What is your name and your current occupation?
Alan Kent Alsup. Architectural delineator and animator.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Well, in high school I had a part time job at a dairy farm. Not really a “crazy” job, though wading through literally 12″ of soupy cow excrement daily prompted me to join the Navy upon graduation and get the hell out of Dodge.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
My most personally gratifying project was definately the Ridley collaboration. And it’s gotten the least amount of recognition of any animation that I’ve ever done. Should I be concerned?
How did you become interested in animation?
From the time I could
reach the television switch on Saturday mornings. I had a crush on Betty Boop.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
Murfreesboro, Tennessee. I had dabbled with 2D animation in art school after my hitch in the Navy and enjoyed it immensely. Put a demo reel together and did a few small jobs. When I became married I discovered a free lance animator’s paychecks were not condusive to a happy home. So I switched my profession to architectural delineations, and have drawn architectural renderings for the past 25 years. The recent collapse of the building industry required diversification, so it seems I’m back to where I originally began.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Up about 4:30 AM, work on animation until 6:00AM, work my day job from 7:00AM until around 3:00 PM. Around 4:00 PM I begin either carving characters, hunting for suitable audio, building scale sets, or filming until around 10:00 PM. Never realized until rereading this, it’s quite possible I may need some time off.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Most definitely creating the clay heads. They are a stress reliever for sure, as the exaggerated features often bring a smile even to my face.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
The marketing angle. I find it very hard to promote myself, as after completion I always think it could have been better. I don’t think I’ve ever really been satisfied with anything I’ve ever done.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
Adobe After Effects CS6, Adobe Photoshop, Audacity audio, Stop Motion Pro, Chief Architect, and several other extremely too boring to mention software programs.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Making the animations seem to look as though they were done in a couple hours. Helter skelterish, missing frames, bad lighting, etc. As though they were done in secret in a dark basement during a revolution. That’s my intent anyway. That’s what I’m trying to project.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Not to date. Although, I am acquainted with the daughter of the renowned animator Hal Walker. Mutt and Jeff, Popeye, Felix the Cat, and yes Betty Boop (hubba hubba) all owe their succes directly to him alone. And his daughter is a very sweet and refined lady.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
The deaths of my father and my father-in-law. They were my best buddies. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
Several, though the most interesting is a stop motion story regarding a black soldier in the confederate army in 1864. I don’t think people today realize how many black confederates that there were in the southern army. It’s going to be roundly critisized by many I’m sure. Yet the facts speak for themselves.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
None whatsoever, thank you for the opportunity to let everyone know…
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Don’t give up your day job!