What is your name and your current occupation?
Chris Oatley. I was a Visual Development Artist and Character Designer at DisneyToon Studios (most recently designing characters for Disney’s ‘Planes’ franchise) before I left to start The Oatley Academy Of Concept Art & Illustration. At The Oatley Academy, I teach Composition, Color Theory and Digital Painting. I also have a Character Design Workshop coming up soon.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
At age sixteen I submitted my illustration portfolio along with a standard application for employment at my neighborhood Kroger and was immediately hired as a cake decorator. They also wanted me to do the in-store illustrations – china markers on the windows and what have you. I think I started out at $12 an hour. It was way more than any of my friends were making at Bob Evans or Dippin’ Dots or wherever. It was my first job and I was already getting paid (well) to draw….until the US Department Of Labor called two days later and shut me down. An industrial meat slicer was located within a certain proximity of the cake decorating station and thus there existed the possibility of accidental lacerations. The liability waiver I had signed didn’t count, legally, because I was a minor. I was immediately demoted to bag boy. I liked bagging groceries because I could chit chat