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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

SBCC hosts Disney, Dreamworks animators at art career event

Vanessa Martinez
Tyler X. Koontz and Justin Davanzo perform a short play called “Frogs” at the Fe Bland Forum on Saturday, April 28, for the eighth annual Art Career Day Conference.

On Saturday, 40 professional artists including Disney and Dreamworks animators shared their knowledge and advice for young artists at the Fe Bland Forum for the eighth annual Art Career Day Conference.

The conference went from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and allowed participants to take part in three of the 15 offered round-table discussions, each on a different art form including photography, painting, sculpture, fashion design, poetry, and animation. The event was free for artists under the age of 25, and $25 for attendees 25 and over.  

“I’ve been an artist all my life and understand that so many artists aren’t given the proper tools to create their own careers, and are expected to just go out and wing it,” said Julie McLeod, founder of the nonprofit organization Art Without Limits, which put on the event.

A cast member of the original Broadway production of “Westside Story,” McLeod said she put the organization together nine years ago to give artists who don’t have professional training a chance to get the training and make connections.

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After checking in on the patio outside, the artists and speakers all gathered in the forum and split up into discussion groups. Ted Mills, award-winning filmmaker and event emcee, announced that there would be a huge lunch with dessert, joking that the organization was glad to offer it because it knew the room was full of starving artists.  

The animation discussion featured professionals from Disney, Dreamworks and Nickelodeon. The three men in their snazzy tennis shoes and bright flannels broke down the animation process  and explained how it’s different from other types of film production.

“When you film in real life with real people, you don’t have to create the sound of wind or a spoon falling to the ground,” said Nickelodeon animator Jordan Koch. “With animation, every sound is entirely handmade, everything from birds to taxi cabs. If you want the sound in there, you have to create it.”

After an hour-long lunch in the sun, which gave participants an opportunity to network with one another and with the professionals, the artists gathered in the forum once again for a performance.

Holly Hadsell,  a runner-up in Santa Barbara’s singing competition Teen Star, performed the “Pocahontas” classic “Colors of the Wind.”

The second and third round table followed the performance.

City College painter Christina Humphrey described how meaningful it was to have the art professionals come speak.

“Being around all these people who have made it and hearing their many different stories was extremely encouraging and just goes to show that the arts will take everyone down a different path to success,” she said.

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