What is your name and your current occupation?
Cheyenne Curtis and im currently working for Disney Television Animation.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
In Montreal i once worked at this really shady linen store that had no bathrooms. Since i worked alone all day, i used to have to call friends to come over and watch the store for me while i ran to the bathroom! The good part of that story is working alone all day meant some nice sketching time when the store was empty.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I’ve had so much fun doing character designs, rotations and special posing for the Disney TV pilot i’m working on. Daron Nefcy and Dave Wasson are so amazing to work with!
How did you become interested in animation?
Originally i had no idea that animation could be a career! I was in Studio Arts at Concordia University in Montreal and i remember feeling like i didn’t quite belong, even though everyone was interested in art. Luckily one of my friends suggested Sheridan Institute in Oakville, and i applied and got in! I had never done animation before, and i was in a class surrounded by these incredibly talented artists who had already made short films before! I really felt that was where i belonged because it was the first time being surrounded by people who openly and confidently admitted they watch all kinds of cartoons and play video games etc.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m originally from Montreal, Quebec. I got into the Industry by first doing small freelance jobs here and there, then i did an internship at Nickelodeon which lead to more jobs!
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Well since i work at home, i usually wake up, have my morning coffee and then scurry off to my computer and Cintiq and do some work or fix the edits that get emailed to me!
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I really like drawing the background characters in scenes. I’m given a lot of creative freedom which is amazing, and i really push the designs and poses since theyre just characters in the bg.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Sometimes working at home all day, all week can get lonely. I definitely miss the studio environment!
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
I mainly use Photoshop and Flash on my Cintiq.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
I would say for me right now it would be getting my next job. I love making new friends and connections, but sometimes there’s a lot of pressure on having to networking. I don’t enjoy feeling like i “have” to call people and email people everyday just to get noticed. Personally i think the work should speak for itself without having to pounce on people for a job!
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Yes, especially when i first came to L.A 🙂
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I would say dealing with my confidence and my art. It’s always an uphill battle to become a more well rounded artist, so dealing with that on top of a pile of rejection letters from studios was really heart breaking! I’m still learning how to deal with rejection, and not taking it too personally.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
I’m always thinking of new ideas for children’s books! I’m also currently part of an amazing Anthology Comic full of talented artists that will be coming out!
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
Well i don’t know if these are considered unusual…but i really like doing wood burning as a hobby. I buy little wood trinkets and boxes and decorate them etc. I’m also really into making jewellery.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
I’m still incredibly new to the industry and i’m finding that i still need advice and help on trying to break in. The only advice that i’ve learned in my short time is just to be nice to everyone, and don’t burn bridges. I know horror stories of people getting ‘bad reps’ and since our industry is so small word does tend to get around. I also learned that never having a social life and making yourself sick from over-working is a really bad idea. In school it seemed like some people who did all weekly all-nighters, slept at school and got sick then wore it like a badge of honor, but i learned that working in the industry that behavior is seen as reckless and undependable.