Talent Spotlight: Evan Csulik

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We’re very excited to introduce you to Evan Csulik who started working with Eric Miller Animation Studios last month as a freelance conceptual illustrator and designer. He will be working with us to create fun, beautiful and imaginative worlds. He will mostly be creating designs for our marketing and social media, but will also help out on other projects including some of our own original ideas.

Evan grew up in Sarasota, Florida where his enthusiasm for visual story-telling, and picture making first began to grow. This love for the arts continue to grow over his lifetime. He is extremely passionate about environment design from observing the natural and man-made world.

While growing up, Evan was in love with watching cartoons from Disney, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network. He drew for most of his childhood in sketchbooks and doodled on post-it notes. It wasn’t until late high school he wanted to pursue his passion for art. He was accepted to Ringling College of Art and Design in 2012 and majored in illustration. It wasn’t until halfway through his time there when he realized he wanted to pursue his career in animation.

Desert Trip - one of the first illustrations Evan created for Eric Miller Animation Studios

Desert Trip - one of the first illustrations Evan created for Eric Miller Animation Studios

 Evan is not all work and no play. In his free time, he enjoys longboarding, hiking, playing video games, and eating ice cream.

We are honored to have Evan onboard with us, and can’t wait to see what amazing worlds he creates in the coming months. Keep a lookout on our website and social media for more of his work.

You can also visit His Portfolio!

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Eric Miller Animation Studios is dedicated to crafting heartfelt stories and compelling visuals through 3D computer graphics, offering design and VFX for advertising, gaming, TV & film production.  We work with the best animation talent in the industry to deliver visually stunning imagery. Big or small, we can bring any character or story to life.

Talent Spotlight: David Gouldthorpe

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We'd like to give a warm welcome to David Gouldthorpe as Eric Miller Animation Studio's newest team member! David has joined our social media & marketing team working with Mary Lou, and will be writing some of our weekly blog posts. 

David grew up in the nice quiet town of Mesa in Arizona, where he spent most of his childhood painting and writing "outlandish stories".  This was when his passion for Illustration began.  David is currently attending Cornell University in Ithaca, New York working on his Industrial and Labor Relations degree!  While he is not an art major in school he recently began to freelance as an illustrator.

 
 

"Illustrating can tell a story like no other medium is able to do. I've spent years learning the language, and I'm trying to use it for my own tales now."

 
 
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David's hobbies include: illustrating (of course), writing both fiction and nonfiction stories, and keeping up with his favorite YouTube channels. He also finds a great deal of interest in reviewing films, as well as finding their impact to himself and others. We look forward to reading more of his reviews on Eric Miller Animation studio's Blog (be sure to read the previous ones on Coco and Adventure Time!).

 
 

After David graduates he hopes to move to Los Angeles to do more with his passion for Illustration or a position at a theme park, which he has had experience with in the past. He also looks forward to LA's warm weather! Along with keeping up with his blogs on MillerAnimation.com, be sure to check out his website here!

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Talent Spotlight: Hayden Patterson

We're excited to introduce Hayden Patterson! He recently finished working with us as a freelance 2D Animator on one of our client projects. We had such a great time working with him we wanted to learn more about his journey as an animator. 

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Hayden grew up in the small town of West Bend in Wisconsin. Spending time outside with his siblings and reading Sunday comics were the results of his imagination and his inspiration to be a cartoonist at a very young age. Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes, and Sheldon are just a few of the comics he was inspired by, along with Looney Toons, especially "Tom and Jerry" being his visual influence. With the support of his parents and the guidance of his teacher in high school, he was able to go to school for Animation at Maryland College Institute of the Arts!

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Working at several small studios, while he was in college and over the past couple years, gave Hayden the confidence and skills he needed to move forward with his career. Some of these studios include; Moving Colour, Eskimo, and Locus New Media.  Now that he is in California it has opened even more opportunities. After working as a freelance animator at Eric Miller Animation Studios, he went on to working full time at the NFL Network doing animation and other facets of video work.

"I met Eric at The Creators Society Mixer, which helped me acclimate to LA and the professional network here. After the first one, I had to check out Eric’s studio online, and really enjoyed the content he has produced, particularly “Bink”, which is absolutely stunning, and adorable."
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He loves spending his time animating, but tries to spend time outdoors as often as possible. Being in California gave him the opportunity to spend time outdoors a little differently than he did in his childhood days in Wisconsin. He surfs any moment he gets the chance as well as playing basketball and disc golf.

