Craig Wilson

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Craig Wilson, I’m predominantly a board artist for television animation these days.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Nothing to crazy, but depressing?  Quite a few…

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Recently, “Wolverine & the X-Men” was a hoot as well as coming out pretty good. I directed a DTV 3D feature a few years ago titled” Dragons: Fire & Ice.”  We really tried to get a dark, graphic look to Maya, lots of blacks…everyone had Hellboy pages around their desks, there’s a lot of good stuff in there.  I was overseas animation director on “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?” back in the ‘90s.  Again, a fun experience, and I won an Emmy on that (of course, it’s in some producer’s office, all I got was the certificate thingy.)  I’ve been with a few companies in their formative years, which is always great.

How did you become interested in animation?
Despite being a Warner Bros fan like everyone else, I was really a Continue…

Warren Leonhardt

 

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Warren Leonhardt, story artist at Blue Sky Studios

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Worked as a logger, prep cook at a truck stop, janitor at a hospital and a shoe repairman for a day. I thought about going into amateur kickboxing in 1993 or 94 after being invited by my coach to train in Thailand, but I’m too darn lazy when it comes right down to it.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
It’s not so much the gig as the folks I’ve been lucky enough to work with. I’ve been on great crews such as the one we had at Red Rover studios up in Toronto in the early ’00s. We had a blast making Puma, Mexican Gerber commercials, and concert videos for R. Kelly when he was just on the cusp of going completely bonkers. I had to draw his recently deceased mother as an angel who talked to him, which was awkward, to say the least. As far as movies or recognizable credits go, I’d have to say those guys at Sony who made ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs’ were really awesome for the short time I was on that movie. Still pals with a few of em. But there were fun crews in Ottawa, Copenhagen, LA, or Toronto that I’d like to gather together in a room again anytime, regardless of the job.  Of course I have high hopes for the movie that I’m working on right now. The crew at Blue Sky has some really bright and eccentric people here, which is always awesome to be around. Makes for good comedy bits.

 

How did you become interested in animation?
Same as anyone else, I guess. Television reruns of classic Looney Tunes and Disney shorts, mostly. There was one Disney special every Sunday evening when I was a kid. I was also a “Saturday Morning” kid, but I really liked waking up really early weekday mornings and watching original Tom & Jerry cartoons, Looney Tunes on Saturday morning and these Disney specials on Sundays. On one of those behind the scenes things, Walt Disney revealed that real live people made these cartoons with pencils and paper! I decided to try to become one of those guys even if it meant I had to figure it out myself. I’d have made a crappy chemical analyst anyway. My dad’s job was not for me. I got my hands on Preston Blair’s book and copied stuff from that and comic books.  And there was this other thing, too Continue…

Sherm Cohen

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Sherm Cohen and I’m currently the storyboard supervisor for Disney’s Fish Hooks.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had  before getting into animation?
The craziest job I ever had before getting into the animation business was working as a psychiatric aide at a mental hospital. When I first got hired, I thought it picked me because I was a promising student in my psychology classes — but it turns out they hired me because I’m a pretty big dude, and one of the key job responsibilities was being able to tackle and restrain mental patients! I got a really grim view of the inner workings of the mental health insurance schemes, but I didn’t end up quitting that job until after I received a concussion from one of the patients in the isolation tank.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re  proud to have been a part of?
Of all the projects I’ve worked on in my cartooning career, I’m most proud of the work I was able to take part in when I was on SpongeBob SquarePants. It just makes me so happy when I can see that the cartoons that I wrote and drew have become favorites and bright spots in the lives of so many people all over the world. A few years ago, I was standing in line at the DMV when I noticed one of the office workers cubicles in the deep background; it was completely decked out with SpongeBob posters and cards and drawings and toys… and I decide it was really neat that somebody who was working in a dreary government bureaucracy, we have brightened our day by surrounding themselves with a cartoon that I worked on. I’m also enjoying the heck out of my current job on Fish Hooks. The show is pure cartoon fun and the crew is wonderful to work with. And it’s extra-special experience because Continue…

