About: I grew up moving all over the country and am now digging my roots in Oakland, CA. I graduated BYU in 2010 and participated in many of our student films. If I had to pick one, Dreamgiver was the student film that helped me get a real feel for what the industry would be like and helped me decide to turn a bit more towards shading than lighting. I started working at CTL (best student animation job ever!), landed a summer lighting internship with Pixar, pivoted on graduation and started working for DreamWorks PDI as a Shading Artist. Then after DreamWorks’s Bay Area studio was shuttered I was blessed to find a way back to Pixar! Now I’m the Shade/Groom Lead on an upcoming film called Elio.
Favorite thing about BYU Animation: The camaraderie in such a small group accepted into the program and our Faculties. We helped each other and grew so much taking almost all the same classes in those years!
Favorite movie/game you worked on: How to Train Your Dragon 2
What animated character you identify with the most? Luisa Madrigal. The pressure song from Encanto got me! I have 3 little boys and working full time while raising them is hard! But it’s also a joy and a privilege. They are quick to remind me that I need to stop when I work too late!
Any advice for students getting ready to break in the industry? Be determined, reach out to people who will give you candid feedback on your reel and then update it! Now that I’ve gained a bit of insight into hiring, show off your problem solving with specifics! Also if you get a ‘no’ that doesn’t mean it would be the same answer a couple months later. It could be that the company has a specific experience level or area of focus for that hiring period but that can change so quickly. Also, don’t let coding be your missed opportunity. I wish I had figured it out at BYU because there comes a point when you could be designing a more efficient process and your Tool team is busy. Also ‘Networking’ (even if that word makes you pull back the way I did originally) is key. Just being a good co-worker and connecting with the different teams as you work inter-departmentally and being there will naturally build it.