What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Chris McCullough; currently I’m working with Rasam Concept as a free lance character designer.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I’ve worked at a photo booth at Six Flags California. There’s nothing quite like watching everyone around you having fun.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
So far, the game I’ve been working on at Rasam has been my favorite because it’s allowed me an element of freedom I haven’t had before. But my previous job with 5th Street Games was great too, because that was the first time I was able to use my talents at drawing.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from Los Angeles, lived in California all my life. I knew in high school that I wanted to be an artist but it wasn’t until I got to college and realized that I couldn’t wrap my head around typography that I decided to pursue animation as a career.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
It’s a lot of drawing and reading lists. Occasionally I’ll get revision notes from my boss, but it’s very difficult to get immediate feedback, as I work from home and my boss is on the other side of the planet.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I love that I get to actually draw stuff that I want to draw. As grateful as I am to my old bosses, it was a struggle to get that passion to illustrate someone else’s imagination, I never really felt like I was representing what they wanted to see, and I felt a little bad about that.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
The least favorite element would be the long periods between deadlines when I won’t necessarily hear from my boss about what the team will need me to do next. But that’s to be expected, we’re all over the world as it is, and everyone’s busy drumming up hype for the upcoming game.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis, how has technology changed in the last few years in your field and how has that impacted you in your job?
I work mainly on my computer; I’ve had the same laptop and drawing program for 6 years, and only just now learned how to use them properly. In the last few years, it seems everything is done on computers now, which is okay with me, because this is about as close as I can get to have my own cintiq.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
The most frustrating aspect is the job hunting. Especially when companies don’t write you back for months on end.
If you could change the way the business works and is run how would you do it?
I would put more emphasis on responding to applicants. Even if it’s just a template rejection letter, any semblance of closure helps to move on with the job hunt.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I’ve studied under Charles Zembillas the character designer who created Spyro, and was taught animation by Mark Farquhar who worked on The Iron Giant. Oh! And I once interned on a show called Randy Cunningham:9th Grade Ninja, which was directed by Mike Milo.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
The toughest thing right now would be just looking for work. There’s not a lot of stability in this business and you really have to work at it if you want to succeed.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
I’m currently working on a webcomic that I want to start releasing this year.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I can stick my tongue to my nose with relative ease. That little trick helped me pay my way through college.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
For the young artist who’s just learning to draw: Take notes. You’ll be surprised how much more you can retain when you take constant notes on your drawings and animation habits. To the young’ns looking to get work, make friends and rub elbows with everyone, it helps to get a good in from a