So far, my career has been short and sweet. Almost immediately after graduating from LCAD, I landed a job as a Storyboard Artist on "Family Guy." Together with a team of incredibly talented artists, I'm responsible for creating and orchestrating all of the visual components for various episodes of "Family Guy", including character designs, backgrounds, props, layouts, and acting poses. I owe as much of my professional success to good timing as I do to hard work, and I've been working hard not to get fired ever since.
The 5 Most Important Things I Learned From LCAD
Outwork Everyone - The animation industry is fiercely competitive and there's no room for slackers. Develop a diehard work ethic and hone your craft.
Network - Open yourself up to new people and new opportunities and always conduct yourself in a friendly and professional manner.
Take The Initiative - Utilize every conceivable resource at your disposal to solve your problems and learn new things.
Respect Your Body and Mind - Make the time to exercise, eat healthy, and sleep well.
Be A Light To Yourself - Always listen and be grateful for advice, but trust your instincts. Only you know what's best for you.
I am currently a visual effects compositor at Industrial Light and Magic.
Graduating from LCAD in 2010, I found my first break into the industry working on the stereo conversion of several films, such as "Transformers 3" and "Titanic." Afterwards, I moved on to Sony Pictures Imageworks. For a few years there, I composited on projects like "Oz: the Great and Powerful" and the "Spider-Man" films.
It's been an extraordinary journey working with great teams on such high profile projects. My biggest takeaway so far from both from school and working is to surround yourself with people more talented than you are. Learning happens exponentially faster and you are constantly inspired to improve. And as a mentor once told me, "Work hard, be nice and good things will happen."
It's true what they tell you in school, that you never stop learning. While every new opportunity I've had has felt like another great milestone to have hit, I've never had the experience of saying, "Okay great, now I know everything." I'm thankful for that. I believe in confidence, not complacency. Continuing to grow and improve as an artist will keep you going.
I was ecstatic to be hired as a Cinematic Artist at Telltale Games. While it can be intimidating working alongside far more experienced artists, they are great inspiration. One of my favorite things about this industry is how humble everyone is. Anyone who is any good at what they do has adopted this "never stop growing" mentality. They've had to, to get where they are.
LCAD provided me the tools I needed to be versatile and adaptable, which has helped me in job prospects everywhere from being a Storyboard Revisionist on a Disney Television show, an Animation Director for an environmental short, a Graphic Designer for an online web gallery, to my now current position as a Cinematic Artist.
I am so fortunate to have had a fantastic four years at LCAD, to have met the teachers and fellow students, and to have formed lifelong friendships in the wonderfully unique culture of this school. I now get to look forward to the road ahead.
After graduating from LCAD, I continued my studies at Gobelins l'ecole
de l'image for one year. After graduating from Gobelins in 2012, I started,
and still continue to work at Warner Brothers Animation as a background
designer/painter on the TV series "TeenTitansGo."
I came to America from St. Petersburg, Russia, when I was 17. In 2005,
I attended Laguna College of Art and Design, where I learned as much as
I could about making animated films. In 2010, I attended Gobelins animation
school in Paris, France. After graduating in 2014, I started working at Warner
Bros. Animation as a storyboard artist for the TV series, "Be Cool
"Tom and Jerry" 0:45 1998
"Happy Birthday" 0:56 2000
"Love and Bears" 1:30 2001
"Nevlyashka" 1:50 2002
"Black and White" 2:18 2003
"Lazy Song" 3:05 2003
"Alaska" 6:20 2005
"Overshoot" 1:20 2006
"My Lovely Pet" 1:50 2007
"Global Warming" 0:30 2007
"Time to Go" 2:10 2008
"Sharfik" 13:30 2010
"La Vida" 1:00 2011
"Holy Sheep" 1:00 2012
"Spotted" 3:30 2013
Ever since I was little, I have loved to draw and I knew from an early age that I wanted to work in animation. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, I moved to Southern California in 2007 to pursue my dream and ended up in beautiful Laguna Beach. While in school, I learned so much from teachers and students alike and had classes covering all areas of the industry; from animation to story boarding to design and figure drawing.
In 2011 I graduated from the Laguna College of Art and Design with a BFA in Animation. While at school, I received a well-rounded art education and had the opportunity to intern at Cartoon Network. My experience was invaluable and helped prepare me for the professional world. Immediately out of school, I began working at a small studio were all of my skills were put to use. I did everything from character and effects animation, character design, environment design, UI and concept. Quickly, I began finding myself in leadership roles. Since then, I have worked as an art lead in Prague, a character designer at FOX Animation, a senior 2D artist at Bad Juju, and I am currently a 2D artist at Magic Pixel Games in Los Angeles, California. Besides working in studios, I also have a healthy contract business where I freelance as a character designer and concept artist to studios and clients in need.
Though my roots in this professional world are still very young, my career in this industry has already started to sprout from the creative soil LCAD planted me in.
