Can you first tell us where you are working now and how you landed there?
I am currently a visual development artist at Blue Sky Studios. I started as a summer design intern on Ice Age 4 and Epic. At the end of the internship I was hired full-time.
What was your path to Animation? Were you always interested in animation or fine arts growing up?
I was really into drawing and loved dinosaurs as a boy, I guess I still do! I had a Jurassic Park coloring book that I traced all the time and eventually I started drawing them without the book. My parents saw this and enrolled me in pastel classes. I can remember drawing the back of my Aladdin VHS tape case and dreaming to work for Disney, but when you’re that young, you have no idea how to actually get there.
Ten years later, just before high school graduation, I heard about the animation program at Brigham Young University. It was new, successful, and students were finding jobs at feature animation studios. Before attending, I decided to serve a two-year, Spanish speaking mission for my church. I learned more about myself in 24 months than ever before.
I learned to set long term goals and go about accomplishing them. I learned to manage time and large teams of people. It was a difficult and rewarding time that prepared me for things to come.
Where did your path lead you from there?
When I returned home and started my first year in the BYU Animation Program, I really focused on improving my skills. I wasn’t sure which discipline to pursue so I worked at everything and slowly realized my strengths and weaknesses. After my first year, I was accepted to intern at Walt Disney Feature Animation. The internship was eye-opening! It gave me confidence that I could one day have a full-time job doing what I loved. The next year I interned at Pixar Animation Studios. There I had the opportunity to work on Toy Story 3. I never imagined being a part of Toy Story and it meant the world to me. It was so special to work in two studios who had a profound effect on me growing up.
Ty Carter, Silver Lake, Wasatch
When I returned back to school, I resumed a short film I had started nine months earlier. For the next year, I worked solely on completing the project. My group short, DreamGiver, went on to receive awards and honors at The Academy of Television Arts
and Sciences, Anima Mundi, Cannes, Comic-Con, and SIGGRAPH among others. Before graduating from BYU, I was accepted to intern at Blue Sky Studios and then transitioned into a full-time job. Today I’m working on a film in development and recently wrapped up on the Peanuts Movie.
Ty Carter, Kolob Canyon,Wasatch
Ty Carter, Coyote Gulch, Wasatch
What were your artistic inspirations growing up and how did they change over time?
As I mentioned earlier, I loved Dinosaurs growing up. When my Grandma gave me a copy of Dinotopia my life changed.I was enthralled with every page. By the time Jurassic Park came out, I was at the peak of dino nerd dom. Those two things inspired me to be an artist. As I studied in school and transitioned into a professional studio, I added more inspirations to that list. I really admire the work of Joaquin Sorolla, John Singer Sargent, Harry Anderson, Tom Lovell, and Walter Everett to name a few. I also find the diversity in world cultures intriguing. I love to travel and learn about history.
How did you get involved with CTN and what have you found CTN brings to you as an artist?
TC: I first got involved with CTN as an exhibitor, selling prints, books, and original art. Recently, I’ve held
workshops on Color and Light and “Jumping from School to Studio”. What I love about CTN is how it feels different from other conventions. It has this independent, artist vibe you just don’t find anymore. It’s exciting! It’s also like a big reunion. Each year, I catch up with old friends and
mentors I haven’t seen in years. It’s also an amazing place to learn. There is so much talent under one roof! You can find panels, workshops, talks and reviews on anything you’re interested in.
Are there things about the industry that CTN has helped open up?
TC: Yes, in many ways! CTN is an amazing way to meet artists and network with those you may not otherwise meet. On the business side of things, numerous freelancing opportunities started through the expo. There are recruiters all over the floor. Sometimes you have no idea who you’re talking to! On the fanboy side of things, CTN gives you a chance to meet your heroes. Last CTN, James Gurney stopped by and complimented my work! I was just like, “What is happening? Stay Calm. Breathe.” We exchanged business cards and he even sent a follow-up email when the convention was over. It was such an honor to speak to him and now keep in contact. James Gurney was a huge inspiration to me growing up and still is today. I did a book report on Dinotopia at least 5 times for crying out loud! CTN cultivates this type of exchange.
What are you working on now that we may see at CTN?
TC: I am currently finishing my new book for CTN, Wasatch. It’s an illustrated perspective on places I’ve been along the Wasatch Mountains in the Western United States. It is premiering at CTN this year! I will be accepting pre-orders for Wasatch in a few weeks. Follow me on social media to be notified.
|Ty Carter, Shady Slopes, Wasatch||Ty Carter, Under the Stars, Wasatch|
Interview by Heather M. Shepherd
Heather is an experienced artist, modeler, and CG designer. She has worked at Disney,Dreamworks, Jim Henson and Warner Bros. Recently shehas been writing, directing,and producing her own award winning films.