Ep.6: John Nevarez on working for animation studios like Pixar and SONY Pictures Animation

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Sep 12, 2017 •  Interviews

John is working as a Visual Development and Story Artist at Sony Pictures Animation in California. He created designs for Pixar animated feature films such as Inside Out, Monster’s University and Cars 2. We met when I was living in Denmark and working for LEGO.

John came to teach an Animation Workshop in Viborg, Denmark. I asked him if he would like to do a workshop in LEGO too and he accepted! It was a great inspiration to talk with him about his many years of experience in studios – Storyboard Artist at Walt Disney Studios, Sketch Artist at Pixar Animation Studios, Art Director at Ken Duncan Studios and others. What is more, he also worked as a storyboard artist in Disney Television Animation on numerous shows including Kim Possible. As a designer for Disney Toons, he worked on memorable Tinkerbell and Brother Bear 2! He’s also worked on Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, SCOOB and now he’s currently providing visual development for The Toto Project for the Warner Animation Group.

Get in touch with John

Key Takeaways

“It’s all good in the hood”

Resources mentioned

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Special thanks to John for joining me today. See you next time!

All artworks by John Nevarez, used with permission

Episode Transcript

Announcer  

Creative, artistic, happy! That’s you. There are endless possibilities for living a creative life. So let’s inspire each other. Art Side of Life interviews with Iva.

Iva Mikles  

Hello, everyone and welcome to the next episode, the Art Side of Life where it’s all about how you can turn your creative passion into a profession. My name is Iva, and my guest today is a film and story artist originally from East LA, now living in San Francisco, California. He has been an artist within animation industry for over 19 years. And he’s currently working remotely as a visual development and story artist at Sony Pictures Animation in California. He created designs for Pixar animated feature films such as Inside Out Monsters University and cars too. He also worked for Rovio animation on Angry Birds Movie and provide the design work for Google Spotlight Series pearl. We met when I was working for Lego and he came to Denmark to teach at V board animation school. I asked him if you do a workshop in Lego too. And he accepted. It was a great inspiration to talk with him about his many years of experience in different studios. Like being storyboard artist at Walt Disney sketch artists at Pixar or art director at can you can studios and others. He’s currently working on finalizing his personal book project, Sony the kit that he wants to release shortly before CTN Expo in November 2017. So please welcome John Nevarez. And let’s get to the interview. Welcome, everyone to the next episode of Art Side of Life. I’m super excited to have John here. So please, welcome.

John Nevarez  

Well, thank you, Iva, thank you for this wonderful opportunity. This is this. I’m honored and flattered to be part of it. Thank

Iva Mikles  

you. Oh, me. I mean, like I’m more so like happy that you are here. Because we saw each other last time. It was almost Yeah, half a year or nine months, as you mentioned before.

John Nevarez  

Yeah, it was nine months. And just to let people know, I think I first met you. Well, first of all on Facebook, but then I had the great opportunity. You’re when you’re working at Lego, you you were so kind to bring me over so I could talk to the Lego concept team and the art team. And that was awesome. And you know, thank you so much. You know, that was a great opportunity. And I just loved it. It was the highlight of the trip.

Iva Mikles  

Because like everyone was super excited the Lego as well. When I said like you will come everyone was like what the hell that’s so cool. So I think it was like we’d everyone was happy. So

John Nevarez  

it was awesome. I mean, I love Lego. And then when I left, I was like, I love Lego, so much more. I had no idea. What was you know what you guys did, and I so appreciate I came out I left with so much more appreciation and for what they do and what they are. And it was awesome. There’s so

Iva Mikles  

many nice people. Yeah. And you were teaching at the school as well in de Bourgh in animation, and now you’re teaching in like many different places as well also with school ism, right?

