hotel during the Ballinasloe Horse Fair , the oldest fair in Ireland, where people come to trade horses from all over the world and from every nook and cranny of Ireland. This was my first glimpse of how complex and varied us folk are, and how feckin’ strange you all are.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Chowder”, Cartoon Network is one of the best studios to work for here in LA, plus, the crew were funny, friendly and good looking, ha ha!
How did you become interested in animation?
Disney’s “Cinderella”… I think was the first movie that I went to, and was hooked on animation from there on.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am from the village of Crinkle, outside the town of Birr, in County Offaly, dead center of Ireland. I applied for an administration job in Dublin at the Don Bluth Studios and they offered me a cel-painting test. My mother was convinced that I was either selling from door to door or that I was painting “cells” at some prison. She was worried about the kind of people I would be mixing with in the “Big City” in my new career…and maybe she was right to worry…
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Timing sheets, using code and descriptive drawings, viewing animatics, rechecking the script with the track and consulting with the supervisor and show director.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I like it all, but what I like best is when the work flows and you are “in the zone.”
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
have to deal with a person who ….now, how you say in English…has no poetry!
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Being out of a job at the end of a show. Keeping up to date with the latest software can be a challenge as well.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
I quite regularly work in After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Coral, Final Cut Pro, Maya and Sketchbook Pro.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I met Roy Disney. I had my photograph taken with him at the “Fantasia II” premiere. That was pretty cool, if I do say so myself.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Leaving Ireland, leaving my family and friends and getting used to life in LA was overwhelming to say the least. LA was very confusing, everything is very different here. I remember the feeling of having my head twisted when I saw the leaves fall off the trees, and it was hotter than the warmest weather I had ever seen. What was going on? There were a few years when it was crazy, around 2000, my father had died, the animation business took a nose dive, people were killing themselves, marriages were crashing left right and center. One guy passed me in North Hollywood with a trail of police cars on his tail. Later that evening on the news I learned that he’d shot himself at a gas station. It turned out he was another animation artist, quite well known to some of my friends. Then my mother died, yet another person I knew killed himself and then I lost my job…plus my relationship at the time wasn’t working out…but that is enough.
Today I can say that I have learned your weird ways, your strange words, and I love the diversity of LA…and the warm weather is the best part.
Any side projects you’re working on you’d like to share details of?
Yes there is actually it is called ‘The Red Rose” and you can view it at the following link
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
“Save” is a good one, yes, you have to save when the money comes in….I am sure your mother told you to do that enough times.
EAT, PRAY, LOVE…where did I hear that?
Have fun, that’s what it is all about.