Animation Special Interview – Veronica Sanchez, Animation Artist, Pixomondo Los Angeles
October 20, 2019 – October 28, the International Animation Day (IAD) was proclaimed in 2002 by the ASIFA as the main global event to celebrate the art of animation. This day commemorates the first public performance of Charles-Émile Reynaud’s Théâtre Optique at the Grevin Museum in Paris, 1892. In 1895, the Cinematograph of the Lumière brothers outshone Reynaud’s invention, driving Émile to bankruptcy. However, his public performance of animation entered the history of optical entertainments as shortly predating the camera-made movies.
Veronica Sanchez is an Animation Artist at Pixomondo Los Angeles where she’s worked on the Emmy nominated TV series, The Orville and interactive shows at the Warner Brothers World Abu Dhabi theme park. She began her Pixomondo career in the previs department, working on the feature film Goosebumps 2, and the television shows Star Trek: Discovery and Orville. Veronica was also on the postvis team for the feature film, A Dogs Way Home. Veronica came to Pixomondo as a graduate from California State University where she earned a BFA in Animation.
Today, Veronica Sanchez talks to VFX Online about her experience about Animation Industry.
// From Veronica Sanchez, Animation Artist, Pixomondo Los Angeles
How do you describe yourself professionally?
I am dedicated to my work. I take pride in all aspects of my job. I’m a quick learner and appreciate being challenged as it always enhances my skills.
What sparked your interest in Animation or Visual Effects?
From an early age, I loved expanding my creative mind in many mediums. During my senior year of high school, I took a course on 3D Animation which sparked my love for the industry.
How did you first land a job in the industry? What was the key to getting inside?
I reached out to a previous college professor who guided me with advice and assistance. My professor spoke with a few contacts of his own in the industry, which opened the door for an interview. In the end, the key that worked for me was perseverance, hard work and networking.
Any particular area of technology that interests you?
I would love to be hooked up to the motion sensors that move the animated characters. I love how the computer can replicate every movement of a living person onto a three-dimensional character. I have personally worked with motion capture on some projects and it has proven to be a great and handy tool that I find most interesting.
What do you think will be the evolution of Animation and VFX Industry over the next few years?
Animation has become so lifelike because technology has developed very quickly throughout the years. It is remarkable that animation can recreate almost anything imaginable. I see animation taking over the movie industry to where there might not be a high demand for live actors anymore.
What is your favorite project you’ve worked on so far?
My favorite would be my first animation project that I was assigned at Pixomondo. At the time, I was a junior previsualization artist asked to animate Sylvester the cat for an live interactive show at the Warner Brothers theme park in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Animating such an iconic character, brought me profound satisfaction.
What was the most discouraging moment in your professional career? What helped you overcome it?
Early on, I was assigned a project that was taken away and given to someone with more experience in order to meet a deadline. At first, this discouraged me. I felt as though I was not good enough. I overcame this by changing my attitude from negative to positive. I used this situation to motivate me to work harder and become a better artist on whom they can depend on. Now, I see myself getting recognized and given new opportunities.
What was your favorite Animation or VFX Film and Why?
My favorite animated film would be the DreamWorks, Kung Fu Panda. Not only is the movie very enjoyable to watch; it also gave me, back when I first watched the film, a sense of curiosity about the production aspect of the movie. It was the first time I wanted to dive in more into the history and creative process of animation.
What’s your favorite Animated/Cartoon Character and Why?
I love so many animated characters, that it is really hard to determine a favorite. There is one that sticks out to me the most and that is Chuck from the DreamWorks animated film, Angry Birds. As a character with such high energy, I was fascinated at how the animators were able to exaggerate all of his emotions.
What’s your special achievements/awards in Animation and VFX Industry?
A special achievement for me was seeing my name up in the credits after a movie I worked on. It was a definite honor to be recognized in that way.
What’s your favorite tools for Animation and VFX?
My favorite tool would be researching videos – whether it be live action or finished animation – to help execute the animation task assigned. Looking up reference material has greatly helped with timing and character performance. By examining the reference frame by frame, I am able to see things I wouldn’t before at normal speed.
Any particular artists/professionals that inspire you?
I do find professionals such as Walt Disney and J.K Rowling as inspiration to never give up on your dreams. Both had such bad luck at the beginning of their careers. These artists are now one of the top most respected and influential people in history. Their struggles and achievements have taught me that if you work hard enough, do whatever it takes and never give up, anything is possible.
How has your experience been working at Pixomondo?
My experience at Pixomondo has been incredible. I am able to work with talented coworkers who have helped me develop my skills as an artist. It’s a joy to come to work every day doing what I love.
What do you think about Animation Organizations support from ASIFA, Women In Animation, Animation Guild, Animation Society for this industry?
I haven’t personally been a part of any of these organizations but have heard great information on how involvement can be beneficial. It’s highly recommended to network in this industry and these organizations are a great way to bring artists together.
What kind of projects would you like to work on in the near future?
I would love to work on a project where I’m more involved with the movie development and working with green screen actors.
What advice would you give to someone who wishes to get in to this industry?
My advice to upcoming animators is to never give up no matter what the challenge may be. Tackle every opportunity that comes your way. Embrace the process because with hard work comes great rewards.
What’s your thoughts about International Animation Day?
I love how International Animation Day recognizes the importance that animation brings to our everyday lives. I think it’s great how it brings artists across the world together to promote the various mediums animation can be expressed in.
We would like to thank Veronica Sanchez for the great interview, and if you would like to know more about her, Feel free to check her out on Facebook.