Arthur Loftis

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Arthur Loftis, Background Design/Painter and Prop Design at Six Point Harness
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Axe murderer.  Next question.What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
My first job out of college was BG clean-up artist on The Goode Family.  It was a Mike Judge show on ABC that few people seem to remember, but it was genuinely funny and I learned a lot while I was there.  Way more than I did from the murdering.
How did you become interested in animation? 
Like a lot of guys my age, I grew up watching The Simpsons.  I think we all know someone who can seemingly recite any quote from the first nine seasons of that show from memory.  In my group of friends, I’m that guy.  Getting to actually work in..that industry was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from Redondo Beach, CA.  I got into animation right after I finished up my BFA at USC.  One of my professors, Phil Hayes, helped me land the clean-up job on The Goode Family.  I owe him a lot.

What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
I show up in the morning, check on my list of backgrounds that need to be roughed out, and set to work on those.  We’re a small studio, so when the roughs are all in, I’ll end up doing some of the clean-up and painting myself.  It’s a great place to get a lot of experience doing different jobs.  I have portfolio pieces that I can show to people and say, “I handled this whole BG from start to finish.”

What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Working closely with really talented people!  I love learning and improving, and when you’re surrounded by people who are passionate about their work, it’s hard not to.  Plus it’s great to get each other pumped up about producing awesome art!  Yes, I’m young.What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Impossible deadlines.  I don’t think any of us enjoy seeing the product suffer because of a crazy deadline.  But it happens.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Balancing everything I want to do.  I love my job, but I also take classes on the side.  And I think we all have our own personal projects that we chip away at in our free time.  Fitting that all in with the heavy drinking animation studios require can be a real drain.What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
Cintiq 21UX, Windows 7, Photoshop.  Sometimes Flash.  Sometimes SketchUp.  And the most powerful computer of all: the human mind.

In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I got to work with Carol Wyatt at Six Point Harness.  She’s one of the best colorists out there.

Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Deciding to go into art in the first place was challenging.  I know a lot of people who, like me, had a hard time convincing their families that art is a legitimate profession that you can make a decent living in.  I spent a year in engineering school before I finally made the big switch to fine art, and I’ve never looked back.  The way I see it, you have to work hard to succeed in anything.  But if you’re going to work that much, you may as well do something you enjoy.

Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
I started a sketch blog with some co-workers.  Check it out!
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
Metallurgy.  I am a metallurgist.Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Always seek out new inspiration.  Anyone can tell you to work hard and practice constantly, but once you’re inspired it gets a whole lot easier to motivate yourself.
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One Comment

  1. You were never an axe murderer. That’s not cute, Arthur. And CALL sometime… FUCK.

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