Ivan Pinzon

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Ivan Pinzon, Principal Engineer, SketchBook Dev Lead.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I worked for Imaginova Corp, developing an Astronomy App called “Starry Night”.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
My current project, SketchBook for iOS and for desktop and Starry Night
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I was born in Bogota, Colombia and 14 years ago I moved to Canada. I got involved with the digital artist world when I joined Autodesk to work in SketchBook.

 

What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
It’s a combination of different things: code, debug, investigate and learn, plan and schedule future releases and a bit of customer support.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I really like to investigate and play with new concepts and ideas, try to find something that is going to be useful for our users.I also enjoy optimizing code. Faster is better.

What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Finding / reproducing bugs that caused our users to lose work. It’s frustrating to get these complains and more frustrating sometimes to not be able to reproduce these issues.

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?
My main development machine is a Mac and developing for iOS requires to have some iPads, iPhones and iPods. It’s incredible how technology has evolved. The latest iPhone/iPad are more powerful than the computer I had a few years ago. This has allowed us to push for unbelievable features for a mobile device. Something that a few years ago was just crazy to even imagine. The current trend were mobile is getting closer to desktop is very interesting. Seems that these 2 will eventually merge.

What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Keeping up-to-date with all the technology changes and being able to take advantage of them in a short period of time. It’s both challenging but at the same time motivating.

If you could change the way the business works and is run how would you do it?
I would like to spend more time investigating to find new innovative tools. But, work has to be done so finding a good balance is never easy.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I’ve had the chance to watch and listen to a few amazing guys, from sketching artists to animation professionals from studios like Pixar and Marvel. Different techniques and tools.  This has given me a chance to understand what artists need and with this I try to find a fun, simple and effective way to expose this in our software.

Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Leaving my family and my past in my home country and starting from scratch again in Canada while keeping my wife and kids afloat
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
All I can say is that I’m working in some interesting technologies/features that I hope eventually are going to see the light of day.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I love airplanes. I have a private pilot license although I haven’t flown in a few years and I like to build and fly aerobatics model airplanes.  I’m lucky to have my son Nicolas as my partner and we compete in Canada and the US.  I also like to play the piano.

Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?Although I’m not an artist, I’ve had contact with many that have started from zero and have been persistent enough to develop a clear style and technique that differentiates them from the rest, finally becoming successful and recognized. Take advantage from the social networks: Deviant Art, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, …

 

Matt Siditsky

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Matt Siditsky and I am currently an animator/designer and independent filmmaker.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Nothing out of the ordinary. Worked at a clothing store and a couple of arts and crafts stores. I also worked as a custom framer which was my favorite job before I got into the entertainment industry.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
That is a tough question. I have honestly loved most of the projects I have been fortunate enough to work on. I do tend to enjoy projects with a lot of experimental freedom more than the norm.

 

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
That would be my fathers influence. He was an executive at Disney for 30 years which impacted me greatly. After observing my strong interest in art he Continue…

Michael Hill

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Michael Hill. I’m a Lead Artist at Hound Comics, character designer and creator of the new original spy series Operation Spyhard.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I’ve done it all! lol From unloading trucks and stocking dairy to making hams and sacking groceries. The jobs weren’t crazy but a lot of the people were. lol I should write a book. Hmmm…………..
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Since I’m new to the animation industry, I haven’t completed a project as of yet but I’ve met some of the amazing artists who have worked on projects like, Young Justice, Justice League, Batman TAS, The Boondocks, Batman Beyond, DC and Marvel animated features, and more! Incredibly humble guys who have respect and advice for  genuine new talent that are serious about growing in the industry. I’m honored to learn from their years of wisdom and success.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m originally from Birmingham, Alabama but I will soon be relocating to Los Angeles to have direct access to Continue…

Valentina Tatti

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What is your name and your current occupation?
Hi! My name is Valentina Tatti and currently I’m working in a cinema set near Florence.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
In 2014 I’ve graduated in Animation 2d&3D and now I’M ending the specialization in Film Directing. Thanks to this, I’ve begun to work for film in live action, even if my destination is the Animation. The craziest experience that I’ve had has been when I worked as an character animator for a fiction. I’ve worked very hard for months and they disappeared without paying myself and taking possession of the rights of my jobs. I wanted to strangle everybody.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
All the projects to which I’ve been able to work make me proud. Do what I love is the most beautiful thing that can happen to me. That I’m to animate a character or to draw the cover of a book.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I was born in Prato,Tuscany . My parents always took me to the cinema and I fell in love of ” The Lion King” . When I was 3 years I decided I had to do the cartoons to make Continue…

Aaron Sowd

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Aaron Sowd. I’m currently the president and art director at Aaron Sowd Productions, Inc. We specialize in storyboards and animatics for feature films. We also do some 3-D and previs work. Right now, we work exclusively for Will Smith and Overbrook Entertainment, doing development work. It’s a dream job, and they keep us very busy.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I’ve worked as a professional artist more or less full time since I was 18. I spent about six years in comics before working on the Anastasia and Titan A.E. style guides for Fox. I was the art director at Stan Lee Media. I’ve been freelancing in just about every media since: film, TV, advertising and video games.

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What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
After Earth comes out this summer, and that was a blast to work on. I got to storyboard some of the additional scenes and meet M. Night. My favorite project is the one I’m working on right now — which is top secret, of course. Working on the first Transformers film, Solaris, the Transformers and The Simpsons rides at Universal, and the God of War and Rage video games were all career highlights for me.

How did you become interested in animation?
As a kid I grew up with no TV, so I got interested in comic books first, then animation. Our local library used to carry the Tintin and Asterix collections, and later I got into Marvel and DC. The first animation I can remember seeing was 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…