I had a most amazing time going to CTNx (Creative Talent Network Animation Expo) in Burbank this past weekend. Here are a couple highlights from my trip.
The day before the Expo, we got together with people from the Oatley Academy. We had breakfast together and then we went to the Getty Museum. It was amazing to be with wonderful people who I have taken classes with at the Oatley Academy who have become some of my best friends.
After looking around the museum, we had "OA family time." Chris Oatley, Lora Innes, and Justin Copeland gave us some great talks on what to expect at CTN, longevity of careers in art, and not quenching our passions because of what other people think.
Here's a picture of some of my favorite people.
Some of the group that took Painting Drama 2 this last year.
After the Getty, we went to the Center Stage Gallery to see the Lovely Ladies of Animation exhibit. It was awesome to see their original artwork in person! Here is a picture of us gathered after to eat and visit. We ended up in a circle of drawing awesomeness.
The Expo itself was amazing. I met so many people that I knew from school, from Utah, and from the internet. I met new amazing artists. I got to talk with artists who I really admire in person. Glen Keane's opening speech almost had me in tears. I took many amazing workshops. I bought far too many books. I laughed until I almost fell over, and I got lots of giant hugs.
Helping out at the Oatley Academy Booth.
With Peter De Seve.
With Pascal Campion.
Hanging with friends. The Muppet Crowd of Awesomeness!
Now you might be wondering what a children's illustrator is doing going to an animation expo. Well let me tell you. I have learned so much from the animation industry over the last couple years. I had a very good education from BYU, where I got my degree. But character design, and story boarding were not really part of what I was required to learn. I think these are important skills for anyone wanting to make children's books. After all, making a children's book is almost like making your very own personal movie (without the animation part). Having well designed characters is going to be a big part of the appeal of your picture books!
Also, a lot of people in animation are also into the children's illustration world as well. I picked up a few picture books while I was there! I thought I would feel silly saying I was an illustrator (not a character designer or visual development artist), but it turned out that many of the people there exhibiting are illustrators just like me.
While I was at CTN, I got the chance to see so much good good art. The expo floor is like a giant Comic Con, but all the art is actually really really good (no crappy fan art). There was so much inspiration there. Some amazing character designers there that gave me some good advice for my character designs. I also went to a few workshops that were really inspiring and helpful to any artist.
Also, being at CTN was like a giant family reunion where so many of my friends were gathered. I loved going so much, and I hope I can go again in future years. I hope to see some of you there in future years!