February 14, 2013

KORRA CREW PROFILE: OWEN SULLIVAN

Owen Sullivan joined the crew a while ago as a storyboard revisionist. He worked really hard, quickly adapted to our storyboarding style, and learned our production system so well that we promoted him to assistant director. You can see some of his great storyboard drawings from Book 2 Book 3 above, and you can see him in a fantastic Mako costume here and here. I asked him a few questions to give you guys some insight into one of the many talented people we are lucky to have working on Korra, and how he got here.

BK: What is your art education background, formal and/or informal? Are you currently taking any classes outside of work?
 
OS: I originally intended to be a civil engineer, which I went to school for.  I never went to any formal art school, but took a lot of classes around Los Angeles, mainly at the Animation Guild and at the Concept Design Academy. I am currently taking a class at CDA and one with the very talented April Connors, who teaches out of Glendale.
 
BK: How long have you been working in the animation industry? Did it take you a while to get your foot in the door?
 
OS: I’ve been working in the industry for about 3 years. After deciding engineering was not for me and moving to Los Angeles, it took about a year and a half of very concentrated work for me to find a job.
 
BK: Describe your position on Korra and what work it entails.
 
OS: As an Assistant director on Korra, I help implement the changes that the Director and Producers want. Additionally I help Director Mel prep the final storyboard to be sent over to Korea.  If there’s time I like to take a
section of the script to board as well.
 
BK: What other productions have you worked on?
 
OS: Before coming to Nickelodeon, I worked at Warner Bros Animation, on Young Justice and a number of their direct-to-video movies. I’ve also done some freelance boards on Ben 10 and Ultimate Spiderman.
 
BK: What is the most common thing people on the outside of the animation industry don’t know about your job?
 
OS: Probably that we do not actually animate the episodes here in the States. My friends outside of the industry usually just call me an animator.
 
BK: Do you have any interests or hobbies outside of animation? Do they feed back into your work in any way?
 
OS: I love to draw, I sketch constantly, all the time. I hope this helps my work… I watch a lot of films and play a lot of video games. I enjoy hiking, snowboarding, surfing, running, etc. It’s good to balance sitting at a desk with some outdoor activity. Also we’ve been playing a lot of ping pong here at Nick.
 
BK: Any advice you’d like to offer for aspiring artists?
     
OS: Get around other artists, draw as much as you can. Take some classes. A good teacher or talented friends can help you learn a lot faster than you will on your own. Try not to get discouraged and keep at it!

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