Walter W. Wirtz, Current occupation Freelance Animator and Illustrator by day, caped vigilante and batman lookalike by night.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
That’s an easy one, being a dad. Kids are a full time job with no paid OT.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
One of the most interesting ones was working as an intern for a SFX studio in Santa Monica where we were working on Hostel: Part II. Specifically in Animation I was very happy to work on a 5 part mini series done for a Central American government about a 10 year old girl and her Social reality. It was an interesting eye opener.
How did you become interested in animation?
I’ve always been a story teller, first with illustrations, later on I dabbled in a little writing, Animation was the natural step to take to merge both. Aside from that, I heard animators get all the girls.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
When I’m on a big project the day is quite simple, get up, shower, eat breakfast, get to work on the project, continue working on the project, remember I was supposed to eat lunch (usually around dinner time), spend a little time with my kids before they go to bed, watch a movie or play video games to desaturate the brain.
That would have to be pre-production, specifically character design. I have a great time creating characters and trying to make each unique.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
I still believe traditional animation is technically speaking, the most demanding and rewarding and still like to do most of my process by hand; when it’s time to hit the computer I use the CS5 environment by Adobe, combining Flash, After Effects, Photoshop, Sound Booth, and Premiere. (it’s a lot less complicated than it sounds).
I’d have to say collecting on bills, too many clients like to think that if they stall enough they get to waive the fees.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Surviving school without getting murdered by my teachers, I was an annoying kid. (Now I’m an annoying adult)
Right now I’m working with a colleague illustrator getting a couple of collective expos done before the year ends, we created an illustration enthusiasts group and gather once every two weeks, it’s in spanish but you can see some of the info on Facebook under Los Garabatti.
I’m a chinchilla whisperer, haven’t been able to get them to listen but that doesn’t stop me from trying….
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
A wise man and good friend told me once, “We all have 10,000 bad drawings on our hands…Get em out!!” I always lived by that motto, I’m sure I haven’t covered the 10k yet but the number is reducing. Stay focused, be persistent, and remember that it’s a comercial medium, keep your eye on the business side of it without forgetting who you are as an artist.