Tuesday, June 14, 2016


One of the things I love most about
 attending an animation festival is the
bonding that happens with the people you hang out with.

You become this sort of mini-family,
flitting from event to event,
eating and drinking and talking and drinking and eating
(and drinking)
and really getting to know people you might 
never have had the chance to meet before.

And I'm not sure which celestial bodies were in alignment over
Creativa Fest this year,
but somehow this was perhaps the most
sooper talented
sooper nice
sooper fun
group of people I've ever got to 
hang out at a festival with.

there was Maxwell Atoms,
who tried his best to ruin everything
but failed horribly and was forced to have fun.

On the first night in town I was
 introduced to a guy named Nik.
He told me how he used to work at 
Disney Feature animation for a long time
and was now working on a video game.
Being dim,
I didn't put two and two together until I 
saw him start drawing and then realized.
"Oh crap-- that's Nik Ranieri!"

Like legendary 
Disney animator
who animated
Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast
Kuzco in emperor's New Groove
Hades in Hercules
etc etc etc

We spent a lot of time drawing alongside 
each other for eager fans,
but when we got a break I
got him to draw me this:

On that first night I also got introduced to 
Alex Lee,
an animator at 
Industrial Light and Magic.

And Trevor Walker,
a recruiter from ILM.

They were a blast to hang out with
although I'm still really mad at Alex for not showing us 
Rogue One,
the latest project he's working on.

There were also some amazingly talented folks from
Disney Feature Animation
Big Hero 6

He also got tricked into drawing in my sketchbook:

Keeping it in the Disney family was 
Pixar animator Carolina Lopez Dau
who packed a crowd to listen to her 
talk about her work on Cars 2, Inside Out, Brave,
and Monster University.

I thought her talk was
confusing and completely unintelligible.
Mainly because I don't speak Spanish.
But those who do
speak the language thought she was 

She's also hilarious to hang out with
and incredibly helpful when you're
 trying to buy a coffee in Spanish.

Former Simpons and Rick and Morty director
and current Future Worm 
supervising director
was a joy to meet and full of laughs:

Karen Kirkland, executive director of the 
Nickelodeon writing program,
was there to talk shop with the students 
and to share an uber with:

writer on
Cartoon Network's
Stephen Universe
was an absolutely delightful guy to meet 
and talk shop with:

is an impossibly young,
terrifyingly techno-savvy,
and effusive
concept artist for
Riot Games
(League of Legends)

He is also never allowed to touch Mescal never ever again:

Senior Cinematic Artist at 
(World of Warcraft)
was a riot and someone 
who I didn't get to talk to enough:

And there were many more like  
Grazia Como and Jessie Carbonara from Dreamworks recruiting
who were awesome to share tacos and volcanos with.

What an amazing and inspiring group of people.

And while finding your festival family is always such a joy,
it's also heartbreaking when everyone packs up to 
go back to their regular lives.

But the industry isn't that big.
We'll see each other again.

But probably not as a handsome looking group like this:

Next up,
ima show you some of the awesome
stuff some of the awesome
KND sooper fans 
made for me.


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