When I graduated in 2013 I was quickly scooped up by a local video game company in Irvine, CA called Obsidian Entertainment. There, I was brought on as an Art and Animation Intern for "South Park: The Stick of Truth" to help finish up the project. I was even labeled "The intern to just get stuff done." Shortly after, when South Park was wrapping up, Obsidian gave me my big break in to this industry by hiring me on full time as a 3D Junior Animator in 2014. Since then I have been queued with a couple more of the company's current projects. One of those projects being the CRPG "Pillars of Eternity. "
At Obsidian, I have the opportunity to push my ever-growing skill set by sampling different hats and learning different software in the 3D animation pipeline. By me being able to do this, my creativity and my skill set level seems endless - just like the endless amount of imaginative people that I am very fortunate to work with. These creative people push me to do my best every day, just like the talented people I worked with and learned from during my time at LCAD.
Ira Owens has 12 years under his belt in Previs, Cinematics and 3D Layout in the Animation and Gaming Industry working on feature film, television series, and gaming. He received his BFA in Animation and helped found the Animation Club at the Laguna College of Art & Design. He was among the second graduating class in his major. Ira currently works as a Senior Cinematics Artist at Monolith Productions in Kirkland, Washington, and has worked on such projects as The Boxtrolls for LAIKA, Halo 4 for Microsoft's 343 Industries, The Clone Wars for Lucasfilm Animation. Most recently he headed up the Previs department on Kubo and the Two Strings for LAIKA (to be released Fall 2016). Ira is most passionate about his family, storytelling, camerawork, and equipping people with the right tools and training to perform their jobs to the best of their ability. He looks forward to training up the next class of students for excellence in film and story.
Since graduating from LCAD, I've animated on a banner ad for "Ren & Stimpy" creator John K., animated and storyboarded on several projects with Hero4Hire Creative near Boston, and made a few animatics to stay in the public eye and keep the gears in my head from getting rusty. I'm currently working full-time on the hit Netflix series "All Hail King Julien".
Coming from virtually no animation education, but a deep-seated passion for classic Disney and Warner Bros. cartoons, I benefited profoundly from the company of my fellow students, my professors, and other legendary animators that I met by association while at LCAD. The animation business is no different. Master one facet of filmmaking or draftsmanship and you've still got a dozen to go! Thankfully, I'm still thirsty for knowledge and practicing to get better at my craft every day, and my coworkers and supervisors are treasure troves of insight.
If you want to pursue a career in animation, especially where storytelling is concerned, here's a tip: Go to LCAD. I'll bullet-point a few tips as well, for those who are comforted by seeing numbers at the beginning of paragraphs:
1. Play to your strengths. Are you likely to tell a story whose main character is Rapunzel? Luke Skywalker? Batman? Daffy Duck? You'll definitely want to branch out and test your skills with something new or daring as you move forward, but don't lose sight of the stuff that gets you most psyched in storytelling.
2. Favor the simplest, most direct approach (to a point). Don't skimp on expressions, construction, or nuanced action - if characters behave differently, they should be drawn differently. Their actions will sure as heck be timed differently. That said, a character always makes his/her point more clearly with a few simple gestures than flapping and twirling his/her arms about.
3. Don't stop! After completing my senior film "A Little Hitch" and in between freelance assignments, I continued to make animatics and limited-animation skits to stay active and prove that I was not a one-trick pony. I have a feeling that all that work combined landed me the DreamWorks gig. After all, if you love what you do, you should be prepared to do it at least 40 hours a week!
John Joseph Perez was captivated by storytelling from an early age. That drove him to pursue a career in the arts. He attended the Don Bosco Technical Institute, majoring in design. In 2004 Perez enrolled at the Laguna College of Art and Design majoring in Animation. While at LCAD, Perez was mentored by many brilliant instructors. They instilled in him the emphasis to put character and story above all else in his creations. After graduating in 2008, Perez decided to focus on Storyboard Art as a full-time profession.
During a six-year career working in the production of animation and video games Perez collaborated on projects with such organizations as D.A.R.E. and Lucky Kat World - companies committed to serving young people with anti-drug and anti-bullying endeavors. With a focus on storyboard art, Perez worked for various licensed properties, including South Park: The Stick of Truth, which was developed by Obsidian Entertainment. Perez attributes the skills he learned during his time at Laguna for his success while working professionally. He learned the value of an expedient work ethic invaluable skill of being able to improve based on peer feedback. While illustrating the scripts on projects such as this, Perez began exploring screenplay construction. That sparked new interests and a concentrated focus on screenwriting. He began to devote his energies to original writing projects. Along with illustrator Marco Maccagni and fellow LCAD alumni Bobby Hernandez, Perez created a comic book series "Archon", published by Action Lab Entertainment.
In 2015 he was admitted to the USC School of Cinematic Arts in the Writing for Screen and Television MFA program. In both in his writing in comics and for Screen Perez utilizes the foundation instilled upon him by his Fine Arts education. His eclectic career through animation, video games and writing has given Perez a unique perspective on the arts. He hopes to continue to share his distinct creative and cultural perspective throughout his artistic endeavors.
Josh Reed graduated from Laguna College of Art and Design with an Animation degree and began working in the video game industry as a concept artist. Eventually, Josh went back to school to get a Masters Degree in Fine Arts and began teaching drawing and design courses throughout Southern California. Now he works as a freelance concept artist while continuing to spread his knowledge to the next generation of artists.