Patrick Lowery

What is your name and your current occupation?
Patrick Lowery, 3D Senior Animator, looking for work as usual.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I was a game room attendant (still the best job I’ve ever had), drove an ice cream truck, short order cook, sold albums, art supplies and movie tickets.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Probably the most widely known and acclaimed is Lord of the Rings : Return of the King. The most personal satisfaction was probably Stars Wars Episode 3, since it was the project I wanted to work on since I was 12. It only took me about 28 yrs to get there!

How did you become interested in animation?
I was a big fan of monster/sci-fi movies and animation growing up. I didn’t want to be a lawyer so I thought I would try something in the art field.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?

St Louis, Mo. Studied some art in college, always liked to draw and such. Went to the Joe Kubert School in NJ, and with a lot of luck, the help of friends and hard work, I’ve made somewhat of a career in films.

What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?

If I’m lucky enough to be working, in as early as possible, usually have a review of work in
the morning. Get notes, animate, maybe show stuff in the afternoon or early evening. Get more notes. Repeat as needed.

What part of your job do you like best? Why?

Most the rank and file artists I work with are very talented, bright and good natured people, so that’s nice. Being on the inside for some projects can be fun as well.

What part of your job do you like least? Why?

Outsourcing, concentrated production schedules, pressure from less expensive and experienced graduates entering the field.

What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?

See what I like least above. Also, it can be difficult to be creative on demand working 60+ hours a week while dealing with technical limitations and issues.

What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?

Maya 3D, often with many custom plugins, working hand in hand with other dept’s in the production pipeline. A lot of custom stuff that thankfully, I don’t have to write or know much about.

In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I dunno, I got Ray Harryhausen’s autograph at a book signing ? I worked at Tippett Studio and had Phil yell at me personally. Knowing my animation skills, I deserved it.

Describe a tough situation you had in life.
A tough animation situation or just a general situation in life ?

Any side projects you’re working on you’d like to share details of?
Not too much on the side. I did put together a website for freelance work relating to renewable energy and sustainable living,

Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
You should be in the field because it’s something you feel passionately about, not because it looks fun or easy. Always work on your craft, seek out harsh and honest critiques from your colleagues in the field. Maintain contacts and network whenever you can, it really can make a difference in getting your first big break. And if you’re lucky enough to get a break, take a breath, enjoy it, then bust your ass and do your best work.

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