What is your name and your current occupation?
Nichole Ceinos. Graphic Designer / Animator.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Nothing crazy. I was a customer service rep at AT&T, finance department. Not fun.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I participated on the 2012 august competition for 11 second club. I love subtle animation and dialogues, so I took advantage of the opportunity and did a close up of the characters face and went for it. Everything fell into place and I made the deadline. I’m really happy with it and I think it’s the best I’ve done so far even though it’s not my most recent. I’m also proud of my 2011 university Demo Reel. Not because of the animation because it was not my best, at all. But because it reminds me that I accomplished something that was very important to me.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from Caguas, Puerto Rico. I moved to Florida to study computer animation at Full Sail University. I would watch Pixar movies and they would always bring all these emotions out in me. I thought it was so amazing an animated film could do that. Their stories, animation, etc. I wanted to be part of it. I still dont have my dream job but Im working towards it.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
With my current employment I mostly do graphic design. I do work on animation but it is not character animation, mostly marketing.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I have my own office and only I am in charge of all the graphic design and animation. I do work well with a team. But I have had bad experiences with group projects with people that don’t pull their weight, I guess there is always going to be someone like that in a group. I like the fact that it’s only me on this job because Im in control of what needs to be done. Im the one responsible. It’s more work but I love it.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
There is no character animation. That is my main focus and what I love most. Im always looking for character animator positions in Florida.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis, how has technology changed in the last few years in your field and how has that impacted you in your job?
Maya, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Motion, Final Cut Pro. When Adobe programs get updates their usually small changes in tools here and there but I feel they are mostly cosmetic. I have only been animating for 2 years in Maya and 3ds Max so I have not really seen a lot of changes.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
The pressure of having someone depend on you for quality work and having the confidence to know that you are capable of accomplishing it.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I have had the great pleasure of having as a mentor Anthony Micheals. He has worked in such films as Mulan, Pocahontas, Lilo & Stich to name a few. I always to try and absorb as much knowledge I can from him. It is amazing to be able to talk about animation with someone with so much experience and that has been part of films I love.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
My grandmothers death and when I moved to Florida. I lived in Puerto Rico for so many years. My mother left a year before I did to find a job and a house. Then I moved to start school but my father stayed in Puerto Rico for almost two years before he could come because he was waiting for a transfer for work. It dosent sound like a rough situation but emotionally it was very hard for me to have so many dramatic changes in my life from what I was used to.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
Im currently working on a dialogue from “Ratatouille”. It has been challenging because both characters are playing of each other with weight. Im learning a lot as a go. This will me part of my 2013 Demo Real.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I play video games, mostly for xbox. I love role playing games ! I also practice my drawing every week on paper and photoshop.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Never give up. Know you can do it even if everything else is saying you can’t. Make your goal a priority and don’t let anything else get in the way. I myself do not have much experience in the industry but I do know hard work pays off. I have also had people tell me It was crazy to come here and study animation, sometimes they would tell me to give up. Even I wanted to give up at one point, but I didn’t. Now I have a bachelors and a job and there is more to come. If you want it bad enough, nothing is impossible.