Read on to find out how he got started in animation and what inspires him to keep going!
1) What is your role here at NAS? How long have you worked here? I’m a storyboard artist on Spongebob SquarePants. I am going into my 6th year at Nick. I started out as a storyboard revisionist on Penguins of Madagascar.
2) How did you get started in Animation? I’m mostly self taught. I drew a ton, made my own animated shorts and comics, and collected a phat stack of rejection letters from animation studios all around town for years. Eventually my stuff was up to par and I applied to Nickelodeon. The timing and my talent finally matched up, and I got my first job.
3) What is your day-to-day like? Any interesting routines? I get in and I get a big cup of water and read the news (and the entire internet) to make sure the world still exists. And then I read through the script pages I want to get done for the day (I usually shoot for completing one page per day). I’ll sketch out little thumbnails on the script page and come up with gags or funny ways to play things out. Then I wring my hands about whether or not I’ll finish on time. Flesh out my thumbnails on the computer and hopefully make them funnier. Then wring my hands about whether anything I’ve done is good enough. Talk myself off the ledge and continue. And then there’s lunch with friends somewhere in there.
4) What continues to motivate you to be an artist and work in animation? It’s a demanding job but it is very fun. And it’s the only thing I’m actually good at. So short answer is: fun and homelessness.
5) What are the favorite parts of your job? I have the freedom to go off script and come up with my own gags or funny lines. I love creating that stuff. On a good day storyboarding feels like what it felt like to play with toys when you were a kid. Also, working around so many talented, funny people.
6) Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career. A couple years ago I got the opportunity to make a short I pitched to the Nickelodeon Animated Shorts Program. It’s called Earmouse and Bottle. I learned a ton about the entire production pipeline, and got to work with a lot of talented people who helped create my vision. In the end I got this professionally made, finished product of a silly idea I came up with while doodling at home.
7) What/who inspires you? When I want to get the inspiration juices flowing I usually go to a book store or a comic book store. I walk around forever and look at EVERYTHING. Something about that gets me inspired to create.
8) What is your advice for aspiring artists or people interested in entering animation? Draw a lot. Draw everywhere and everything. Fill a sketchbook a month. Find friends that like to draw. Go out sketching with them at coffee shops, the mall, the zoo. Critique each other’s work. Attend life drawing classes/workshops. Look into what jobs there are in a studio. Pick one that plays to your strengths, and work towards that goal of creating a portfolio and then creating a better one. Look at work online from people that do those jobs. Recognize what it takes. Never settle for “good enough” in your work. There’s a line of people behind you who are working harder to become better than “good enough”. Then apply and apply again. Be ready for many rejection letters from many places. And then be ready to take it up a notch and try again. Ultimately your real goal is to become undeniably good. If you can do that, animation jobs will rain from the sky.
9) Who was your mentor? My freshman year in high school, my art teacher Nataha Lightfoot built his own animation equipment (light table, pencil tester, etc.). He started the animation club, which I joined immediately. The club turned into a class which I took every semester of high school. Mr. Lightfoot always encouraged me but mostly just helped by giving me access to everything I needed and left me alone to make all the crazy films I wanted. He went on to supply schools across the country with his animation supplies and teach other teachers how to teach animation. If you have an animation class at your school, chances are it’s because of him.
10) What are your favorite hobbies? I like to go out sketching with friends, and I love going to the movies.
11) What is one of the most challenging aspects of your job? Taking something that might be mildly entertaining or somewhat funny and pushing it to be something that is going to blow the roof off the place and make people laugh out loud. And doing it in very little time.
12) What is your spirit animal? Animal (from the Muppets). If I could make cartoons like Animal plays the drums… watch out!
13) Favorite Nickelodeon show? Ren and Stimpy.
14) Favorite Nickelodeon quote or catchphrase? “We’re not hitchhiking anymore… we’re riding” - Ren Hoek to bar of soap.
15) Favorite snack? This is a really boring answer, but trail mix can really get me through the day if my lunch wasn’t big enough. (If I didn’t care about my aging, bloating body I’d say candy.)
Butch Hartman sat down with the studio as part of The Fairly OddParents’ 15th Anniversary celebration to share his insights on more than two decades in the animation industry. As the creator of four shows here at NAS, he had a lot to say…
Check out his best pieces of advice, plus find out his connection to My Little Pony, Dexter’s Lab and more!
Spoilers: 707′s good ending, and Secret ending 1 and Secret ending 2
Warning: MC’s name is Min-Suk Park. This was meant to be something…and then it turned to smut. It’s exploring 707′s sadistic side. But, that’s what happens sometimes right? This is not dub-con just to let everyone know.
