What is your name and your current occupation?
Scott Sackett: Freelance Illustrator/Storyboard Artist
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Restaurant Deep Fryer Hood Cleaner, Security Guard, Fotomat Sale Associate (yes those little shacks!)
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
WB TV Animation: Pinky & the Brain and Ozzie & Drix TV shows.
How did you become interested in animation?
Probably my earliest influences were Terry Gilliam’s animated segments in “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.” Later I was really into Ralph Bakashi’s “Wizards” and 1980 animated feature “Heavy Metal”. Probably because they broke the mold of what has become expected of animated movies. That they didn’t have to be all kid’s films.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am from Chicago and went to Columbia College. Later attending Sheridan College, in Oakville Ontario for their superb animation program. My first animation jobs were in local Chicago animation studios working on commercials and PSA’s.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Right now as freelance, and Stay-Home Dad, my day doesn’t start until the house quiets down. Which is about 8:30pm and working well into 2am. Of course depending on deadlines it not usually to look out the window and see the faint blue of the sun rising.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Best part of freelance is the freedom to work your own hours and schedule. To work directly with your clients and take the helm of your own ship so to speak. There is a lot of creative freedom in this.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
The downside to freelance is you are always on the hunt for the next job. There is no “sure thing”. Hours can be wildly chaotic, and quite honesty, pay is probably not as good. Also I do miss the camaraderie and structure of the studio office and talk and interact with your co-workers. Usually freelance your house is also your office. And after awhile the two can blur together.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
In animation work can be cyclical. Maybe for a year or two, keep very busy – then for a spell nothing. Lately for me, keeping up with the technological advances has proved difficult. Time was you might need some good business or artistic skills to survive, nowadays new artists are expected to know a gauntlet of software and digital medias.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
Computer obviously are the core technology and various software for 2D and 3D applications. But nowadays it seems you need them not just for creating artwork, but communicating and sharing ideas. Plus social media sites such as “FaceBook”, “Linked In”, and “Twitter” have become almost standard for keeping in touch with your fellow artists and colleagues.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I used to have pizza at the “Price Club” in North Hollywood with John Dillon.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
One of the toughest situations professionally is getting laid off a “steady” job. One minute you are living the high life with a job of infinite potential and prestige, and the next moment you are at home sitting in your 3-day old underwear huddled over the kitchen phone trying to get some call-backs.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
Currently I have been getting some good work designing and illustrating Children’s book for people. I guess it pays to keep your antennae alert and options open.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Never underestimate the value of colleagues and friends. Whether you are still in college or the work-force, never lose the connections of friends and co-workers. This is your life-blood later in your career. The stronger the bonds you make now – the more resources you will have later down your career. It is one thing to be “friendly” competitive, but entirely something else to be ruled by Ego. Also be open to new ideas, styles, and approaches. It is the Achilles heel of youth to think we have all the answers – and that all else done before is crap. It is often said the Industry is vastly smaller than you think. The people you shun or belittle now are often there again at the next junction, usually as your boss!