Robert Burrows

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name’s Robert Burrows and I’m a comic illustrator and story artist.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I was a courier for a while, being on the road 10 hours a day you tend to develop a pretty zen approach to traffic. You also see a lot of carnage. I also worked at an ahem… adult shop. I call this my “character building” phase.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
The two graphic novels I’ve illustrated:Something Animal, which is a gritty look at a man losing his grip after witnessing a terrible attack on his sister and Beatrice Is Dead which is the first story in a set of short horror/dark fantasy volumes about Beat, a sixteen year-old girl coming of age in the afterlife. Both are fully painted the old fashioned way using acrylic, gouache and gallons of india ink.

 

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I was born and raised in the southeast of England, then I lived in Detroit for most of my grown up life. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Continue…

Axel Ortiz

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Hello my name is Axel Ortiz…I am a Development Artist based in Los Angeles. I mainly do conceptual work not only in animation..also in video games, theme park and live action. I also work on my own projects as well.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Well, I wouldn’t say my past jobs were crazy….more like working with mentally nutty people. Worked Sears in the kids dept…dealt with crazy customers. I worked at a Pioneer Chicken for two weeks so I can make enough money to buy a comic book back issue. Before heading out to school to the Art Center….I worked at the airport down in the ramp…where I would get passengers’ luggages into the plane. In all of these places I worked with colorful characters…I would always be drawing in my sketchbooks during my breaks….or on the clock. 😛

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
There’s a few projects that I liked working on…like Big Guy and Rusty show from Sony Animation was very cool to work on…I’m a fan of the Geoff Darrow and Frank Miler book that the show is based on. I also liked working on developing characters for pitches for clients as well…getting the chance to create something new is always fun…I’ve done stuff for Nickelodeon, Bento Box, Midway, Activision, Animax and others. Lately I’m excited to be developing characters for two animated show ideas for two clients of mine. One will be pitched to Disney…let see how that goes?

 

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from the greater Los Angeles area of the South Bay….not far from the beach. I got into the animation just by chance…Sometime after I graduated from the Art Center College of Design…I was doing freelance jobs and working on my own project at the time…I got a call one afternoon from Continue…

Luis E. Saavedra

What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Luis E. Saavedra and I work as a Director of Altairfilms ,Co – Founder of Antares Render related to Offshoring
services and Cinema from Chile exporting Chilean films to festivals and independent markets.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Excellent question! First at school I really enjoyed drawing and me and some friends had a comic book magazine, well just a bunch of fotocopies put together ! After that, I studied Industrial design and for a while I designed and built desks for offices. I did many of them and it was a very physical job, I spent many hours at night in empty buildings finishing those offices. After that, I worked in the printing bussiness as a Graphic Designer in the pre-press process, which is very interesting regarding the color creation for Offset prints. I learned a lot from these both experiences and I related them to animation years later.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Through the years I have been involved in great projects, both animation and film but the one I always remember is the first one;
“Discovery”, because that was my first comission. In 2001 I was granted by a Government contest with US 6000 to develop a 10 min piece of animation in 6 month. I had never worked in animation before and I had to work very hard to finish it. I even had troubles with my then girlfriend because I was spendig a great amount of time working day and night, she finally broke up with me! But the experience was great, drawing though the night and with no worries about anything, just enjoying the oportunity

How did you become interested in animation?
My grandfather introduced me into the comicbook universe when I was little, classic stuff like Alex Raymond with “Flash Gordon”, “The Spirit” of Will Eisner and Jean Giraud mostly known as Moebius. I also remember a lot of cartoons, Chuck Jones and the Bugs Bunny world. I also remember watching the “Star wars Holiday Special” and the great animation that Nelvana produced for that show,  but the main interest came when I Continue…