Alex Schumacher

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Alex Schumacher and I am currently a comic book artist/writer and freelance illustrator/character designer.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I think any job you do that you don’t love is crazy. Having said that, I’ve mostly worked retail and/or customer service jobs. Anyone who has ever worked in those fields can tell you that describing it as “crazy” is putting it mildly.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of? 
The most recent (and probably biggest) projects I’ve been a part of so far are a couple of graphic novels being released in the new year from Viper Comics and Arcana Studios. I’d say I’m proud of those but hopefully my best work is yet to come…

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business? 
I’m from a small-ish town in California called Salinas. Most of us just say we’re from Monterey as A. People actually know where that is and B. We don’t want to say we’re from Salinas. I’ve always drawn from a very young age and growing up on Disney, Bakshi, Kricfalusi, Avery and the like I’ve always been interested in the animation industry. I dreamed of Continue…

Jeff Victor

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Jeff Victor and I work as an illustrator/designer for Nickelodeon Games. I work as an art lead on a online game called PetPet Park, designing characters, backgrounds, props, and more.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I’ve worked many mundane jobs in my life, but one that is really pretty special to me is when I first moved to Los Angeles, I got work as a background performer, or “extra”. As I was unsuccessfully submitting my portfolio to studios, I made my living as a student/doctor/terrified pedestrian/casual onlooker, etc. I appeared in hundreds of TV shows and movies. As a huge film buff, it was incredible being on set watching some of my favorite directors work. You only earn a tiny paycheck, but being on set with Steven Spielberg or Martin Scorsese was a priceless experience. My other craziest job was working a few years at Universal Studios Hollywood. I was a show tech, which basically meant I had to set the stage explosives, hook the actors to their flying rigs, move set pieces around on stage, and in the case of Fear Factor Live, handle giant scorpions. All in a day’s work.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I am extremely proud of the work I’ve been doing for Nickelodeon. I enjoy that people all over the world have seen my work. I also really enjoyed some of the stints I had as a character designer at Warner Bros animation, and at East/West DVD, where I got to draw DVD covers for classic cartoons. It was my first real job in animation, and I am really proud of the work, even though it looks incredibly dated to my eyes today. (Of course, things I drew 3 weeks ago look dated to me, but that’s another story…)

 

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from the Chicago suburbs, and after receiving the “Art of Star Wars” book as a youngster, I knew I wanted to be an artist. I was obsessed with comic books and cartoons as a kid, especially Batman the Animated Series. I filled my grade school notebooks with Continue…

Aaron McGriff

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Aaron McGriff and I am a Partner and Lead Animator at Walsh Family Media, a small independent animation studio in the heart of NYC doing some big things.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation? 
Nothing too crazy, I guess. I used to bag groceries as a kid, worked the snack bar at a family fun center, worked as a teacher’s aide for elementary art school classes, and worked as an RA in the dorms during college.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of? 
We are currently in production of 2 full length CG feature films Called The Cool Beans:We Need a Hit and The Cool Beans: Humbucket Caper. It has been an amazing experience getting to work on independent features, despite the natural ups and downs that come from trying to produce a high quality project with limited funding. The talent and dedication of our small team creates the kind of work environment most people only dream of. I’ve had the opportunity to wear many hats while at Walsh Family Media and have gotten to do everything from animation to voice-over work. I’m proud of how far we’ve come and I can’t wait for the world to be able to enjoy the content we’ve crafted meticulously with love for so many years. I know the industry will be blown away while simultaneously scratching their heads, trying to figure out how we produced such innovative content at such a high level on such a small budget.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business? 
My father is a proud 30 year US Army Veteran, and as such, I grew up all over the world. I was born in Panama and lived in probably 12 or more places before I ended up in New York City. So…yeah, Texas, Pennsylvania, Georgia, New Jersey, Washington, Virginia, Korea, Take your pick. I wanted to be an animator for as long as I can remember. I always used to draw characters in elementary school. My family visited Disney World in Orlando when I was eight, and we visited the animation studio there. They were working on Continue…

Dave Wolfe


What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Dave Wolfe. I recently started a game company called Cosmic Games, and these days I spend most of my time programming.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I never really had any crazy jobs, but in high school I was a telemarketer and during college I did tech support for a dial-up ISP. Both jobs were pretty terrible but they paid better than most part time jobs.

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I think the show I’m most proud of working on was Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends for Cartoon Network. I was introduced to it while in school and loved it, I never imagined I’d be working on it just a few years later. I also really enjoyed working on Slammo & Sloshie for AOL even though the final product didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped.

 

How did you become interested in animation?
I’ve always loved animation, I grew up watching Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, Woody Woodpecker, and I would Continue…

Justin Putney

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Justin Putney. I’m a Creative Technology Manager at Pearson and co-founder of Ajar Productions. I started as an animator, and gradually learned more and more programming in Flash. Then I started automating tasks in Flash, and I now spend much of my time building tools for animators and designers.

 

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
In college, I had part-time jobs painting houses and doing data entry at a hospital. After college, I started animating in my free time and was lucky enough to break into graphic design pretty quickly as a day job (which overlapped with animation fairly well).

 

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I really enjoyed building Facinator for Titmouse. Facinator allows Titmouse artists to rotate 2-D character heads as if they were 3-D and updates them on the stage. I also had a chance to build a production tool for The Venture Bros. (also with Titmouse), which was especially awesome because my wife and I have been fans of the show for years. It’s really neat to see what Titmouse is doing with those tools. I also love seeing what people have animated using SmartMouth, our automatic lipsyncing tool, as well as other extensions that I’ve developed.

How did you become interested in animation?
I drew constantly when I was younger. I finished college with a really broad Liberal Arts degree and didn’t really know what to do with myself. My wife suggested that Continue…

Frank Forte

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What is your name and your current occupation?
I’m a storyboard artist at Bento Box on Bob’s Burgers.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Ha! I was a Tatto Artist, A line cook at a number of restaurants, and I got paid to watch movie screenings.

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
It was really fun to work on Despicable Me 2 doing storyboards. I really got to flex my creativity and have fun. the director let me add gags and take the action in crazy directions just to see what I would come up with. LEGO:Star Wars The Empire Strikes Out (at Threshold Animation) was really great because I got to finally work on a Star wars project AND we got to make fun of it.

How did you become interested in animation?
I grew up on classic Warner Brothers and Tex Avery shorts. They used to show those on TV. Then in college I would Continue…