What is your name and your current occupation?
Tyree Morrow, Co-Founder, Character Designer, and Animator at Creative Overdose Studios.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I’m not sure if this is crazy but it was fun. I was a candy cook at a candy store in Savannah. I made salt water taffy, Pralines and caramel apples. MMMMMMMMM!
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
There are so many. I’ve worked on a comic book series called “Animus” where I was a character designer at Neo Gate Creations. I’ve also worked on the re-release of “Titanic 3d” as a Rotokey animator for Dzignlight Studios. Recently and the most fun project was helping develop the game “Stra-Tactics” for Grunt Corps. My team and I were in charge of the animated cut scenes. We had a lot of fun working on it and even got to play the beta version of the game. The game is set for release in December.
How did you become interested in animation?
I’m a big fan of Loony Toons, Tom and Jerry, Droopy etc. I was 6yrs old and my mother would watch them with me and would even draw with me while the toons were on. I was fascinated with how fluid the movement of the characters were and the fact that all of them had a personality, thought, and feeling. From then on I knew I wanted to do animation.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m originally from Springfield Massachusetts. I got into the animation bizz not to long after college at the Art Institute of Atlanta. Networking and keeping in touch with my instructors and friends that graduated before me helped me find animation jobs and freelance work. More so through freelancing and talking to the right people.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Hmmm…Is lack of sleep typical? Lets see, research, drawing, then more research followed by more drawing. Then fleshing out characters and animating roughs to get the feel and timing down. Later in the day meetings with the team and swapping ideas. Then more drawing through the night. And I love every minute of it….except the no sleeping part.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I like coming up with different characters. It’s fun to see how far I can push a design. To make it seem as if it’s thinking, using different shapes, and body types. Giving the design personality. I think it’s awesome when an artist draws a character and without it moving you can tell a story. That’s what I like the most.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Last minute revisions! This slows down production especially when things have already been given the green light. I try to catch these early on in the process and get a definite go ahead before I move on to the next step. But it’s part of the bizz.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
Wacom Tablet, Spotify, computer, reams of paper and pencils.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Working on a project that you’ve put your blood and sweat in just to have production stopped.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I did have the pleasure of meeting and learning animation from Lee Crowe, Donovan Howard, Shane McGee, Shawn Crystal, Mark Smith, Elio Guevara, Tom Biondolillo and Paul Orlando. Just to name a few.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Finding out that a studio i was working at was shutting down once a project was finished. I was sad cause I had met so many talented artist. I still keep in touch with a few of them as well as the animation directors.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
Right now my team and I are finishing up the game Stra-Tactics. Making sure the animation, timing and FX are on point. You can view images of the game at Grunt Corps .com. We at Creative Overdose are working on several animated shorts and our own video game that will make their debut next year.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
If only I was that awesome. I do have a few things that i do. I’m an assistant Karate instructor here in Atlanta Ga. I also do Parkour. You can always find me at Piedmont running and jumping over stuff.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Keep Drawing!! Do research and talk to other artist and animators. Also visit your local production studios. There’s nothing wrong with going up there and picking the brains of the directors and animation leads. Be humble and always ready to learn , you must have a PASSION for animation. If you don’t have passion for it then you’re not going to enjoy it. Above all DO NOT give up! Keep pushing forward to make your dreams a reality.