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Here's a little splurg about me, my classes and other cool things
I've never really introduced myself!!, I realized I started this blog and never really told you anything about who I am. I just started typing post and dishing out knowledge like a stranger giving out free candy to kids. If you haven't noticed I have been taking a break from this blog because I have been traveling and teaching on the side ALL WHILE working crunch time here at Walt Disney Animation Studios. I have a grand wealth of new posts and will try to post all of them out every 3-4 days. But let me start of this blitz off post with a long over due introduction of me.
My name is Daniel but my friends call me Danny (I wonder if this means I'm going to start meeting random people who call me Danny at conventions now...) I grew up in a corner of San Diego, California where it wasn't the best of neighborhoods. I had a single mom, one brother (that I knew about) and grandparents that didn't speak English. I knew more people who have been to prison than had been to college (or even rarer: had college degrees!) Typical for my part of town but I loved it because it was all I knew.
I never knew I wanted to draw as a living but it was something I did as a hobby. I think I drew more because people wanted to see me draw rather than the act of drawing actually interesting me. But soon I began to like it. I soon found out, "oh my gawd, I CAN EXPRESS MYSELF (which usually happens around 2nd grade and you keep drawing hearts and stick figures of girl you like on the margins of your homework) :) At one point around Jr. High I believe I even did flip books out of sticky notes and eventually I liked that so much I would duck tape multiple sticky notes together to make epic sticky-note flip books.(most which were of toilet humor and other atrocities which would star my friends. I hope they never see the light of day!)
If it wasn't for my art teachers that DROVE me to Laguna College of Art and Design for a portfolio day I would of never went to college. While growing up I could never imagine how one could make a living off drawing. I thought all cartoon shows were lone projects made by one artist in their basement. I believed movies and animated films weren't art, they were just things that would mysteriously appeared at theaters for all to see. College was never a REAL possibility it was a void because I didn't know what college was or meant, it was a big "Question Mark". Because of the extra care my teachers gave me I ended up at California College of the Arts were I was exposed to so much. Soon I switched majors from Painting to Animation. You should of seen my face when I figured out that those flip books I did in Jr. High, were the same way animated movies were made. I wasn't amazed or surprised, I was thunder struck! (Hahaha At one point I asked, "Whats animation paper, why can't you just use computer paper?")
Soon I landed an Internship at Pixar where I learned computer animation for the first time and a few years later I found myself at Walt Disney Animation Studios. When I first started working I will be the first to admit I had no perspective. I had no perspective that I was at Pixar, what Pixar was or even meant, I had no idea who was who, I even didn't have a clue what was a blog! I was a very, very, VERY green young kid (19-20 years old). I had some growing pains adjusting to Pixar and finding out what studio life meant and how one was expected to act and perform. Thank fully I had amazing mentors such as Mark Walsh, Andrew Gordon and Andy Beal who never gave up on me and gave me the best introduction to animation one could ask for. Disney was a fresh start, a chance to learn from a different style and I'm loving it. I left a lot of friends back north in Oakland and San Francisco that I miss a lot and hope to return one day.
I found myself pursuing teaching on the side because I was amazed at how much knowledge there is out here and how inaccessible it is! Especially for kids that come from my sort of back ground. I'm always amazed at how much is not taught in schools and how many bad habits are taught. I don't hope to change the world, but at least I can do my part in giving a little back and helping who I can just like those who helped me. Right now I keep busy with this blog, teaching on Skillshare.com and by working at Walt Disney Animation Studios. I consistently work on my own work (don't ask me when bc I don't know how I find the time!!). I paint when I can, I love to write stories and do story boards, I always try to collaborate with other artist when I can. And of course I go out and act a fool like everyone my age should :) .
So there! A little bit about who's been writing all these post! Below is information about what I teach and a little insight of my trips abroad.
Its always nice to travel! I went down to mexico and landed in Guadalajara and road tripped to the coast for a while, Traveling gives you perspective of who you are and the world around you. here are some photos I took while down there
My class is called CONSTRUCTING A STORY: Advanced Visual Storytelling. Any one can sign up and it's $20 for a lot of goodness. And even if you don't have time for the class, you get access to the material and lectures for life (please return upon in case of death, I'M KIDDING) Email me for a discount code or just to say hi @ firstname.lastname@example.org
I've taught on this sight before and had over 700 students in my last class! I was floored by the enthusiasm and the eagerness to learn by all of them .I look super forward to teaching this class that starts MAY 27th. Find out more about the class through the link below or just email me!