My animation career would not be possible were it not for a few key people::
Thank you, Larry Lauria - Waaaay back in art school, Larry oozed animation exercises, principles, tricks, and feedback -- with the joy so common of anyone who passed through Disney. This was my foundation in animation. I only wish my sponge capabilities were bigger back then. My senior year at SCAD, Larry agreed to an independent study--where we would meet twice a week, one-on-one (I later found out professors don't get paid for this and can't say how thankful I am for that time)! Among my favorite memories were listening to stories of the industry while we sketched hand poses and added tiny characters interacting with the hand-sketches. Priceless experience -- I can't say thank you enough, Larry. You helped me understand animation is animation -- no matter the medium. Miss you Larry.
Thank you, Nancy Beiman - Nancy was my most difficult and most rewarding professor in art school. She taught me lessons that I wouldn't realize until years later. Her hand-outs, reference films, and out of print books have been a constant help throughout my career. Now as a professional, I continue to learn from her [now] published books and pass them on to youngsters entering the industry.
Thank you, Daði Einarsson - Once in the real-world, Daði helped apply my animation education to the real world production. I took notes from that first year under his mentorship that I reference to this day -- and have passed on to juniors/interns. I can't say thank you enough, Daði. Working with you helped me to grow in leadership and client interaction as well. You built on my animation foundation to make me actually able to animate -- and I see now what patience you must have had in the process. One major thing I took from you is how to not [freak out] when things don't go as planned.
Such an honor to work with Mark Walsh (Pixar) and Eric Goldberg (Disney). You two are a breath of fresh air in the fast-paced, profit-driven world of commercials. Pure animation... frame by frame... telling a story... I soaked in as much as I could, but my sponge is quite small relative to the dump truck of goods you guys shared.
Thank you, too many others - Angus Kneale, you saw my coffee sketch and asked "What would you like to do and how can we (The Mill) help you get there?" Aron Hjartarson, you modeled how to think -- think before you speak and think through a problem. Yann Mabille, you stood beside me, challenged, and encouraged me, as a youngster in charge of animation/rigging -- if I ever got a "nice job" from Yann it meant a lot. Ben Smith, what a lovely encouragement to do well whatever task you are given. Alistair Thompson, an approachable and encouraging managing director?! Verity Kneale, you bring everything back to the importance of life outside of work with such a lovely soul. Wyatt Savarese - sanity and friendship. The list goes on.
And finally - Life, animation, leadership, husband, fatherhood --It's all a growth process and quite impossible if not for "[Christ who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power at work within us... to Him be the glory]" Ephesians 3:20