What is your name and your current occupation?
I am Jeremy Steiner, freelance designer, illustrator, and concept artist and designer for Sony Pictures Interactive.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I don’t actually work in the animation industry currently, but have some experience in the past with color key painting. The craziest job was when I worked as a caricature artist at Bar Mitzvahs.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
In July, I launched the game Hotel Transylvania, which is a social game for Facebook. I have been fortunate enough to work on other great projects including the Smurfs Website, God Of War: Betrayal mobile game, Jeopardy and Wheel Of Fortune for the PlayStation Network, and Legends Of Norrath MMO Game for Sony Online Entertainment.
How did you become interested in animation?
I have had an interest in animation since I took a film class while I attended Art Center. At Art Center, I met talented instructors that worked in animation, and they inspired me. While working at Sony, I meet with visual development artists at a weekly sketch club and learn about their experiences in a production. The opportunity to work full time in animation would be a a dream come true.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am from Los Angeles, California. I am not in the animation business yet, but I am looking for a any available opportunities to get into the industry.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
I am a art lead for Sony Pictures Interactive, where we primarily work on games for Facebook. A typical day can vary depending on where we are in development. For example, in the initial stages of a game I spend the day coming up with concepts and drawing sketches of ideas that our team has discussed for development of the game.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
The best part of my job is that I get to draw and conceptualize. I am able to utilize my creative abilities to achieve what is required for each project.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Sometimes I am not able to draw and paint 100% of my time, which is my passion. We all have to wear many hats and fill in the gaps which means that there will be occasions where you may have to do a task that you are not always accustomed to doing.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
I primarily look at technology as art tools to do my job more effectively. I will pick my tools that best fit the project. I primarily use Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, & some 3D software including Maya and Zbrush.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Starting out is always tough going from contract to contract or production to production. Maintaining stability and creating a name for yourself can be difficult to achieve. Also creating a dynamic portfolio that companies are looking for can be challenging since each have different requirements depending on what area in animation one is pursuing.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
At this time my experience in animation is limited, but when I worked on color keys I was able to take my skills to the next level.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
There have been many tough situations that I have experienced in life, but my philosophy is look for the positive in any situation.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
I have had some opportunities to work on Zynga and Ubisoft’s social games for Facebook.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
As a kid I had an obsession with the sport of basketball and basketball shoes. I would draw all the air Jordan’s, Flights, and Reebok designs that came out in the late 90’s. For a while I thought I might go into shoe design, but that phased out, and I moved on to other things.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Keep drawing, be determined and never give up.