John Nevarez  

Yeah, I was I’ve been fortunate enough. Yeah, I started with the animation workshop. And it was great. And then I’ve been lucky enough to be asked and invited to other schools, like the Naval Academy in Italy and, and the one Academy in in Malaysia and other places. And I love it. I love I didn’t think I’d be traveling and teaching. But it happened and I love it. I just love doing it. So I just, it’s great.

Iva Mikles  

That’s super nice. Because, like you are the super nice guy. And I think everyone is super happy to have you all the time. And so it’s like really good inspiration. And yeah, and let’s maybe start with your background, you know, like how you grew up and I heard this like, super cool question from solopreneur podcast. How did your childhood smelled like?

John Nevarez  

How did my childhood smelled like, smell like, Oh, let’s see. Ah, well. I guess it smelled like good food. Like, you know. I, I had a childhood where I grew up in East LA. I was actually born and raised in East LA. And I was there. I’ll give you the very short version. You know, I lived in East LA. And then right around when I was about seven years old. My mom took me and my sister to live with my grandmother in central California. And it was in Tulare, and it was kind of like it wasn’t a farming town but it was a farming town small town. It was just A very, very small bear. We knew each other and it was great. We were there for three years. And then we went back to East LA. And that was an adjustment. It was it was kind of a it was tough going back, but I loved it. It was, you know, as far as like smells, it kind of, well, if I was in the city, it smelled like, like cars, I guess because of the gas. And then when I was in Tulare, it smelled like cows, because right across the street was the dairy. So we have cows and everything, but I loved it. You know, it always reminds me of going back at my childhood to my grandmother’s house.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. Yeah. Because he kind of remember these things. Yeah, I remember like a river and the river mud, because we used to go for kayak trips. So that’s, like, That’s what I remember.

John Nevarez  

Yeah, it’s like you wonder like, Well, I wish it was something more romantic. Like, I remember.

Iva Mikles  

We were kind of like your biggest decisions and kind of turning points when you decided that you want to take the art seriously.

John Nevarez  

I was late for me, I decided to take art seriously. After I got kicked out of college. I originally went to college to at UC Santa Barbara as a math major. And I took math because I thought it was a safe job. I thought it would be a safe direction that I would get, you know, comfortable money and make a good living. And I realized I didn’t like math, I hated math, and I got kicked out of school. So I went to a junior college and I started taking art to make me happy. And then I realized, oh, maybe I should do art. So I had enough credits. After I got out, I went to a junior college for three years. And I went back to the same school that kicked me out. And I graduated as an art major. And it was that me getting kicked out of school, and then trying and that time trying to figure out what I want to do. And I realized I was miserable. So I wanted to be happy. And I was trying to find out what made me happy. And that and then when animation started getting popular, then this was like around the time of The Lion King came out that I made the connection like oh, maybe I should do that. So it wasn’t that I didn’t immediately do it. It took me a long time to do it to get into animation. But at least I kind of thought like, Wow, maybe I can do that. So to answer the question, I guess getting kicked out. I never really I mean, I didn’t want I didn’t really consider art as a as an automatic. It took me a long time to realize that you need to be happy doing something. So this was like when I was 25 that I kind of made that choice or

Iva Mikles  

that decision. And what was your fascination? Like in art or kind of what kind of like dragged you to it? Was it a story or designing stuff or colors?

John Nevarez  

It was I remember I the art of The Lion King book, I would look at that a lot every day, I would look at it. And it was the rough drawings. It was the storyboards and the very rough drawings that they would use when they were trying to explore character designs, or the environments. That’s what excited me. I always thought and this was very, this is very naive of me. I always thought before them that animation was very, a fine line. It was perfect and everything. And I appreciated that. But I was thought oh, I can’t do that. But when I saw the artist book, you see all this beautiful loose drawings. And then I’m like, Oh my gosh, it is this energy and just people just passionately throwing pencils down. And and then it wasn’t like they were perfect drawings. They were just lively drawings that just really connected to me. And I just loved how they were fearless. They just throw it down. And those sketches really made an impact. And I remember who would draw them. Oh, that’s a let’s see, that would be Tom Enriquez or that would be Andy Gaskell or that’d be Paul Felix or, you know, all these artists, I started memorizing them. And I just like wow, that it just it was like the light bulb went off and like this brand new I approach you know, I saw things like this is so cool. I want to do that. So