To check out some more of Hayden's work be sure to visit his portfolio.
http://www.haydenpatterson.com/#/reel/

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Talent Spotlight: Rich Draper

We're excited to introduce Rich Draper! He is currently working with us on one of our client's projects with our team of animators. We had the chance to learn more about Rich's journey through the creative industry, and wanted to share what makes him a great animator!

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Rich grew up just outside of Toronto in Burlington, Ontario Canada, and was I nspired by the Warner Bros. Cartoons, old Disney features, and Mad Magazine. He knew being in the creative industry would be perfect for him; from childhood he loved watching movies and was constantly drawing cartoons.

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After studying Classical Animation at Sheridan College in Canada, Rich moved to New York for a couple years. It was not long until he was back to Canada to work on features and commercials, which eventually landed him a job in Los Angeles. After spending 7 years in LA working at Creative Capers, Kurtz & Friends Animation, and Sony, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia. There for 16 years now, he's done everything from directing, animating and character design for studios like Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, PBS Kids, Adult Swim, and clients such as IBM and UPS.

 
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Though Rich started with "just good old pencil and paper and film cameras", he is glad to be doing digital animation with Eric Miller Animation Studio because he is "always happy to get a chance to work with new studios, to see what they do, get inspired and continue to grow". He's been animating for 30 years now, but he knows how to keep his life balanced! His free time is spent playing hockey, cycling, and traveling.

 

We're really excited to be working with such a talented animator, and if you interested in seeing more of Rich's work then head over to his online portfolio at www.richdraper.com

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Talent Spotlight: Joe Castillon

We're excited to introduce Joe Castillon! He is currently working with us on a client's project with a team of animators. We had the chance to sit down with Joe to learn more about what makes him so awesome.

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Joe grew up in the "Windy City of Chicago, Illinois". He started drawing at a very young age and has always been inspired by the art and technicality of games, tv commercials, and movies, especially "Toy Story". He had laid out his life plan to become an animator very early on and didn't stop until he followed that dream through!

He attended Illinois Institute of Art to pursue a degree in Media Arts & Animation, and shortly thereafter Joe moved to Pasadena, California! Though this may not be his final destination, it gave him the opportunity to work on his first feature length animation at Asylum Entertainment and opened the do to many freelance positions, including Eric Miller Animation Studios!

Sketching at cafe's, attending animation and gaming conventions, such as E3, and the many people he meets at the local food kitchens he volunteers his time in are all inspirations for Joe. He's excited to be able to make it as a creative, doing the voice overs and animations for others to watch, and hopes he can spread the word that you can have a job doing what you love with strong work ethics and a positive mindset! 

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Be sure to take a look at more of his work and watch his animation reel!

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Talent Spotlight: Ruby Wang

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We’re so excited to introduce our newest team member, Ruby Wang. Ruby is a talented illustrator who will be working with Eric Miller Animation Studios to provide illustrations and concept designs.  When not working on specific projects she will be creating some fun illustrations for both our website, and social media.  So keep an eye out for some of her amazing work.  

Growing up on a small island in Taiwan surrounded by a crisp blue ocean and huge mountains filled Ruby Wang’s mind with many stories that she wanted to share with the world. She has been drawing for as long as she can remember, but thought making her art move would make a bigger impact for the stories she had to tell, which is what made her interested in animation.

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“When I was little, my sister and I loved playing a game called “Story Theater.” I would spend a whole week illustrating a story, by the weekend I had a complete story to present to my sister. I loved seeing her face glow; she was so eager to see and hear more about my stories. This inspired me to do what I do today, tell stories through my art.”
— Ruby Wang
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After studying 3D animation in Taiwan, she came to the United States and worked towards her Master’s in Visual Development. She felt fortunate to be accepted into the internship program for Tonko House in the Spring of 2017 and shortly thereafter started as a concept artist at Flight School Studio. After seeing the Bink teaser, Ruby saw great potential in Eric Miller Animation Studio and hoped to contribute to the project. So here she is now, very excited to start as a freelance illustrator, and we are also very excited to get to work with her!

