Animation BFA

Animation BFA

Faculty + Alumni

Faculty

 

Alumni

Sean Bishop

Chair of Animation

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LCAD’s Chair of Animation, Sean Bishop, comes to LCAD with over twenty years of career experience in the animation industry. A native Bostonian, Sean moved to California in 1993 to begin working as a storyboard artist and since has had the privilege to lend his talents to such films as Madagascar, Sharktale, Over the Hedge, Shrek, and Disney’s Planes franchise. Sean also has served as writer, director, head of story, and voice-actor over the course of his eclectic career.

When not drawing or teaching, Sean generally can be found in his garage workshop, covered in resin dust, surrounded by movie props and spaceship models, two enthusiastic Corgi’s, three lazy cats, and a VERY tolerant wife.
Together, with the rest of LCAD’s stellar animation faculty, he leads the charge of encouraging students to embrace the “toonier” side of life, to find humor in everything, and never NEVER to stop drawing.

Dave Kuhn

Fundamentals of Animation, Animation 1, Directing for Animators, Senior Film

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After graduating from the USC School of Cinema-Television in 1991, Dave joined Warner Bros. Animation where he worked on “Animaniacs”, “Taz-Mania” and “Carrotblanca.” He was then hired by Walt Disney Studios as an animator on the feature films “Pocahontas”, “Hercules” and “Fantasia 2000” and as a supervising animator on Disney’s Television’s “Mouseworks” and “The Tigger Movie.” He trained as a computer animator for Rhythm & Hues and worked on the “Scooby Doo” feature before returning to traditional animation at Warner Bros. for “Looney Tunes: Back in Action.” Dave also animated for Electronic Arts on the game series “Medal of Honor” before founding his own animation company CAAT Studios in 2004 with former Disney artists Shawn Keller and Toby Bluth. In additional to his duties as Chair of Animation at Laguna College of Art & Design he is creating a short cartoon called “Nina Hyena” featuring the voice talent of punk rock singer Nina Hagen.

Contact: dkuhn@lcad.edu

Dave Pruiksma

Full-Time Faculty

Storyboarding, Animation 2, Animation 3, Senior Film

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For nearly 30 years, Mr. Pruiksma has worked in virtually every aspect of the production of character animation. Most notably, he is a member of a very small group of Walt Disney Feature Animation Supervising/Directing Animators mentored by Eric Larson and others of Walt Disney’s renowned “Nine Old Men.” As a result of this training and experience, he has been instrumental in bringing to life numerous Disney characters on over 18 of the studio’s animated features and shorts, commencing with Mickey’s Christmas Carol and continuing through nearly all studio productions including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King and so forth. He has also done extensive lecturing, recruiting and publicity for many of the Disney animated features and created and administered several training and development programs for Walt Disney Feature Animation which has been instrumental in shaping the curriculum of LCAD’s Animation program.

Contact: dpruiksma@lcad.edu

Glen Miller

Full-Time Faculty

Fundamentals of Maya, CG Modeling, CG Production

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Glen D. Miller began his professional Hollywood career in the early 1990’s. After submitting a demo, he was hired by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Imaging. There, for two years, he worked with the Amblin team producing visual effects for “seaQuest DSV”, “Star Trek” and other television shows.

Two years later, he and five other Amblin artists left and were soon hired by Scott Ross to design a new NT visual effects unit at Digital Domain in Venice, California. While at Digital Domain, Glen created the first fully digital car, and worked with software creators designing and improving tools behind the scenes. While there, he worked on James Cameron’s “Titanic” and with the Coppola family on a national commercial series. Soon thereafter, the former Digital Domain NT team founded Station X Studios. Glen continued working with the software team which led to the creation of SXS’s in-house animation tool. Soon, this package was released as Project:messiah. Glen’s highlight was working on visual effects for Kevin Smith’s “Dogma.”

Glen earned his MFA (Cum Laude) from AAU in San Francisco, CA, and his BFA from UNT’s School of Visual Arts in Denton, TX. In addition to teaching, he pursues his interests in CGI, film-making, the study of story construction, writing screenplays and is in post-production of his first feature film “Play James Play.”