Iva Mikles  

did you have a mentor or someone who kind of introduced you to these like loose lines and storytelling

John Nevarez  

at the moment? Not really. I do remember when I started the industry that there were some people that were they didn’t know it yet, but I always considered them my mentors. But um, I mean, I can answer that now or I can answer that maybe later. But at the moment no. I don’t really remember anyone. You know who was Quite a mentor at that time, but I do remember when I started the industry, a few people were very, they made an impact on me.

Iva Mikles  

And so after the college or during the college and what was the first thing you do did after you finish college and wanted to go into industry

John Nevarez  

it’s a white finished college. And I wanted to get into the industry, but nobody, nobody knew me. And nobody hired me. i It was hard for me to get in. So it took me about, I say, almost like two and a half, three years of me knocking on doors, submitting portfolios. And I remember I had a stack of rejection letters, I had like close to two dozen rejection letters. And I just kept trying and trying, I should have stopped, but I didn’t I didn’t know any better. I was pretty, I was kind of naive. I was dumb. I just kept applying, applying, applying. And it was I got to know the operators, the switchboard operators of all the of all the studios, you know, I got to know them. It was weird. And then this one lady and the operator from Walt Disney TV animation. She just told me this was like after two years, or she said, Have you heard of this program, the training program? And I’m like, no. And she she told me what it was. She sent me information. Basically, in a nutshell, it was like a year long program where they taught you. It was like art school and film school. And they taught you about storyboarding for animation. And I was like, Wow, great. So I apply. And it took almost nine months or a year to get in. And I got in. And that was the thing that opened the door. You know, it was basically a program for people who had no experience, but they had raw skills that they could hopefully help help develop. And then after the year program, they would hire them, knowing that they have all the skills and that way, you know, they trained to be on the job. So that was my first job. And what happened was, there’s another part of the story where I started the program, and then three months after the program quit like it stopped. They didn’t have any money to fund it. So but somehow I was kept on.

Iva Mikles  

But then how do you think like they choose people even back then? And now what is the thing? You kind of make you kind of choose the artists like what is that thing which stands out?

John Nevarez  

Nearly Sure, I think I think they were looking for people who who didn’t know how to draw who had a basic understanding of drawing. But I think more I remember the game a storyboard test. So they wanted to have they wanted to know if people had a kind of an understanding of how to approach story. And even though they were going to train it to the storyboard, I think they wanted to know, well, would you be interested in doing it? Do you have some kind of interest to learn more about it? So I remember I just I pretty much just had my life drawings, I found that was the only thing I had, I didn’t have like character designs or anything. I just had live drawings. So I think they were looking for people who had like, a really quick, gestural way of drawing, and who they could use to help maybe introduce, you know, how can they use that gestural drawing to storyboards? So that’s, that’s, I think that’s how that would be, you know, that’s how I think they would choose people look at me differently. I know, we were we were all pretty, you know, we, we all had a gesture way of drawing.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. And when you think now, after so many years in the industry, and if you look at young people’s portfolios, we, you know, when they want to apply, what would you consider like, like, this is a good portfolio, or good kind of range of artworks, like, what do you look for?

