A giant thank you to Tea Time Animation, particularly Lana Bachynski, Brandon Nason, Cody Lyon, and Frank Frelier, for hosting an awesome evening at the Walt Disney Family Museum with special guests from Reel Feedback and Women in Animation. It is an awesome event that not only brings together various departments of AAU from 3D, 2D, stop motion, to illustration and visual development. I even saw some VFX people there that were outside of the 3D animation but still wore the green flags that denotes them as such. Here is to hoping that this becomes an event that will be reoccurring, gather more support, and become even bigger and better! The night was split into two main parts. First there was mixing and mingling while at the same time Reel Feedback was taking reels to critique and a model was posing for us to design our own "Tea Time Disney Princess". The second half of the night had a keynote panel with Women in Animation, featuring Marji Bordner, Bonita DeCarlo, Angelique Reish, and Liza Ryus.
I wish there was more mixing and mingling and I had done more mixing and mingling, particularly with professionals. It didn't quite feel like there was a lot as Reel Feedback were off doing their critiques and WiA were around their tablet getting people to sign up for their new San Francisco chapter. Maybe there were more professionals around that I just missed. I also unfortunately missed a lot of the mixing and mingling as I had decided to spend some time drawing the model. It didn't feel like I was drawing for very long, as I had just a set of thumbnails, but before I knew it we were getting called to go down to the theater for the keynote panel. I wish that I had a reel to get critiques on, especially since Reel Feedback were critiquing a range of portfolios that night and not just animation like last time when I went to the event held at the Animation Collaborative. Unfortunately the one that I had just made was lost when my things got stolen and I hadn't made a backup of it yet nor had time to make a new one. I didn't know who she was beforehand and I was unfortunately unable to catch up to her to talk and ask some questions after the panel, but Angelique Reish is a lighting lead at Pixar. As probably the only texture artist and lighter hiding amongst all the animators and illustrators I would have loved to spend some time to ask her about a few topics in lighting and rendering.
The model, dressing up as Alice from Alice in Wonderland, was amazing and hopefully after drawing a few more designs and thumbnails I'll have a fabulous Tea Time Princess to post. The panel with WiA was amazing and inspiring even though I'm not a woman. Many great questions were asked, such as "What's the worst/ funniest mistake you made as a rookie during your first production/job?", "Do you have a mentor? And if so how did you go about establishing that relationship?", and "what advice would you give to the students". The responses were filled with wisdom such as "everyone makes mistakes, you just have to fix it and keep working", "mentors come naturally as the relationship is created as you establish connections with those around you", and "keep on working hard; don't give up, it'll all be worth it; don't let anyone else tell you that you can't do it".