Myke Chilian

What is your name and your current occupation?
Myke Chilian, currently lead designer on an adult swim pilot called “Rick and Morty”.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Back in 2005 i was working as a receptionist in a law firm. Does that count as crazy? Other than that, mostly worked at places like Blockbuster Video and Borders Books. Both of which are out of business now, i think.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I’m really proud to have been involved in VH1’s “Acceptable.TV”. An awesome, yet short lived sketch show where i was able to work with most of my closest Channel 101 friends. Not many people saw it, but occasionally someone will reference “Mr. Sprinkles” or “Operation: Kitten Calendar”. I’m sure all the sketches are online somewhere if anyone cares to google it. Definitely worth watching.
How did you become interested in animation?
I’ve always drawn my whole life. And i also loved making short films with my friends. So naturally, with animation i’m able to do both.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I grew up in a small town called Clovis, in Fresno, California. I moved to Los Angeles in 2000 and tried to get involved in as many creative projects as possible. Eventually my friends and I stumbled upon, a community of incredibly talented people making short films for themselves, for fun! Throughout the years i’ve been making short films and cartoons, and eventually i had several opportunities to work on random animation jobs such as “The Sarah Silverman Program” and “Community”.

Community, Season 2 animated End Tag

What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
A lot of sitting down in front of a computer. Non stop. I sit at work, I sit at home. Very dull lifestyle.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I like how the animation industry is very small. I’m constantly bumping into, or working next to, the very same people that inspired me as a kid. Weather it’s directors that worked on the original Batman animated series, or old cast members from Mr. Show, it always keeps things pretty surreal. Also gives me tons of bragging rights.

What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Sitting all day. Which causes a lot of back pain. Not good.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
Wacom Cintiqs mostly. And all your standard artsy-fartsy software…photosnip, flask, final smut bro. The basics.

What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
My good friend Matt Danner put it best: the animation industry is like living a gypsy lifestyle. You’re always looking for the next train to hop on. If this field is anything, its certainly not stable.

In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Definitely. While doing character design on The Ricky Gervais Show, i was lucky enough to work under the great Craig Kellman, along side other greats such as Andy Bialk and Pete Oswald.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Aside from grappling with the standard neurosis about death, god, and the universe, i have tough situations on a week to week basis. To describe any particular one might be a bit superficial and boring for some readers. So i’ll just say its tough having to grow up. That’s the toughest of them all.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
I play the accordion in my band called “The Manx”

The Manx video promo

Also love making shorts for Channel 101. This is a cartoon i made in 2011 called “McBusters”

McBusters (episode 1)

Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I can snap my fingers in all sorts of weird ways. It’s an audio-visual talent, sort of hard to describe in words. Sorry, readers.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Well, i’m no pro, but i can say this…Get involved in a lot of projects, you can never be too busy when it comes to making stuff. And don’t dwell on one project for years. Instead of taking 5 years to make 1 thing, make 5 things every 1 month, even if they’re shitty. When you’re starting out, quantity is usually more important than quality.

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