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Talent Spotlight: Mary Lou Miller

We want to welcome Mary Lou to our team! Mary Lou Miller (No relation to Eric!) will be the new Social Media Marketing Coordinator for Eric Miller Animation Studio. She has also been helping us with event planning for The Creators Society Monthly Mixers!

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Mary Lou is a first generation Syrian who was born and raised in Los Angeles. During a visit to San Francisco, she fell in love with the city’s history, eclectic culture and arts.  She graduated from the Academy of Art University with a Masters in Art Education, continuing to teach art to K-12th grade for a number of schools in the Bay Area.

While developing her Art Advocacy project she became inspired by the city’s growing indie game culture! She got into Social Media Coordination for a few small game studios because she believed that game art and development was a bridge to youth and their possible future careers in the art industry.  The idea of sharing the art that was being created in games became just as important to her as sharing the importance of art being taught in schools.

After moving back to LA, she continues to promote and support artists and projects through social media.  She is excited to find inspiring news in animation as she helps Eric Miller Animation Studio share more about the world of animation on the many platforms we have.

"Bay Area Fog"-Mary Lou

"Bay Area Fog"-Mary Lou

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Animation Spotlight: Ken Bielenberg

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We're excited to introduce you to Ken Bielenberg, a talented animation veteran who's credits include Shrek, ANTZ, Monsters vs Aliens, The Simpsons and many more! Ken has worked in both live action and animation, and has directed, produced, and was a VFX Supervisor on several projects. Not only are we excited to discuss Ken's career on our blog this week, but we are happy to announce he will be taking on an advisor role for Eric Miller Animation Studios. Ken will will be advising Eric on a variety of business and creative areas.

What was your path to get into animation?

I went to college at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) for computer science, but what I really loved was film and animation.  So, I used all my electives to take as many film and traditional animation classes as I could.  After 2 college co-ops at IBM, I realized that I didn't want to be a computer programmer, so I decided to combine my interests and pursue computer animation.  This was in the early days of CG -- it was a risky move.  But, my parents were really supportive so I went for it and eventually landed a production assistant position at PDI in 1990.  I was SO excited to be at PDI and practically lived there to soak it all in.

    What do you think the major differences in the animation industry today are from when you first got into the industry?

    Oh boy!  Everything is different.  When I started at PDI, flying logos were still state-of-the-art computer animation!  Five years later, TOY STORY came out, proving it was possible to make a feature length animated film.  That was huge!  Then, the next two features were ANTZ (which I worked on) and A BUG'S LIFE.  At that point in time, the power of the computers and the state of animation technology really did limit the stories that were feasible to produce in CG.  Toys and bugs were what we could handle at the time.  Now, there's really no limit.  

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    Antz

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    What do you feel will be the next big breakthrough in the animation industry?

    Computer Animation is getting closer to being able to create believable, photorealistic humans, but we're not there yet.  The "uncanny valley" is still very much an issue, but it's a holy grail challenge that will get conquered at some point.

    What has been your favorite/most rewarding animation project you worked on thus far?

    There are so many!  But, I'd have to say SHREK 2.  It was a perfect combination of a great team super excited to push the envelope and a great story.

    Are there any little known fun facts about any of the projects you've worked on?

    I worked on the Simpsons segment where Homer goes into the 3rd dimension for the Tree House of Terror VI episode in 1995.  It was the first time Homer would be realized as a 3D CG character.  We were nervous about translating this iconic 2D character into 3D.  I wasn't sure how things like his hair (he has big Ms on the side of his head!) would translate.  Would that look weird?  But, it worked and the Simpsons team was a dream to work with.  So much fun.

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    The Simpsons / Via cinemablend.com

    We're excited to have you as an advisor for Eric Miller Animation Studios, what are you most excited to share your expertise on?

    I'm excited to help in any way I can.  When Eric left Dreamworks to start his own animation studio, I thought "that's incredibly ambitious and a little bit crazy."  And lo and behold, Eric's successfully launched his studio, is producing excellent work and is consistently adding new clients.  I'm especially excited about the next chapter for BINK.  He's such a cute character with a ton of potential.

    What is your dream job, or what do you want to work on next?

    My dream job is really simple.  It sounds corny, but it's all about working with great people.  I love creating an environment where insanely talented people can produce their best work.

     

    Thank you to Ken for sharing his experiences and thoughts with us!

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