About Nicolas Weis
Nicolas Weis was born and raised in Paris, France. From an early age he wanted to be a “dessinateur” (the closest translation would probably be ‘draftsman’) without any clear idea of what it actually meant. An early nerd, Nicolas read a lot of books, American comics and french graphic novels. He also did a lot of role-playing games. After high school, Nicolas felt that art school was not a reasonable option, so he went to study Art History at the Ecole du Louvre where he majored in archaeology and had the opportunity to balance his solid popular culture education with a more classical classic equivalent. When he turned 20, and realized he would not be the next Indiana Jones and decided to learn how to draw. For real. He wanted to draw. He had a hard time finding the school he was looking for until he entered the Ecole Superieure d’Arts Graphiques Penninghen (ESAG) in Paris, an excellent school he graduated from in 2003. Nicolas then became a freelance illustrator for two years in France until a series of benevolent and apparently random events brought him to the U.S where he had the chance to visit Dreamwork’s campus in 2006. This is when he worked hard on a new portfolio in order to find a job in the entertainment industry.
I have been working for the animation industry as a visual development artist since 2008. My first gig was Astroboy at Imagi. I was then hired to work at Dreamworks where I worked on How to Train Your Dragon 1, The Croods, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and other undisclosed projects. I went freelance in 2013 and had the chance to work on the Sonic Boom video game at Big Red Button then back into animation with a job at Paramount on two undisclosed feature projects. I am currently back at Dreamworks, working on the upcoming Larrikins movie as a visual development artist. I have been a life drawing and concept drawing teacher in Paris and gave a few workshop in France and in the US (including one trimester at Concept Design Academy), and this will be my third participation to the amazing Motivarti program.
I am a designer, my forte is drawing : layout, shape language, rendering. I work both traditionally and digitally and strongly believes that both techniques bring something different to the design process and help to build a unique and personal artistic style.
Ideal Mentee: My ideal mentee is a curious open-minded hard-working person, someone imaginative and fun that wants to make something of his passion. I am not looking for a machine producing endless impersonal and interchangeable “speed paintings”, I want a mentee that understands that this takes time and that what matters is not only how it looks but what the idea behind is.
10-Week Plan: It really depends on what the mentee is seeking but the plan I have in mind so far is : One session to look at each other’s work to determine the areas to focus on. Then finding a theme for a project that will force us to work on this, breaking it down in successive steps in order to understand the whole process. All along I will try to explain both the theory and how it really works during a production in order to prepare the mentee for the professional world if he never worked in the field or to to help her/him achieve a specific goal.
Maximum Number of Mentees: 1
Maximum Distance: International
Language(s): English & French
Preferred Meeting Times: It will depend on my schedule at the time, most likely weekdays around 7:00 PM (Pacific Time) through Skype or Google Hangout. If the mentee is close enough to my studio, I will gladly offer to meet there.
To apply to become Nicolas’ mentee, click here.