What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Ryan Kramer, and I’m a storyboard artist/writer currently at Cartoon Network.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I’ve sold diet pills over the phone, I worked at a car wash, I worked in the costuming dept. at Disneyland, and I worked at movie theatre.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
The current show I’m on, “Uncle Grandpa” is my favorite so far. It’s written and drawn by cartoonists!! Also, I really enjoyed my time storyboarding on Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
Born in Glendora, CA and currently residing in Glendora, CA. I wanted to work in animation so I spent a lot of time drawing and making my own cartoons. As the coaches on my high school football team would say, “want some, get some!”
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
I roll in around lunch time (I run errands and work out in the morning), respond to emails, check the web for a little while, then I strap on my head phones, pick out my soundtrack for the day (it’s a toss up between music and podcasts), and get down to drawing until I gotta pee.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Writing jokes! It’s fun to see what your mind comes up with when giving some characters and premise. And it’s rewarding when the jokes work!
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
The delayed gratification can be hard. It takes soooo long to see your product finished and by the time it’s ready to air your mind is already onto the next thing.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis, how has technology changed in the last few years in your field and how has that impacted you in your job?
It’s a complete digital pipeline. I’m still pretty new to the industry, so I never really had to work on paper. But keeping up with the technology and latest software is all part of the game. Once you get a few programs mastered, you can pick up anything in my experience.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Unlike a lot of careers, the animation industry can have you bouncing around from production to production, if you’re lucky enough to keep a job. It can be challenging to think of the future and plan your next move, but it’s also nice to have that change kind of forced upon you. Helps one grow.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I once caught a glimpse of my reflection in the computer monitor. j/k j/k 😛 I once visited Sergio Aragones’s museum exhibit in his hometown of Ojai, and he personally walked me through his body of work, one on one. So awesome!!
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I wet the bed for the first 12 years of my life. Also, I know nothing about cars, so I get taken advantage of when I go to the mechanic.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
I’m really proud of the website a few of my pals and I created called TOONHOLE.com We post our own animated cartoons and comics there three days a week and have been doing so for over three years. It’s extremely satisfying and it’s totally helped me blossom as an artist/writer.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I do a really solid gorilla walk, and I’m pretty sure I’m like within the top 40 finger drummers in the United States.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Keep your eye on the prize. Put in the time. Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t think about it too much, just do things and finish stuff.