Olatokunbo Betiku

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Olatokunbo Betiku, but most people call me “Ola.” I am the Co Founder of Outside The Box Vision, where I do a bit of everything. I am also the Creative Director at No Limit Forever.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I used to teach elementary art classes. Kids are great to work with but they get bored easily. The job always seemed to be more about dealing with rowdy behavior and less with teaching art. I did enjoy it most of the time and it also gave me plenty of practice for dealing with other professional artist in the future. Most of whom can be children at times.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
For the last few years our company along with Urban Born have been going to schools and promoting literacy and health to young students. I really liked taking our characters to schools and putting on shows for kids. I think it is important to do a bit of volunteer work and promote things like literacy and good health.

How did you become interested in animation?
Since the age of 8, I have been reading books and learning about the animation and entertainment industry. I used to watch a lot of Disney shorts and cartoons on TV as kid. I remember seeing Continue…

Sam Ellis

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Sam Ellis, Creative Director at Never Say Die Studios LLC.  I also teach Animation, Story Art, and Concept Design to college students, 2 days a week at the Art Institute of Washington.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I was a supervisor at a quick service chicken restaurant, a Mormon missionary in Arizona, a house framer in historic Williamsburg, a pizza delivery driver, a burger cashier, I built curbs all over Virginia Beach, an off-ice hockey linesman, as well as quite a few more freelance art jobs.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Well, the one project that really helped launch my career and that is going into its 5th season is Archer. I was Lead Designer on Archer Season one and left at the end to go work on personal projects, but we were wrapping up an episode of the short lived Xtacles on adult swim and Adam Reed was getting ready to pitch a new show around called Duchess, Neal Holman was too busy with his other duties so Matt Thompson passed off the majority of the work over to me and Chad Hurd. I was to draw Duchess (later to be known as Archer), his mother, and his father, while Chad drew Archer’s love interest, his foil, and his car.  After his pitch was successful and a pilot was green-lit, I got to do quite a bit more designing, Chad and I were pretty delighted to start making some changes to the designs when we got hold of them, there was some great stuff already done by Neal Holman and Eric Simms, but with Neal working on creating backgrounds before we found Trinity Animation and Eric taking some heavy animation duties, Chad and I were like kids in a candy shoppe. We had a blast on that first episode, it came together real fast and we came up with some interesting solutions.  Even though I left Archer I still love the crew and am tickled when I see some of the art I did show up all the time, also I get a kick out of seeing my son every time I see young Archer as he was the model for it, Although he has never seen or probably will see Archer.  Outside of Archer I have been able to work on Cory Edward’s Krogzilla with the fine folks at GreenShoe Animation, Jason Shwartz’s company–man totally forgot, working with those guys let me work with Disney and Marvel I am heck’a proud of that I also got to foray into gaming and got to do some designs for that Avengers ultimate alliance game–that was fun.

 

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I currently live in Spotsylvania VA, and I grew up on the east coast, most of my life was spent in Virginia Beach, VA.  I always wanted to be an animator and a comic artist, I love telling stories and find that using pictures and being able to draw was another great skill set in being able to Continue…