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Nate Wragg Recap

Nate Wragg gave a great lecture and a very engaging demo at our recent event at Gallery Nucleus on 10/16. The big takeaway message was right in line with what we believe at Motivarti: Hard work pays off. Nate talked about how, after high school, he applied to CalArts and was not accepted. He kept working on his portfolio and skills, ultimately entering their animation program. While at CalArts, he initially was passed over by Pixar at the annual portfolio review, but he continued to submit his portfolio until he got an interview for a position at Pixar. Although he didn’t get that job, he was asked to stay on as an art intern—an opportunity he capitalized on through continued hard work, a “say yes” attitude, and a willingness to learn new tools and methods on the job.

Nate’s positive attitude, pride in his work, and his focus on storytelling in each drawing propelled him from working on pitch sketches to designing the title sequence for “Ratatouille” within the period of his internship. Nate was lucky, but he was also prepared to make the most of each opportunity.

In terms of advice to students and people putting together portfolios, he suggested that you show that you have range—both in terms of style, and also subject matter. Demonstrate that you can translate your designs into three dimensions, since so much of today’s animation is seen that way. He also suggested that you include work that pushes stylistic limits. He said that, from a studio artist’s standpoint, it’s really exciting to see a portfolio that has cool ideas and designs that are pushed further than what’s typically seen on the studio level. Lastly, Nate emphasized story as the key element in every rough sketch, drawing, and finished piece. Offer the viewer a reason to engage and believe in your work.

Nate’s demo showed his painting and collage process, from blank illustration board to finished piece, all within two hours. It’s difficult to fully describe the amazing experience of seeing an artist verbalize his creative process and his choices as he physically makes the piece. But Nate used many of the same principles in his design that all painters use (lighter objects in the background and darker objects in the foreground help create distance). Nate also said he tried not to plan every detail out before creating his collage. He likes to keep it more organic and feel his way through the piece so it keeps fresh. We’ll eventually be posting the videos of Nate’s demo, so please join our Facebook page and/or mailing list (on the right) to be notified when they are available for viewing.

At the end of the event, we raffled off Nate’s original piece to one lucky winner. Nate is his favorite artist, so we’re thrilled that he went home with the piece.

Thanks again to everyone who came to the event, and a huge thank you to Nate for so generously sharing his experience and his artistic tips with us. If you’re still hoping to snatch one of Nate’s exclusive prints, please click here.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Owen #

    This was a great read, thanks for taking the time and effort to put this up. Inspiring as always

    October 17, 2011

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