What is your name and your current occupation?
David Boudreau, Animator/designer for Other Ocean.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I scooped ice cream and did peoples laundry at a ice cream shop/Laundromat called the “Dairy Clean”… I’m not lying … it was actually called that. Needless to say I did not last at that job for very long.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Well, first off, I would have to say Kroyer films, “Ferngully, the Last Rainforest” in Toronto back in 1991. It was my first job and introduction to the business where I met and worked with some of the best animators, such as Darlie Brewster, Charlie Bonifacio and Chuck Gammage to name a few, as well as working for Bill and Sue Kroyer, who I eventually worked for in California, two years later. Years later, in 1998, I animated for Dreamworks on such films as “Prince of Egypt”, “Eldorado”, “Spirit” and finally “Sinbad”. I cherish my experience on all of these films and worked along side of some of the most talented artists. I’m very proud and humbled to have worked among them.
How did you become interested in animation?
To be quite honest, I was never really interested in animation as a career. It wasn’t until a family friend suggested I consider it because of my love for drawing (plus I had very little options that I was interested in). As a kid, I dreamed of working for ILM, after seeing “Star Wars” for the first time in 1977. Like most kids, you could say I became a little obsessed. I had a passion for creating creatures and reading all I could on the “behind the scenes” on Phil Tippett and the likes. It wasn’t until years later, that I realized that I could merge my love of drawing and film into learning traditional animation. In fact, shortly after I graduated from Sheridan College, I was accepted for an internship at “ILM” … but would you believe I did not accept, they weren’t paying , and I could not afford to live there, plus I refused to work for free (and still do) 🙂
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I was born of Canadian parents in Boston, Mass., but grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada. I have dual citizenship between the U.S. and Canada, which turned out to be a huge benefit to my career later on. In March of 1987, I flew to Toronto, Ontario, Canada to meet the Dean of the Animation program at Sheridan College. At the time Sheridan College only accepted Ontario students during their Winter Program, but after seeing my sketches I drew in High School, they decided to make an exception. I was very fortunate.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Well, these days I’ve made the transition over to digital from traditionally animating, and now I am working in the Gaming Industry. It’s very different, in the sense that I am wearing different hats and trying to accomplish an assortment of different tasks that having nothing to do with animating. Sometimes I could be designing characters and doing artwork for a pitch and the next moment I could be overlooking rig or model changes on 3D characters.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Doing what I love , animating and designing, simply because it’s creative and what I have the most experience in and excel at.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Being in the digital age, you could say that I am Technically challenged, I find it quite frustrating at times… actually, all the time. Although having said that I started working in Photoshop, two years ago, and have come up to speed in that area. I approach most of my work from a traditional and practical way of thinking and use the computer as a tool and not a crutch.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
I primarily use Maya and Photoshop.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Artistic “egoes” …. or is that a given? 🙂 I can’t really think of anything “difficult”, except for maybe the long hours at times and/or having to be expected to perform when some days you don’t really feel inspired.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Where do I begin? James Baxter, Glen Keene , Chuck Jones, Darlie Brewster, Charlie Bonafacio , Kristoff Serrand, Rodolphe Guenoden… and the list goes on and on…
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Making the transition from traditional to digital, I would say was the toughest. I say this because I felt part of a very special group in traditional animation, a very skilled profession, before digital. Just when I finally reached a plateau to where I felt comfortable as an animator and artist, to where I could relax a little and enjoy the fruits of all my hard work, the computer stepped in. I did not embrace this very well. Now everyone and their mother is animating as well as painting digitally. Still the best digital animators or artists , in my opinion , are the ones with the traditional skills. It’s a lot easier to teach someone to push a button opposed to teaching someone to draw.
Any side projects or you’re working on you’d like to share details of?
I am doing character design on several different feature projects that I am not at liberty to discuss at this time. I also got into doing caricatures and painting digitally within the last 2 years or so and having a blast and slowly getting recognized for the work that I do as an individual, which is very rewarding and now have a following in countries all around the world.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
Apart from my drawing, I enjoy sculpting, being able to give my drawings that added dimension.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Other than find another profession? just kidding. I would work hard in the skill of mind reading, since you’ll be doing a lot of that from clients who don’t know what they want. 🙂 All kidding aside …. Never think you are the best , because there are always going to be those who are better than you, plus, the day you think you are the best, is the day you stop learning.