John Nevarez  

I like I like to draw loose, who have energy, who have a good knowledge of shapes. If you’re a character designer, it’s like you have a good knowledge of shapes, you can actually build and construct things. And then design around it. You know, things aren’t so perfect is, you know, there’s a sense of construction. And then there’s sense of movement. And more importantly, you can make things act, you can have them perform, and you can get feelings and you know, you can play with eyebrows and shoulders and really get things acting because there’s a performer So somebody who can do that with their drawings. That’s kind of what I think that’s what that’s what makes a response to them. And the same thing with sets, you know, it’s like, can you design spaces or theaters, little mini theaters, that people can come in and out of space? And can you use lighting to kind of give a sense of, of mood and emotion you know, this is a scary place, but why is it scary? Oh, because it’s dark shadows or you can’t see things or, or stuff like that you’re trying to give a feeling. It’s like, you know, it’s like you have good, you can draw, you can design it, but then you also give a motion behind that, and you do it with your lighting or your sense of composition and stuff like that. So, you know, I think for people it’s like, think in terms of that. It’s like, you just don’t draw pretty pictures that helps. But I think you want to think in terms of why are you doing this? You know, you’re creating, you know, design sets that for a certain moment. So you have to like, Well, how do you have you? Have you designed for that moment? Oh, this is a happy moment. Well, why what makes him happy and what makes it sad? So, and I tell people to a lot of people go to art school, and then they want to film and animation. And I tell people well, you don’t really helps as if you come in with a more film studies background. So that doesn’t mean naturally go to film school, it means start looking at film, start looking at documentaries, foreign films, films from 80 years ago. Look at films. I mean, a lot of people I talked to are like 20 years old, 30 years old. And I’m like, You guys are babies, you guys gotta look at there’s like 90 years of film you haven’t seen yet. Look at films before CGI, because they had to creatively make things happen. They didn’t. They couldn’t rely on special effects. They had to, they had to give a sense of suspense. They had to be creative with their camera. So oh, there’s a monster around the corner? Well, they could have shown the monster or they could have implied that something was there. So they built some suspense. Well, how do they do that? Maybe they show things at a certain point to build, you know, suspense? And then they revealed it? Or maybe they didn’t, and they saved it for later. So it’s how, you know, I guess, you know, just telling students look at film, because eventually, you know, animation is film. And you would you want to start looking at out what filmmakers do. Look at the choices that they made. Look at how, why did they choose to light it or design it that way? It’s probably because to underscore that moment, that feeling in that in that in that scene, so yeah, people don’t

Iva Mikles  

know. And so do you have like a favorite movies you would recommend people to see because I see often on their Facebook that you share some of the layouts or like what do you like,

John Nevarez  

you know, there’s like, a lot I have so I have a lot of movies to recommend it. You know, it’s I know some people have these lists and so forth. There’s a lot. I mean, the movies that I kind of offhand that I like are like, you know, Godfather, Chinatown, Shawshank Redemption. I like I like cinematography. So I like looking at movies that are have Roger Deakins in them. I like you know, a lot of the John Alonzo and all these other cinematographers. I love how they like light things. So I’m actually looking at movies as far as like from cinematography stands, but also look at, you know, like old Hitchcock movies, look at movies from the young directors from the 70s. They were very gritty, you know, they have a lot of big budgets. So they were very economic and how they, you know, how they film. So I don’t really have specific films. I just tell people, there’s so many films, look at different genres and periods. And there’s so many, you know, give yourself an experience and just start looking at films and start exploring different directors. And I mean, if I had a chance, I think I what I might do is yeah, I’m I could create like a starter list. But gosh, there’s so much type so much great films. There’s, there’s films that are done in America, but so many all around the world, and not just now great films from the 40s and 50s. And 60s and foreign films, animated films, documentaries, there’s a lot and yeah, I need to create a list. I should

Iva Mikles  

be really cool.

John Nevarez  

grambler It’s like, well, maybe we should start giving you names. But yeah.

Iva Mikles  

And did some of these movies influenza is in the works like, you know, when you work on the monsters, or, you know, the cars or something like this?

