What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Michael Michell and I’m a freelance filmmaker and Illustrator.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I’ve had a lot of jobs over the years, I’ve worked as a dishwasher, at a women’s clothing store and one summer as a city roads worker.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I created a short film for the Balsillie School of International Affairs, called Be Castro which was part of a series of shorts films promoting a book that was being published. I was happy to work on that project and even happier when my dad bought the book.
How did you become interested in animation?
All through high school I wrote and drew comics but I wasn’t very good at the drawing part. So when I graduated I went to Animation school to learn how to draw.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. I went to Sheridan college for animation and after graduating started doing freelance work.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
I wake up, have a coffee, and then sit down at my computer and start drawing.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I love learning new artistic technique and styles and using traditional mediums like watercolours ,inks, markers and pencils .
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
I don’t like having to work from home. Some times it’s amazing, but it can also getting pretty lonely.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
I mainly use photoshop, I use flash and Illustrator occasionally.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
I’m finding it difficult to find a job as a designer.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Sadly no, but I hope that my travels are far from over.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
When I first moved to Toronto after graduating I didn’t find a job right away and had to sleep on my sisters couch for a few months, penniless. That was tough.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
I’ve been writing a comic for a few years now, slowly when I have the time. It’s called Pumpkin head and it’s about wizards magic and revenge.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I can climb trees really well, I’ve been climbing trees since I was a little kid, like a monkey. I still do it from time to time.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Believe in yourself and your art. Don’t look at more than five blogs in one sitting and draw constantly!