What is your name and your current occupation?
Daryl-Rhys Taylor :and I am an animation graduate freelancing from home.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I worked in a gallery called ‘The Animation Art Gallery’ (now Art You Grew Up With) and they had a stock room full of Mickey Mousde merchandise received from the manager of Blue. I had to catalogue all of it and sell it on Ebay.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I enjoyed working on my student film. We were the only ones to ever do a 2D film in our college. I really enjoyed my week at Brown Bag Films being a storyboard conformer on the upcoming Disney Junior show “Doc Mc.Stuffins” and any time I’ve visited Phil Vallentin at Espresso Animation. Also I’m proud of “The Booger Monster” children’s book I’m illustrating right now for the Koncept Factory.
How did you become interested in animation?
I have always known I wanted to be an animator. All I ever did when I was little was watch cartoons and draw. I loved the Looney Tunes and the Disney Classics. I read all the books when I was growing up. One of my happiest memories was when
I was 13 and my family went to Walt Disney World in Florida and we took the tour around the Disney Animation Studios. That was an amazing day.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I was born and raised in the heart of the city of London in the United Kingdom. I went and studied Animation at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication and graduated in 2009, with a first.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Currently, it’s spending the morning checking emails and clearing messages and looking through animation job listings and the afternoon is spent illustrating the children’s book for the Koncept Factory.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Creating ideas, drawing characters and watching my characters come to life with my animation.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
The checking of the emails and the looking for work. Searching all the job listings really emotionally drains you.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
Autodesk Maya, Adobe Flash, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Premiere and Adobe After-effects.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
It’s the rejection from companies. It’s the situation where they will not employ you because you do not have enough experience and you can’t get any experience because you can’t find a job.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
For my dissertation I got to interview a lot of animation masters like Tom Bancroft, Will Finn, Chris Battle, Bobby Rubio, Jerry Beck, Gary Goldman etc. I also had the opportunity to meet Nick Park once at a signing and Chuck Jones’ daughter Linda. They were all very nice.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Right now being an unemployed graduate freelancing from home in this current economic climate, with the British animation industry almost non-existent, this is probably the toughest situation I have had in my animation life.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
I always wanted to do a little animated internet show based on my Animation Station comic but things like the book for The Koncept Factory end up taking most of my time.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I’ve got a 2:1 mathematics degree from Imperial College and I privately tutor maths. I guess that is pretty unusual.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Obviously you should keep practicing and get better, it will make you feel much more confident. I don’t want to sound down but I would want to warn any student, especially British students, that it is going to be very hard. Very few, if any that I know of, graduates from my college have found work in the industry. You graduating in the worst possible economic climate. Do try and take on free work but don’t let yourself be taken advantage of. You will face rejection but don’t let it get you down. If you want it bad enough, you’ll have to keep your chin up and keep plugging away. Someday it will all work out. That’s what I’m hoping.