Bakit ang pangit lagi ng dating kapag third no? Third party. Third wheel. Third place. Third choice. Third stage cancer. Third runner up. Third floor. ( Wait what? Anong meron sa 3rd floor? )
Pero balik tayo dun sa third wheel. Minsan kase kapag third wheel ka parang gustong-gusto mong dumulog sa DPWH para ipa-road widening ang bawat dadaanan ng kaibigan mong magjowa para hindi ka naiiwanan sa likod. Andun kasi yung pakiramdam na parang option ka lang at pwede ka namang wala sa setting ng istorya. Minsan parang ikaw pa yung lumalabas na antagonist sa kanilang dalawa. At ang mas masakit, yung kahit sa sarili mong kwento hindi pa din ikaw yung bida. Isa ka lang dakilang extra na hinihintay maglaho sa eksena. Yung they lived happily ever after pero ikaw nganga pa din.
Pero when you look on the other side, may perks din naman ang pagiging third wheel that will make you say, “Woooh! Sana ‘pag nareincarnate ako, third wheel ulit please!” ( Me ganun?)
1. Parating busog. Dahil palagi kang libre kapag may date sila. Bahala silang magsubuan at magpahidan ng dumi sa mukha basta free foods. Choosy pa ba? Pagkain muna bago feelings.
2. Hindi man ikaw ang Pambansang Bae pero para sa kanila ikaw ang #PambansangBes. Dalawa na agad ang BFFs mo. Dalawa na agad ang kakampi mo kapag may nanggago sa’yo.
3. Whenever you need a double date, isa na lang ang kulang.
4. Papa Jack levels ka na pagdating sa mga relationship advices dahil everytime na mag-aaway sila, sa’yo sila lagi humihingi ng payo ‘cos you always know both sides of the story.
5. You will see love in a different perspective na pwede mong iapply sa next relationship mo. In short, nangunguha ka lang ng tips.
6. May pa-popcorn at sopdrinks ka everytime na manonood kayo ng sine basta dedma ka na lang habang naglalaplapan sila sa sulok.
7. Hindi ka na mahihirapang mag-isip kung sino-sino ang isasama mo sa next travel mo. Kapag kasama si bes ‘matic kasama din ang jowa ni bes. Minsan kasama din yung kaibigan ng kaibigan pa ng jowa ni bes.
8. Feeling Professional Photographer ka lagi kapag kasama mo sila bilang ikaw lagi ang dakilang taga-picture. Professional dahil kapag sinasabi mong ‘Smile!’, ikaw ‘tong pinipilit ngumiti kahit deep inside mangilid-ngilid na yung luha mo sa inggit.
9. Third-wheel ka lang, hindi friendzoned. Mas masakit matawag na friendzoned.
10. Isang magandang marketing strategy ang pagpopost nila ng picture kasama ka. Dahil kapag nakita ng ibang friends nila na single ka pa din, madaming mag-aatempt na landiin ka. #FreePublicity
11. Atleast hindi mo napagdaanan ang “Naaalala Lang Ako Ni Bes Kapag Single Siya Syndrome”.
12. Everytime na makikita mo sila, mas lalo kang na-eexcite para sa sarili mo. Na one day, mararanasan mo din yung nararanasan nila. ( At mararanasan din nila yung nararanasan mo ‘cos karma’s a bitch. Ay pota bitter pala? )
13. You will learn to be happy on someone else’s happiness.
14. Kahit bumabaliktad na yung sikmura mo kaka-PDA nila, maniniwala ka pa rin sa forever kahit wala kang ka-forever. Dahil habang nakikita mo sila, you will always be reminded that love really does exist at parating pa lang yung para sa’yo.
Kung third wheel ka, sa tingin mo ba aandar ang pedicab kapag wala ka? Nilagay ang pangatlong gulong dahil mas mahirap balansehin ang takbo kapag dalawa lang.
Sa ngayon, enjoyin mo na lang muna kung nasaan ka. Darating din ang araw na mangyayari din sa’yo yung mga bagay na sa ngayon ay hanggang tingin ka na lang muna. Mangyayari yun sa tamang panahon at sa tamang taong nakalaan para sa’yo. At kapag nangyari ‘yon, silang dalawa ang kauna-unahang magiging masaya para sa’yo. May pa-banner at pa-pansit ka pa.