John Nevarez  

Kind of Yeah, well, I know like when when I worked on Monster university, you know, they were referencing other films to try and get the either the look or the feeling like I remember we took a little bit like an animal house. Because you know how to do with maternities I remember we were looking at the there’s a movie called Back to School with Rodney Dangerfield. You know, it’s pretty much this movies. It’s a movie in the 80s. It’s a comedy and it’s funny. It’s kind of silly to but I remember there’s a moment when Rodney Dangerfield decides he’s a very rich man, he deals with clothing for for larger, for larger people, he’s very successful. And he has a son in college. And he tells us that I’m going to go visit you. So there’s a montage where he’s traveling from the city, to the university. And, you know, he’s right there looking out the window, and he sees the campus. And there’s moments where I need to seek students, there is like the beginning of school, they’re excited. You know, you see, the trees reveal buildings and, and canvases and posters. It’s lively. It’s like the beginning of school. That whole scene we used as inspiration when Mike was entering Monsters University, and we were trying to capture or at least kind of get inspired by the excitement that he had, by entering this world. This was his dream. And so we, you know, we looked at that for inspiration. So we kind of like tapped into, like, what makes it so exciting. It’s like, it’s a slow reveal. And you’re like, wow, and, you know, we kind of use that not directly, but we were kind of, we use it as inspiration. So that was just one example. But you know, there’s a lot of examples, you know, you kind of see what people did. And then you kind of, you know, try and get something out of it, you finally kind of want to channel some kind of spark or inspiration or like feeling and, and that be Yeah, I’m always you know, we’re always doing that.

Iva Mikles  

And do you also go like, on field trips, when you went for maybe to check out the universities and how it looks like and sketch somewhere there or maybe in cafes, or

John Nevarez  

we did well, I remember we went to Cal Berkeley, which wasn’t too far from from the Pixar campus, it was probably, I guess, less than maybe four or five miles. So it was right there. It was in our backyard. So we went to go there. I remember the part of the art team and the story team, they went to go to the Ivy League school. So they went to Harvard and Yale. And they took a lot of pictures. So they took like, 1000s of pictures, and they brought back for us. So we use that as reference to, but yeah, but for me, it was so easy to go to cow, I went there, and I would just walk through and I would feel I took lots of pictures, I would sketch there. And you just want to say you want to be like a student. So you’re like, what are you seeing? What are you experiencing? What do you know, what do you smell, and so forth. But it’s great. It’s a great thing. I mean, Pixar is great, where they actually be encouraged people if they can to go on location, like for a ratatouille that people go to Paris for a couple of weeks for Nemo, that people learn scuba diving, and they haven’t go under underwater and experienced that. So it does help when you actually try and visit places that mimic or are actually going to be the places you’re going to design because you’re you’re on you’re on location, you’re on the movie set. So you’re seeing you’re smelling you’re feeling and that’s as a designer, you have to capture that in your design. So it just brings you closer to that that connection. So yeah.

Iva Mikles  

Or like going to source for ratatouille. Right?

John Nevarez  

Yeah, you really got to get in there. And you gotta like, yeah. And that’s they did. Yeah, it’s, you know, it just makes it makes it more authentic. It makes it more real. You know, you’re bringing that to life.

Iva Mikles  

And what about some projects you’re working on now something maybe you can share already, or something you worked on recently?

John Nevarez  

Let’s see. Well, about a year. Well, I yeah, I will currently I’m at Sony features animation. It’s great. And I’m working on different projects. I worked a little bit on the Emoji Movie doing story. And there’s a few other movies there. I unfortunately can’t see what they are. But I would bounce from design and story. So it was really great, where I was just kind of pinballing between projects and doing different things. And I love that because you get to work with different people and different directors and you’re just kind of changing up style and genre, and so forth. Before sone a year ago, I was at Rovio. And I worked on the angry shooting on the Angry Birds movie with Pete Oswald. And that was awesome. Working with Pete was so great. And all the artists that were awesome as well. And then after that, I worked a little bit with Google on on the purl show, it was like a, it was a VR short. And that was awesome, too, because I got to learn a bit a little bit about VR. And just working differently with what what the needs were for VR, but it was a great team was a great story and working with Patrick Osborne, and all the folks there was just awesome.

