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ADAPT '07 Day Three
animatorj
It was really hard to wake up this morning, lol. I had already decided that I was going to forgo this mornings lectures in order to make time to visit the job fair. Matt went on ahead of me while I had a nice leisurely breakfast. After the party last night I realized how important business cards are at an event like this, portfolio or no portfolio. So I went to the nearby copy shop, bought 2 sheets of card stock and cut myself 20 cards. I wrote my name and email addy on each and then headed to the con. Whenever I had a few moments I would draw a tiny doodle on a card, adding to its value as an original piece of art. Hopefully people will be less inclined to toss them away.

The job fair was smaller than I thought it would be, so it was quite easy to meet everyone in a few hours. I grabbed a bunch of loot and talked to everyone to gauge what skills they were looking for and what software I should familiarize myself with. Maya seemed to be the preferred program among the video game people, at least for a starting point. Lastly I looked in on the Disney room. I had previously passed it by because another guy was pitching his folio. When I looked in this time however I was quickly greeted and invited in. I explained that I was merely testing the waters and meeting the people that I may be pitching to next year. I asked what they were looking for in a portfolio. They suggested that I talk with Dawn Rivera-Ernster, Disney's director of talent development. Dawn was really outgoing. She gave me the name of a bunch of different websites displaying artist's work and suggested that I have a look through and see what professionals are doing and work towards that. She found it difficult to guide me in the right direction since she had no idea how far my drawing skills went. So I gave her my livejournal address so she could see some of my sketchbook drawings. She was happy with what she saw and told me that I was well on my way and that I shouldn't limit myself to only storyboarding as a career, from what she saw I may be able to get work in concept design for characters and who knows what else. This was a huge boost to my ego, considering the same drawings were deemed no good by someone at school. I left with so much pride and drive to better my craft that I had never felt before.

While I was waiting for the elevator outside Disney's room. Dawn came into the hallway to talk with the other Disney reps to see if any of them wanted to go for coffee. They seemed to hum and haw about it, so I said. "I'll go for coffee with you." So Dawn, Aaron Holly ( Disney's lead character technical director) and I headed downstairs. We stopped by a deli to pick up a sandwich each and headed over to Second Cup for a mocca with whipped cream. This is why I came to Adapt, you can't buy this kind of networking. My devotion to my career has bolstered tenfold by Dawn's encouragement and I look forward to sending her some of my work very soon.

If you are reading this Dawn and Aaron, thank you so much for hanging with me today, you have no idea how much it meant to me that you took the time to give me guidance. I'll be in touch :).



When I met up with Matt around 1:30pm I told him what happened, much to his shock and horror at what he had missed. I had this stupid grin on my face from the high I was on, after having lunch with Dawn and Aaron.  With the job fair taken care of I could continue to attend the lectures.  The next speaker was David Krentz, a freelance jack of all trades.  He does illustration, conceptual design, digital painting, storyboarding, 3D modeling, and even sculpting.  Of all the speakers so far he is the one that I most identify with.  He started working in animation at Disney and then went freelance.  I had always thought that that the jack of all trades attitude would hurt me in this field.  So I felt guilty for having hobbies that varied so widely from each other when I was younger.  David mentioned in his lecture how odd it seemed that artists would only do one thing.  What happens to those people when there is no work in there expertise?  He has known people that stop drawing altogether when hit with that kind of problem.  So not only does a widely varied set of artistic skills help to keep work fun it also helps in times of adversity in the job market.

Today has been a real boost to my morale, and my options have been opened to the feature film world instead of just television.  Isn't it amazing what can happen in a few short days.

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