What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Ronald Wimberly but some folk call me Dπ. I’m an artist. Right now I am designing characters for a Black Dynamite animated series to premiere on Adult Swim in July. I am also dropping a original graphic novel from Vertigo in September called Prince of Cats.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I didn’t have any crazy jobs really. I’ve been everything from a lumberyard worker to an arcade attendant (arcades are what we had before online gaming). The most unlikely job was security/bag check at a record store on st. marks. I literally stood on a box to appear more imposing.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I’m new to the animation game, but I am very proud to cut my teeth on black dynamite. Pause.
How did you become interested in animation?
As far back as I can remember I’ve been into animation. I started out making flip books on the corners of my school books.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from Washington DC originally, but I’ve been lamping in Brooklyn for the last 15 years. When I got out of college, I did a few little BS projects for Def Jam …failed at producing an animation for a Nas video…All the while doing comics. Then Carl came along and gave me an opportunity to be a part of this show and I literally dropped everything to be a part of it.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
I get up, draw comics, then walk to work… 40 minutes later, I walk into the beautiful, air-conditioned, ivy coated garage auxiliary of Titmouse. Then I get to work for 10-14 hrs, stretching my legs on occasion and shooting the shit with my fellows. Then I walk home, carefully avoiding the colorful Hollywood fauna that stalk the night. Wolf down some food and start on more work at home.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
My favorite part of this job in particular is being part of a powerful team. Watching my skills work in concert with others to make something greater than the sum of it’s parts. It’s different for me then my comics experience where I’ve felt that the more people involved the harder it is to create something special. Also, the people I’ve dealt with here at Titmouse are professional and cordial, more so than any other spot I’ve visited.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
I have nothing to complain about, actually. Maybe its location. I’m not sold on Hollywood yet.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
My brain; Cintiq’s; light tables and the ol standby, a pencil.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
I don’t really think about anything like that. If I had to guess, I’d say reconciling where I like to live with where I have to work.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Peter Chung stops into Titmouse every once in awhile. I’m a big fan of his. Working here at Titmouse, I have the feeling that, if not now, in 5-10 years looking back, many of the seeming mundane, day-to-day interactions I have will be considered “brushes with animation greatness”.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
My toughest situations have to do with the corrupt marriage of higher education and banks; and debt accrued from not being able to afford health insurance. That’s a heavy conversation though.
Any side projects or you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
There’s Prince of Cats I mentioned before. I’m posting art and links pertaining to it on a tumblr, http://princeofcats1.tumblr.com/. Last but not least, I maintain a comic called GratNin (short for Gratuitous Ninja). In my free time I’ve been prepping a store to carry narrative apparel from that world. I maintain a tumblr for that too, http://gratnin.tumblr.com/.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
none fit to discuss in mixed company.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
work hard, work smart and make friends.