Cartoon animator talks art careers at OPHS

Animator Wes Archer speaks to students in Peluce’s classroom, Feb. 6. Archer worked on the The Simpsons show along with others and shared his story advice to students (Camille Driggs/Talon).

Wes Archer, an animator, gave a presentation to technology teacher Tony Peluces animation class Feb. 6.

several cartoon programs Rick and Morty,” “The Simpsons,Bob’s Burgersand Alien Gregory

Students from several other classes attended to hear Archer speak, including drama teacher Allan Hunts film production class.

Archer attended the California Institute of the Arts and got his first professional job while he was in school, animating a short film for HBO.

In 87, things werent going well,Archer said. I was ready to give up, when ‘The Simpsons’ came along.

He received the job offer from a studio he previously worked

You always want to keep a good relationship with those you work for,Archer said. Dont burn too many bridges, in case something comes along.

According to Archer, much of the animation process of “The Simpsons” was not performed on computers.

We had to work 60 hours a week because we had to draw everything ourselves,Archer said.

To create a single episode requires meticulous planning, Archer said. The animator’s role in to bring that planning to life — with thousands of drawings.

I think one of the biggest things [Archer] communicated to the students is that being an artist is a career and that you don’t have to be a starving artist,”

— Tony Peluce

The animator has a slightly less creative role in that they have to do all of the inbetween and key poses,” Archer said.Its a lot of work.

Archer said he believes the hardest part about being an animator is that it isnt a very stable or consistent job.

 Sometimes youre working on something that is a lot of work for not that much money that you dont really enjoy, so there are moments that it becomes more of a grueling kind of I have to do this to pay the bills,’” Archer said.

Despite past struggles, Archer said he finds value in his work.

I am doing what I enjoy,” Archer said. “What I would be doing with my free time if I wasnt working?

Peluce said that parents and teachers too often discourage students from going into the arts.

I think one of the biggest things [Archer] communicated to the students is that being an artist is a career and that you dont have to be a starving artist,Peluce said.

Junior Ellie Reisman is a self-taught artist. She is not in Peluces animation class, but said she was excited to hear Archer speak.

Well, legendary artist visiting the school,Reisman said. Why wouldnt I [go]?

Reisman said engaging with professionals in the art world could help promote creative jobs.

I met another animator recently. And just seeing these guys is actual proof that you can make it in this industry,Reisman said.