Mentor of the Day: Louie del Carmen
Born and raised in the Philippines, Louie began to draw at a very young age emulating cartoons, comics and science fiction illustrations of the era. In 1983 he studied Commercial Art and received an Associate Degree at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. At the age of 21 he and his brothers moved to the United States in 1989 and after a brief career detour, Louie got his first job in animation in 1995 as a character designer. Eager to test his skills as a film maker and story teller, Louie transitioned to storyboarding in 1998 and after several years, also took on leadership roles as a supervisor and director. In 2007 he made the move to feature films and joined the story crew at Dreamworks SKG.
You’d think that with so much talent running in their family (his brothers Ricky and Ronnie are also story artists) there would be a lot of competition amongst them. But in an interview with Philippine News, Louie explained, “There is no competition among us…We just so happen to share the same interests. We like the same movies, the same cartoons and we all love to draw. Ronnie, who is our eldest, was the first to start drawing. Then we just got inspired by him.”
In a Q&A with Character Design Blog, Louie mentions that “being an artist is a FULL TIME proposition. There was a point after getting started in animation where I treated it more like a job. At the end of each work day I goofed around and stopped being an artist until I went back to work the next day. Then one day it dawned on me that other artists where moving forward and their art was getting better. Even though I was doing a good job designing characters, I was one-dimensional and my artistic range was limited.
So I embarked on an initiative to become the best artist I could be. That process still continues to this day and which, will probably never end. Being an artist is a twenty-four seven proposition which requires a personal commitment of education and practice. Instead of merely applying my love of drawing to my job, it has become all encompassing. There is so much to discover if one is willing to commit to it. This is the only way to know who you are as an artist and where you stand artistically in a universe of artists.”
Louie joins the mentorship program in hopes to instill the philosophies and experience that have made him successful while informing his mentee of the usual pitfalls and realities of the industry. Louie is willing to take one mentee from anywhere in the US and is willing to help them build their storytelling abilities while creating portfolio pieces.
If you’d like find out more about Louie, visit his website and then check out this really great interview that goes more in-depth about his start and philosophies with Bobby Chiu. You can also find a lot of demos done by him on YouTube as well. And if you’re at the CTN Expo this weekend, don’t forget to stop by his talk BE THE ARTIST: Cultivating your Artistic Identity. It’s scheduled for 4:30pm on Saturday, November 19th in the main screening room.
STORYBOARD ARTIST: Rugrats, Invader Zim, Kim Possible, Lilo & Stitch: The Series, American Dragon: Jake Long, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Drawn Together, Justice League: The New Frontier, The Mighty B!
SERIES DIRECTOR: Rugrats, Rocket Power
STORYBOARD SUPERVISOR: Invader Zim,The Mighty B!
LEAD DESIGNER: Tomb Raider: Re/Visioned (web series)
FEATURE STORY: Kung Fu Panda, Secrets of the Furious FIve Megamind, Kung Fu Panda 2, Secrets of the Masters, Rise of the Guardians (2012)
GRAPHIC NOVEL: Steel Noodles Number 1 (2010)
SKETCHBOOKS: The Wayward Traveller (2006), Alternating Currents (2008)
FEATURED ON: SWALLOW Vol. 3 by Ashley Wood, Various Artists (2007), DRAWING INSPIRATION: Visual Artists at Work by Michael Fleischman (2010)