Iva Mikles  

Wow. Yeah, because you have so much experience from so many different fields. And so how do you do your networking or How’d you get yourself noticed? Or the connections? What do you do?

John Nevarez  

Well, it helps doing this very long that, you know, you kind of migrate. So when you work with studios, you know, you’re there for a while, then you move on, and so do other people. So they always kind of remember you. And fortunately, you keep in contact. So you always call them, they always call you. So that helps kind of just keep working. But someone who may not be known, or who’s kind of new to the industry, I just tell people, you have to be on people’s radar, which basically means you have to start generating artwork, and hopefully great strong, impressive artwork, and put it on your social media, on your Facebook, you somehow have to be on people’s radar. And you have to somehow tell people that you’re available, or that you’re willing to, to, you know, to do this and that. And eventually it will get a response. It may not be immediate, but you just kind of like, that’s how you do it. It worked for me where blogs really help when blogs happened almost 10 years ago, or longer than that. As soon as I put my work artwork on the blog, I was getting contacted by certain studios, or certain art directors and so forth. And it still happens, I would post my stuff up on Facebook. And, you know, fortunately, the circle of people looking at my work would get bigger, or it would generate traffic or inquiries like, Oh, I saw that. So that. So take advantage of social media, but you just yourself as an artist, you have to keep pumping artwork and keep pumping fresh artwork and start doing stuff that would showcase your abilities. But what else can you do? And you know, that’s how I just tell students, you just got to keep generating artwork.

Iva Mikles  

So would you advise maybe something as well, like, maybe image in their own world and creating their own stories?

John Nevarez  

Yes, like if like, you know, creating their own worlds and the story, pretend like you already have the job. That’s what I tell people pretend you’re already working at Pixar. Pretend you’re already working at DreamWorks. And this is what Pixar or DreamWorks would tell you to do. If you’re a character designer, just don’t do one character do a lineup, because that’s what you’re required to do. Oh, I had this one little girl. And I said, Great. Well, what about her? What’s your story? So first of all, you want to say like, well, what’s your backstory? What about this girl is so special? So if you haven’t figured it out, you may want to start doing it like, oh, well, here’s a little girl. She lives in New York and she’s 12 years old. Okay, where she from? You know, does she have a family? Is she rich? Is she poor? What are her likes? What are her dislikes? Does she have any weaknesses and you fears, you’re basically now creating a profile. So it’s like, great, you that’s what you do. As a character designer, you create a profile. And then you’re like, Okay, well draw her friends. Who’s your best friend? Does she have a pet? Draw her pet? Does she have parents that she’s close to that you can envision in the story? Draw her mom draw her dad, or if they’re not in the picture, draw someone who she trusts. Maybe it could be a grandfather or teacher draw them. Okay, now draw maybe someone who is maybe the the antagonist or it could be not our enemy. But you know, in this case, it wouldn’t be her enemy. Maybe she does have an enemy but someone who may not be so nice to her, you know, so forth. And that’s just taken for a little girl. If it’s a warrior. It’s like okay, what about your war? Is he a hero? Okay, cool. Oh, he has a scar. Maybe he got a scar from war. And that’s very significant to his backstory. Okay, then draw the people in his group like draw five people in his group five warriors. Oh, does he have a horse draws horse? Okay, who is the villain? Draw the villain. Draw the villains Goodman and draw the creature other dragons, draw dragons and so forth. Expand the world and the universe, of what you’re what you’re doing. Just don’t do one. Do the lineup. And then after you do that, do expressions do poses, make these people act and perform. That is what you’re being asked to do at Pixar and Disney and all these other studios. They want people to just bring options to their characters. They don’t want stiff characters. They want people acting and lively and moving and it’s like oh, this is a person in this suit will change the suit. You know, instead of nice clothes. Now they’re in dirty clothes because the story takes them to a dirty area. Okay, do that. Maybe they have suit or dirt? Or maybe they’re in water? Well, why do they look like with wet hair? All this stuff? Do it you know, do your research and do it and you’re gonna do a lot of drawings. It’s you know, it’s not an automatic it’s not perfect, and it’s not per Do you sometimes it’s getting strong ideas during your research, explorations studies, and then you build up the drawing. And then you, you know, you showcase your strong drawings with options and so forth. You do the same thing with the sets. You do the same thing with storyboards, you know, you just kind of just be just do it. And you just try and you try and put kind of a story behind it, because that’s what animation is animation is story. And it’s, you know, you’re going to try and find out what the story is, because you’re designing for the needs of the story.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, because as well, as you mentioned, like the small girl, then you can already imagine like, her room, like if she has a diary, what flower she has in the room. And so the room can tell more about her as well. Right?

