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Mentor of the Day: David Colman

“Many people are born with great talent, whether it be an ear for music, the moving words of poetry or an eye for color. Yet these innate traits do not magically make people artists. It’s what they choose to do with these gifts that proves their fate for a life in the arts. Their ambition sets them on a path to becoming an artist. The drive to become an artist comes only to those that are passionate about their craft. So when one says you are so lucky to draw so soundly or paint so vividly luck has nothing to do with it. This passionate drive is what makes us who we are as artists.”  (an excerpt from David Colman’s artistic statement found on his website.)

David Colman has always been very passionate about art and is a firm believer that pure talent is not what gets artists to the top.  David has always been a big support of Motivarti and even came to talk to students at the very beginnings when we were still Picture This.  Back then he said, make it in this industry, he told us, “you have to want it more than your neighbor; almost more than yourself.”  He said people who have a desire to do well AND a strong work ethic, coupled with some natural talent, are a very dangerous combination.

David has proved to be one of those people.  He is an illustrator who has been working as an Emmy winning character designer, development artist and story artist in the animation industry for over 10 years. He has worked for many clients such as:

  •  Disney Feature Animation
  •  Disney TV
  •  Sony Pictures Animation
  •  Sony Imageworks
  •  Blue Sky Studios
  •  Hasbro
  • Cartoon Network
  •  20th Century Fox
  •  Fox TV Animation
  • Cookie Jar
    and many others.

Beyond his work in the industry David is widely known for his animal character work and has self-published 4 books, The Art of Animal Character Design, Animal Character Design: Grizzly Bears, David Colman’s Doodles Volume I and Volume II.

On top of all his accolades, David has always striven to give back to the artistic community by hosting classes and workshops whenever possible. So we are thrilled he’s continuing his trend and becoming a Motivarti mentor!  David is willing to take one highly motivated individual under his wing and help them craft their skill.

He’s hoping to prepare another artist to meet the demands of working this crazy business.  Nowadays, he find that there is too great a level of mediocrity. There exist a vast lack of fundamentals-both in design and general drawing fundamentals.  One of his favorite quotes is, “Without the fundamentals, the fancy stuff wont work” ~Randy Pausch.  Overall, David’s goal is to develop another talented well qualified individual artist to this industry so he (or someone else) can hire them in the near future.

David is very eager to be a part of the mentorship program and has set a rough outline of the things he wishes to accomplish with his mentee:

1: Assessment (skill review, work review, understand artists goals)
2: Based on skill level-: will give them design fundamental exercises along with a side project on character development for portfolio piece
3: Review exercises each week along with development of characters
4: Career advice: casual atmosphere
: Portfolio construction, layout and edit towards last 2 weeks
: More importantly its about what they put into it- they more they put in the more they get out of it
7: Also, I want to give them what they want to learn-  even if they only want to learn about eyeballs

In addition, David hopes his mentee can meet him during his lunch hour in his Hasbro office in Burbank. In doing so, David hopes to show his mentee around and allow them to see a working production and how shows go through development. This is very rarely done so if you live in within Los Angeles, don’t miss this opportunity and apply soon!

David will also be at the CTN Expo this weekend.  If you have questions or would like to chat with him, be sure to stop by!  Lastly, don’t forget to check out his blog and youtube channel where he often features his latest work and demos.

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