Meet Tim Prendergast, a storyboard artist on Nick Jr’s Blaze and the Monster Machines who works out of our NYC studio! We found out about his office days at Nickelodeon, the journey that led him to Blaze, and A LOT of his favorite desserts!
Continue reading to find out more about this awesome artist:
Tell me a bit about yourself! Hey! My name’s Tim! I’m a storyboard artist on the Nick Jr. show Blaze and the Monster Machines, and I went to school for animation at MassArt in Boston. Besides being a board artist, I’m an animator, FX artist, and an optimization/pipeline guy. I’m also a runner, avid reader, and brunch enthusiast.
How did you get your start? I started animating when I was little. I’d turn Post-it Note pads into flip books, and make stop motion films with toys on my family’s old VHS camera. I didn’t know I wanted to work professionally in animation until college, when I found myself surrounded by some really talented artists. It inspired me to want to be a great animator, and I’ve tried to take jobs that further that goal.
I was hired out of school at CloudKid, a Boston studio that did projects for Scholastic, Sesame Street, and PBS Kids. I moved to work in NYC at Titmouse INC. in 2013, and a few years later I had the opportunity to test for a job as a storyboard artist at Nickelodeon!
What do your day-to-day tasks look like? Blaze and the Monster Machines is a script-driven show, so as board artists we’re responsible for setting the scene. On a given day, I could be doing thumbnails, layout, pitching shot ideas, or addressing notes. In this environment, it helps to have a well-rounded skill set, and be able to work under tight deadlines. I like to spend more time on my thumbnails than my panels, so I can pitch my panels sooner and see whether or not they’re working.
Favorite parts of the job? My favorite part is having the opportunity to develop and pitch brand new properties with my pitch partner. I’m inspired all the time when I’m here, which is easy when you’re surrounded by world-class talent. I’m really lucky that the work I do keeps me inspired as well, giving me the chance to tell stories and apply my animation sensibilities to boards. But the most satisfying part of working here is seeing the finished episodes go to air, and seeing the final product of everyone’s time and energy.
Any advice you’d give to aspiring artists in this industry? Be determined, and don’t be afraid to work really, really hard. Figure out what you love doing and be exceptionally passionate about it. Get really good at drawing and be determined to get better. Find people you admire and learn from them. Be genuinely nice. Also if you’re an animator, watch the entire DVD box-set of The Animator’s Survival Kit.
What tools have helped you get to where you are? A positive attitude, persistence and enthusiasm.
What inspires you? I get inspired by pitching ideas. Whether it’s gag for a scene, or an entire show pitch, or thoughts about where to get lunch, I find that bouncing thoughts off of other people is the best way to grow them. Almost all of the work we do is collaborative, and that helps us tell better stories, and makes the show stronger overall.
What are some of your favorite hobbies? Most times I’m developing shows, writing music, drawing, or spending way too much on food in NYC with friends!
Did you go to school for what you’re currently working in? Yes!
Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be significant in your career. One of the challenges on any production is creating a pipeline that’s artist friendly, but also saves time without being too complex. It’s a difficult balancing act and sometimes productions suffer from going too far one way or the other. On Blaze, I helped develop a tool that takes advantage of 3D models to speed up our boarding process. It’s easy to use, and it reduces the amount of technical drawing we need to do, letting us focus on staging and composition, and saving a few hours here and there.
What is one of the most challenging aspects of your job? Blaze and the Monster Machines is a preschool show, meant for children between ages 2-6. It’s the network’s first pre-K STEM show, and while creating a show for such a diverse age group can be challenging, it’s also a unique opportunity to expose kids to new concepts in science and technology. Even though our audiences are close in age, they’re developmentally very different; for example, a 2 year old might have a vocabulary of 100-300 different words, while a 6 year old might have a word count that’s 200 times larger. This makes writing for our audience particularly difficult, as we’re crafting a show that appeals to younger kids, but doesn’t feel like it’s beneath the older kids who are also watching.
On my end, as a storyboard artist, there are lots of similar challenges; We have lots of rules to follow as board artists to make sure that the action is clear and that we’re conveying the right message, and that nothing is visually confusing. The challenging part for me is crafting environments, setups and gags that fall in line with our ‘rules’ while still keeping things dynamic and interesting. It’s a huge part of the job and it’s great practice in story telling for a very specific audience.
Spirit animal? Gazelle. Or deer.
Favorite ice cream/dessert? Wow. Any kind of pie. Especially Boston cream. And cheese cake, or carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Donuts with sprinkles. Gummi raspberries. Any combination of these things.