What is your name and your current occupation?
I’m Terry and I’m currently a freelance for hire animation/motion graphics artist
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I was a music store clerk for about 4 years cumulative, pizza guy, paraprofessional, and also a waitstaffer at public and private events where I once saw the taxidermied head of a black man at a game hunter’s estate. It was next to a basketball encased in glass. Oh yeah, also worked at Radio Shack!
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Haven’t had to many gigs, but in terms of projects I liked doing Cybetales-Cafe 4 for the Playboy animation contest. It didn’t win but I leaned a lot about animation pipelines hands on. The only thing I didn’t do on that was the music which was created by my friend Polyphonic. I also worked on a mech based fighting game in Unity. I actually like programming and will do more with that hopefully as I have been designing and testing more mecha. I’m also doing a lot more architectural stuff these days.
How did you become interested in animation?
The main reason was Saturday morning cartoons as a kid. I think that got me started drawing. Oh, and Godzilla!
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am from Houston so there is not a lot going on in terms of animation out there. I would say it’s not easy.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Each day is different from the next, the same is true for months, and years. One day designing, the next animation or modeling, even coding, and so on. In terms of my work its all WYSIWYG. I hope people will approve.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Designing of characters/objects. It’s like discovering new forms of life.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Depression, isolation, feelings of un appreciation, the usual.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
I recently upgraded to Lightwave 11 so I’m really enjoying that. Of course I use Adobe CS and a few other programs, Unity. Other than that just pieces of paper and pencils. I’m hoping to get an actual light table one day, with a camera setup!
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
It upsets me sometimes to see graphic/web designers passing themselves off as animators, with no formal training behind a light table. I look at a lot animations sometimes I think that it could have been done better. I also wish a lot of business people out there would have the imagination to sponsor animations or try animation in terms of selling their product. It seems like a pretty good industry. So I would say, lack of business.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
There were a lot of great animation artists visiting the Gene Siskel during my time as a SAIC student in Chicago. I also attended an artificial life lecture with Karl Sims who is a pretty old school CG artist. I met Alex Patterson of the Orb who is mostly a music artist but who’s shows include a fair amount of video artistry as well. Haha! Nope! Still waiting.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I general it’s tough to be in once place for too long where there is intolerance in terms of the arts. Houston is kind of like that. Where they brag about being on a list of best cities for economic growth, but it’s very conservative in terms of the arts. I guess it also tends to systematically exclude and even segregate different types of people from each other business-wise.
Any side projects or you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
I’m working on a couple of things besides my Unity game/simulation stuff. I’ve started designing a cartoon called “Stewpid” based on some characters in a Dojinshii style. Occasionally I’ll be publishing some randomness in form of imagery and animations of landscapes over on my blog. There could be a Cybertales 3 in the works, we’ll see!
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I grew up in the time when EVERYONE was starting to use keyboards to sample music and make electronica to do raves with. I will occasionally dabble in that. I’ve been contemplating virtual environments for while as well so I’m hoping I can grow more as a programmer.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Keep @ it! Keep learning and growing.