Tumblr is For the Birds

Jul 23

drawmeister said: Hey there Mike! This fall I'm enrolling into SVA in the Traditional Animation major. I know that you were an alumni of SVA a few years ago. I just wanna know a few things: -What do I expect in my first year? -What is the difference between SVA and CalArts? I heard that CalArts is more close to Disney (Walt practically established the school) but I'm not so sure. Your thoughts?

Cool! Congrats on getting into SVA!

First year is foundation year. You’ll get “Intro to Animation”, which will teach you the basic animation principles and lasts for two semesters, a Life Drawing class which also lasts for two semesters, a Storytelling/Storyboarding class, a History of Animation class (my favorite!) a Digital Compositing class (learning AfterEffects/Flash,etc) and a English literature class that’s sort of a waste of time and won’t count towards your final English credit that you need to graduate. Yeah, the last one’s kind of a bummer.

CalArts was partially founded by Walt Disney, on the basis that he wanted students of different majors (animation, music, dance, art) to work together and collaborate in an open environment to create and explore new art forms (which sadly didn’t truly turn out that way). My personal reflection is this: CalArts teaches you how to be a good animator, while SVA teaches you about how to be a good independent filmmaker. SVA has a completely different vibe than CalArts, since you’re smack-dab in the middle of NYC, which is a huge plus. You’re SURROUNDED by museums and parks and restaurants and all kinds of stuff to inspire and educate you. Neither school is gonna tailor you into an A-list Disney animator, it’ll only bring you so much. Your passion and creative drive will push you the rest of the way.

Good luck this Fall!

Jul 22

Anonymous said: Have you ever had sexual thoughts about one of your own characters?

HAHA I didn’t expect that question!

Personally, I’ve never thought if them in that context (and I’m kinda glad I don’t). I’m not saying that they aren’t completely innocent like a Disney character usually is, but I don’t think any of my characters work in that sort of mindset.

petersolorzano said: Hey Mike, two part question; 1. What do you think of the whole Kingdom of the Sun fiasco? 2. What do you think of The Emperor's New Groove that came as a result of it?

Personally, I would’ve loved to see that movie finalized. It looked great! Shame what happened to it.

And while I like Emperor’s New Groove, it feels more like a Warner Bros. Cartoon than a Disney film, which can be both good and bad depending on how you look at it. I think it has it’s moments.

Anonymous said: Do you think kids today find nonsense 'funny'?

I think nonsense was/is always funny. Look at Alice in Wonderland, which was written nearly 150 years ago, or Tex Avery cartoons from 75 years ago.

Anonymous said: Is it hard to watch a character who had serious issues?

I don’t think so. I think it makes them more relatable in some ways. Depends on the character, situation and overall mood of the movie or show.

lindschnee said: hey you work at shadowmachine right? How did you end up there and who would I talk to about getting a job there?

I worked there for over a year. It’s a really awesome studio. Had a wonderful time there!

If you wanna get a job there, check out their website and send them an email inquiring if they’re hiring. Right now, I don’t know what they have coming up in the pipeline, but it doesn’t hurt to ask! Have a resume and demo reel ready in case they need to see that too!

Anonymous said: Is it hard to be a fan of your own creation?

I can’t speak for other people, but I can’t find many good points about my own work. Occasionally I feel some pride if I feel like I made a good drawing, but that seldom happens.

Anonymous said: Do you think being passionate is crazy?

It depends! If you’re passionate about art or love, then it’s okay. But if you’re passionate to the point of stalking, creeping and openly bothering people, that’s a different story.

Drawing I probably won’t finish #864.

Drawing I probably won’t finish #864.

Jul 21