Caleb Cleveland

Part-Time Faculty

Character Design

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I’m Caleb Cleveland, a concept artist and illustrator based in San Diego. My career began in the theatre designing sets and costumes, but has has since taken me to many other aspects of commercial art, including illustration, furniture design, comics, and concept art for video games. I’ve created art for the likes of Chaosium Inc., Sony CEA, The Jim Henson Company, Red Mile Entertainment, and Collision Games.

www.calebcleveland.com

Luc Desmarchelier

Full-Time Faculty (Illustration)

Visual Development

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Luc Desmarchelier is a veteran artist who has worked as an illustrator, designer, art director and production designer in advertising, feature animation and live action film since 1984. Luc has worked in France, Martinique, England and California for RSCG, Universal, Amblin, Dreamworks, Sony and others. His film credits include: “Shrek”, “Sprit”, “The Corpse Bride”, “Open Season” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Luc has a BA degree in Graphic Arts from Ecole d”Arts Appliques ‘La Martiniere’, Lyon France.
Luc has received several professional acknowledgments, some of which include an Annie Award for outstanding individual achievement for production design in an animated feature production for the movie “Spirit”.

www.ldesmarchelier.com

J. Mauricio Hoffman

Part-Time Faculty

CG Animation 1, CG Animation 2

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J. Mauricio Hoffman was born and raised in Mexico City. Since a very young age he showed aptitude for the arts and a love for drawing characters. An avid lover of all things Disney, Mauricio knew since he was a kid that he wanted to be an animator.

After getting degrees in Graphic Design, Animation and VFX, Mauricio moved to California where he has been working as an animator, creative and art director for a number of different video game studios like Blizzard, Oddworld Inhabitants and Monkey Brain Studios. In addition, Mauricio has been teaching the introduction to CG animation and advanced CG animation classes at LCAD since 2010.

Rick Hoppe

Part-Time Faculty

Animation 3, Senior Film

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Rick Hoppe is a 40 year professional artist and Disney character animator. Since starting in 1980 on the film “The Fox and the Hound”, he has contributed his talents to most of the traditional Disney features up through “The Princess and the Frog” in 2009.

He majored in illustration at Art Center College of Design and later studied drawing and painting privately with Glen Vilppu. In his early years at Disney he trained with Disney veterans Eric Larson and Glen Keane. He has been known for his superb draftsmanship and acting ability, and has been much in demand by directors.

During Rick’s tenure at Disney, he had the opportunity to develop a training curriculum and lecture and mentor new artists, “Much to my delight, I discovered that I am a natural teacher. Some of my fondest memories at Disney are mentoring assistants, fueling their enthusiasm and watching their talent flower.” Many artists who Rick trained are now leaders in the industry.

Rick Hoppe is an excellent communicator. He is fully present to the needs of the student and is able to impart a clear understanding of the key skills of expressive drawing, fluid animation and eloquent acting. He inspires and empowers his students, “I’m committed to my students becoming top notch animators and leaving LCAD prepared to excel in the animation industry.”

Karen Keller

Part-Time Faculty

Layout

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Karen Keller has a BA in Graphic Design from UCLA. She has over twenty-five years of experience creating key Layout and Visual Development art at Disney Feature Animation. For seven years she served as Co-Owner and Creative Director of a small animation production and services company that specialized in Production Design. She has been to Cannes and AFM as a participant in the film market, bringing original content packages to distribution agents. For the past ten years, her professional life has included teaching traditional Disney Layout at LCAD. Her specialty is cinematic style and design with an emphasis on professional development.

Larissa Marantz

Part-Time Faculty

Figure Drawing for Animators 3,4,5

I received my BFA from California State University Fullerton, graduating with Honors. My emphasis was in Drawing and Painting, but in my last year, I caught the animation bug and became involved in the first ACME program. I continued my studies in animation by becoming one of the founding students at the Animation Academy in Burbank. Shortly thereafter, I was hired as a Character Designer at Klasky Csupo studios, working on The Rugrats and Rocket Power. But becoming a mother changed my path in animation. Wanting to be home for my family, I left the Hollywood studio and began working from home as a children’s book illustrator and muralist. Working with Nickelodeon, I have illustrated several books for Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing and Random House. Many of my murals grace the walls of businesses and homes in Orange and Los Angeles counties. I began a new direction as a gallery artist after becoming a finalist in a national competition to create Obama Art. After exhibiting my work with Manifest Hope during the Democratic National Convention, I was invited to create a new painting specifically for the Manifest Hope: DC Gallery during the week of the inauguration of Barack Obama. Since then, I have started my own company, OC ART STUDIOS, teaching art enrichment classes to elementary school aged children in the Orange Unified School District.

