I grew up in small town Hartland, Wisconsin. Between shoveling snow, swatting mosquitoes and eating cheese I enjoyed drawing, movie marathons, Mario Cart tournaments and going on adventures outside. There were lots of things I dreamed of growing up to be when I was a kid, but ..none of them quite felt right. Even though all the things I was passionate about all pointed to ‘Animator’, I didn't know this was a possibility for a career.
It was when Jurassic Park came out that I started questioning how movies were made and wondering where they found dinosaurs – and ones that they could control! This is when I was told it was "movie magic". So I thought in order to make dinosaurs I would have to become a magician. After a couple card tricks gone wrong I decided I could never be cut out to make movie magic. I loved to draw and paint though, so the idea of growing up to be an artist made me happy. And then.. DVD’s took over with all their ‘behind the scenes’ glory and I learned PEOPLE (that weren’t magicians) made movies. Even though this realization was one of the most exciting points in my life, it was also one of the scariest. There weren’t any animation jobs in Wisconsin. I would have to leave my family and friends, everything I knew ..my whole life, to follow a dream I didn’t know was even reachable. But I had to take a chance. I had to try. So I did.
At 18 years old I packed up my little ’87 Toyota and drove across country to San Diego where I attended the Art Institute. During my schooling I got an internship at Nickelodeon which was my first in-studio experience. After graduating I got an internship at a game studio, High Moon, which turned into a full time position in the cinematics department. I was still thirsty for learning everything I could about animation so I signed up for Animation Mentor. It was the best decision I could have made for my career! Shortly after graduating I moved up to the Bay Area, jumped back and forth between Tippett and ILM for three years. Worked on films such as Ted, Iron Man 2 and Rango. I then moved to Dallas to work at Reel FX on Free Birds and just finished up Book of Life.
I still love to draw, watch movies, play Mario Cart and go on outdoor adventures, but I have cut back on my cheese intake.