Walter W. Wirtz

What is your name and your current occupation? 

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?

I’m a Californian (SoCal to be precise) but I was born in Guatemala (tiny country in Central America).  I got into the animation business after developing a career in management and call business, when your true calling starts nagging the only solution is to listen.

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.

What part of your job do you like best? Why?

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 guess it would have to be getting new clients, I’d rather spend the time on all the animation process than on the business part of it.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?

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).

What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?  

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?

I think I’ve come across more through the web, I’m a Don Hertzfeldt, and Bruno Bozetto fan, but there’s so many talented animators it’s nearly impossible to list all the ones that I admire.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.

Surviving school without getting murdered by my teachers, I was an annoying kid. (Now I’m an annoying adult)

Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?

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.

Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?

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.

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  1. Walter-

    I saw your work on Linkedin and thought I would contact you. I am looking for an illustrator to collaborate on a unique book of off-beat, twisted – yet existentially accurate – humor and thought your drawings and POV were in the ballpark. Even though I’m a composer by profession I have had a number of short stories published and have a number of contacts in the industry. Let me know if this is something you’d like to discuss.

    Bob Cohen

  2. Fernando Barillas

    me llega..pero una pregunta…compadre…sera posible que un buen dibujo..salga al cyberspacio..o varios dibujos…cuanto cuesta ?…saludos http://WWW….exitos como decìa la Kris……mmm

    • Hay varias maneras de publicar tu trabajo y muchas son sin costo alguno. Depende en realidad de tus necesidades especificas. Mandame un mail y te paso unos links de sitios que podes emplear.

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