Contact: lmarantz@lcad.edu

Duncan Marjoribanks

Part-Time Faculty

Senior Film

SAMSUNG

After graduating from Sheridan College, Duncan worked for Hanna-Barbera and Ruby-Spears before animating on the Brad Bird-directed “Family Dog” episode of “Amazing Stories.”

He is perhaps best known for the characters he brought to life as a supervising animator at Walt Disney Feature Animation: Sebastian the Crab in “The Little Mermaid”, the villain McLeach in “The Rescuers Down Under”, Abu in “Aladdin”, Governor Ratcliffe in “Pocahontas”, Mrs. Calloway in “Home on the Range” and Big Daddy La Bouff in “The Princess and the Frog.”

In addition to his work as an animator, Duncan has also been character designer and visual development artist.

Josh Reed

Part-Time Faculty

Figure Drawing for Animators 1,2

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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.

Cuyler Smith

Part-Time Faculty

Figure Drawing for Animators 1,2

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Cuyler Smith was born and raised in Texas where his passion for art began at an early age. Inspired by animation and film, Cuyler moved to Southern California where he obtained his BFA in Animation from Laguna College of Art and Design and his MFA in Illustration from California State University Fullerton.

He currently resides in Irvine, California with his beautiful wife and their two children.

Cuyler’s pop culture inspired illustrations can be seen in several galleries across the U.S. including: Gallery 1988, Spoke Art Gallery, Hero Complex Gallery, Gauntlet Gallery, Phone Booth Gallery, and Bottleneck Gallery. He continues to enhance and adapt his passion and technique as a visual communicator while being an art instructor and freelance illustrator.

Marshall Vandruff

Part-Time Faculty

Animal Drawing, Character Design

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I was born in Orange County and have lived here all my life. As a teenager, I fell in love with drawing and started working as an illustrator right out of Junior College. My clients included MAD Magazine, Warner Brothers, Hanna-Barbera, Dark Horse Comics, Nickelodeon and over forty advertising agencies including dGWB and Chiat Day Mojo. I started teaching illustration part-time in 1984, and since then I’ve taught over 200 courses at colleges and universities. I’ve also taught anatomy, drawing, and composition courses at Interplay, Rockstar, Insomniac Games, Disneyland, Ingram Micro, LeapFrog Animation, and Blizzard Entertainment. I still love to draw, but teaching has become my profession. I see it as an artform and a privilege. I get to teach what I love to do!

www.marshallart.com

Cathy Nichols

Class of 2013

BFA Animation

Junior Animator

Obsidian Entertainment

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.

cathy-nichols.blogspot.com

Katrina Carras

Class of 2013

BFA Animation

Cinematic Artist

Telltale Games

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.

www.kmcarras.blogspot.com

Mike Pelensky

Class of 2013

BFA Animation

Storyboard Revisionist

DreamWorks Television Animation

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!

mikepelensky.tumblr.com

Rob Bou-Saab

Class of 2011

BFA Animation

Storyboard Artist

Fox Television Animation

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.

rbousaab.blogspot.com

Morghan Gill

Class of 2011

BFA Animation

2D Artist

Magic Pixel Games

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.

teatigercafe.tumblr.com
www.mogiarts.com

Curtis Carlson

Class of 2010

BFA Animation

Visual FX Compositor

Industrial Light & Magic

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.”

www.curtiscarlsonart.com

Todd DeJong

Class of 2010

BFA Animation

Background Designer/Painter

Warner Bros. Animation

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.”

todddejong.blogspot.com

Karina Gazizova

Class of 2009

BFA Animation

Storyboard Artist

Warner Bros. Animation

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
Scooby Doo”.

Filmography:

“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

karinagaz.blogspot.com

John J. Perez

Class of 2008

BFA Animation

Independent Comic Creator

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.

www.facebook.com/archoncomic