Tom Bancroft, author of Character Mentor, recently did an interview with charactersengage.com where he discusses his beginnings in the animation business, how he came to writing his two books, and website, charactermentorstudio.com.
Also, Tom encourages you to enter his Character Mentor Contest for a chance to show off your talents illustrating poses and emotions and win $100 worth of Focal Press animation books.
You can read the full interview here, but here’s a snippet for you:
CE: What made you become interested in the educational aspects of character design/creation?
TOM: Growing up, my twin brother Tony and I wanted to be comic strip artists. Drawing and creating characters was a passion of mine, but I didn’t know it at the time. Soon after that, I discovered animation and my passion changed to wanting to just be an animator at Disney. Once there, I was content with the challenge of making their characters come to life and have appeal. I worked my way up the ladder, eventually becoming a supervising animator. In that position, you were expected to help design the character you were going to animate. In my case, it was “Mushu” for the film Mulan.
CE: You have launched a new website called “Character Mentor Studio” to coincide with the release of “Character Mentor”. What was this site set up for?
TOM: The site www.charactermentorstudio.com is a place for people to find more information about “Character Mentor”, my first book, and other educational products, as well as some personal sketchbooks and comic books I’ve illustrated.
I am also very excited to introduce a new “workbook” series I am creating. The first 4 of these will be both sketchbooks and instructional books in one. You draw in them like a sketchbook, but I have added instructions on things you can draw. Challenges, you could say.
The first workbook, called “Shape Inspiration”, is about to ship. It features 50 pages of 3-4 different shapes per page. The goal is to turn each of them into a face or character of some kind. You can turn the same shape into something different many times over. I think it will be a great tool to get your creative juices flowing!