This brain child of Tina Price has blossomed over the years into a world wide gathering and celebration of the art of animation and those who love this medium. Those in attendance: instructors, students, aspiring writers and directors, illustrators, freelancers and venders. Those working as animators as well as those looking for employment. There were networking opportunities and endless information and encouragement for those who needed encouraging. The fans of animation got to rub shoulders with, pick the brains of, listen to lectures by, and sit in on interviews of professionals on program and lots, lots more.
This is how I got involved: Several weeks ago I got a call from Tina, whom I've known for years dating back to our time spent at Disney animation. She inquired if I would be available the weekend of CTNX. Another message the same day outlined a thought that had brewing in her mind. On this 5th anniversary of CTNX, in addition to photographing and filming the events, "lets also have the events sketched, then compile the sketches in a book to be made available in the future". Over the phone I was extended the invitation to be the 'official sketcher' of these events. That proposition to me was like saying 'sick'em' to a hunting dog or 'amen' to a preacher. Yes, I was ready to sketch!
The attendees started to line up out side the hotel (Burbank Marriot Conference Center) early each morning, several hours before the doors opened.
The line beginning to stretch out to eventually wrap around the building...
My duties this past weekend would include sketching as many of the events as possible. Not as easy a task as one might think. With events starting at 7 in the morning and running until midnight, there were scheduled events constantly going on, overlapping one another in the convention center, in one of the two tents set up, and in the ballroom.
These multiple events happening simultaneously kept me happily and busy sketching through out the weekend...
In addition to sketching the unfolding events, I was on schedule to do a live demo session on Saturday...
and then broke away from sketching for a book signing...
I signed for about an hour and a half before there was nothing left to sign... the book had sold out! The rest of the day and Sunday, Focal Press (my publisher) offered 'free shipping' for orders:) unfortunately, without the signature.
Me with marketing manager Elyse Lebel and aquisitions editor David Bevans from Focal Press...
I was like a humming bird flitting from one activity to another. My wife calling to remind me to "take time to eat lunch and take a break." I thought by doing so I might miss something; which I did, by the sheer volume of activity going on. Yes, I did finally take a break... at times.
Sunday morning I did another live demo on quick sketching. Then back to catch more events at the Expo. I also managed to squeeze in...
A great aspect of the conference was the interactions. As I made my way from event to event, I was constantly stopped by younger animation hopefuls and gladly dialogued about every thing from where animation is headed, will traditional animation make a comeback, advice on portfolios and those who just wanted to say 'hi'.
Another added benefit of attending CTNX is that I ran into friends and colleagues I had not seen for years.
The wonderful friend of mine, Jamie Bolio...
And, outstanding writer, director and old friend John Musker. We had worked on many films together. John had done a caricature of me for my retirement a few months ago. He was out of town at the time of my retirement and posted it online. At this gathering I had the opportunity to thank him in person. John not only stands tall in the animation industry, but is a top notch caricaturist as his take on me attests.
Thank you Tina Price for bringing us all together for a marvelous and unforgettable weekend.
One weekend leads into another as I navigate through my retirement. I'm busier now than when I was working...I'll be signing my book this coming Saturday (11/23/13) at the Barnes & Noble in Marina del Rey from 1pm -3pm.
Hope to see you there!
Barnes and Noble
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292