The Animation Guild Blog Interview with Ed Gombert

Steve Hulett did a great audio interview with Story artist Ed Gombert that's posted on The Animation Guild website. Ed is very honest and direct and gives a very good sense of what it's actually like to work as a Story Artist. It can be downloaded in two parts, part one is here and part two is here.

It's all great stuff, but in particular I liked hearing about what he learned working with legendary Disney animator Frank Thomas, and how, more than anything, Frank placed an emphasis on artists thinking for themselves and not looking to other people to supply answers for them and tell them what to do. I think that's an essential attribute for any successful artist. One of the biggest challenges of working in a big animation studio on a project with hundreds of other artists is to make your work dovetail with and compliment the work of all those other artists, without copying what they're doing or following their direction blindly and/or literally.

Walt Disney famously said that "Artists are a dime a dozen". The way Joe Grant used to explain that quote was that Walt was saying that there are an abundance of people who can produce pretty pictures. But the really useful artists are much rarer, and they are the ones who can think. These are the ones who can produce artwork that has character and personality to it and can use their talents to tell a story well.

Anyway, definitely give it a listen.