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Mentor of the Day: Mike Yamada

MikeYamada_httydEven with his busy schedule, Mike Yamada is returning as a Spring 2013 mentor!

Not only is Mike an accomplished visual development artist at DreamWorks Animation, but he and his wife, Victoria Ying, have created an amazing brand for themselves, Extracurricular Activities.  In addition to helping you improve your skills, Mike teaches the importance of continuing to do outside work aside from the studio.

The most important thing  Angela Li learned from Mike was “to follow what I love doing best and to keep creating personal work outside of the work I do for other studios. I also learned more about making stronger design choices based on what the piece needed.”

“I got some great advice about the professional world from Mike and also got some nice portfolio pieces from the mentorship. He would sometimes explain his thought process for how he works by doing paint overs over my work or showing me a quick demo on how he starts his paintings,” stated Angela.

What was it like working with Mike?  “I felt that Mike was very personable, easy to get along with and was willing to help with whatever I needed. One of the things I felt that was most helpful was his critiques on my paintings. He always had great, specific advice on what I could do to improve my pieces even further. On a more personal level, I really enjoyed connecting with and getting to talk to someone as talented as Mike in the visual development industry- especially since it’s something that I really strive to break into. I also think that since we have similar tastes in the kind of work we like to create, getting to learn from him was a great experience for me.”

And check out the great work she created below!

Yuhki Demers, another one of Mike’s mentees also got some great advice.  Check out his before and after paintings below!





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