John Nevarez  

Exactly, the room has her DNA, it’s like you can take the girl out of the room. But the room itself, we kind of know what kind of person she is, you know, I always tell people, like if somebody walked into your bedroom, we kind of have an idea what kind of person you are. First of all, we can kind of tell if you’re a neat, or a very cluttered person or a messy person, we can probably tell what you like, what you don’t like, what kind of clothes you wear, or you know, if you’re very if you’re very manicured, or if you’re very stylish, or if you’re very casual, and you like the outdoors. We might know what kind of music you like, what kind of movies you like, based on the posters, or the books, or or you know, whatever’s in there, you know, we see a lot of outdoor gear, oh, you’re an outdoor person, you like sports, you’re very active. If there’s nothing in the room, and it’s a very barren empty, well, you could be either poor, or you’re very introverted, or you’re just a very lonely person, you know, we don’t know yet. But you’re kind of giving clues and suggestions and all that stuff, helps build profiles and an insight as to what these these characters are in the movie. Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

And then when you have like this set, for example, let’s take the room as we are there. How would you translate it in your storyboards? Like in like, sad moment and scary moment, or how you work with with colors, if you can, like explain to people?

John Nevarez  

Yeah, I will for the story. I mean, a storyboard is pretty much, you know, it’s a beginning and a middle and an end of someone going through a journey. And you know, the beginning of the story is an opening snapshot of someone in this moment of their life. And then usually, something happens, you know, something, it’s usually something not so good. And that person, he or she has to try and get their story back. Or they have to want they want to get the roll back. It can be epic, where are like, Oh, well, it’s the end of the world. And I have to try and save the world from maybe a volcano or this dragon or a bad guy. Or it could be like, Well, I was at a party and I looked across the room, and I saw this beautiful woman, and oh, my gosh, I want to meet her, and then she leaves. So maybe my story is I need to find that woman. And maybe I do and then it’s more of a love story, like do we do we make it work? Do we make it not work? That’s what mostly love stories are? The love story is well, do they end up getting together or not? For a crime story, you know, a detective has to solve there’s a crime and then enters the detective and the detective has to solve the crime. That’s the story, does he solve it? Does he find the bad guy? You know, monster movies, big monster comes, it’s the same thing. There’s usually a hero that has to save the monster, or stuff like that. You know, there’s usually there’s a structure to it. And usually, you know, there’s an introduction of someone’s world, something happens, usually something not that they want, or something major rocks their world. And then the whole story is someone trying to get the roll back. And you know, they have the structure. You know, Pixar has introduced in other states as well, where there’s usually an introduction, there’s an inciting incident. And then there’s progressive complications. Progressive complications are just a way of saying when things get harder for someone to get what they want back. So it’s, you know, it gets harder and harder and harder. And then there’s a climax, it’s the big battle. It’s the big moment where it’s the moment of truth. Does that person get the rollback? And we don’t know. And, and then maybe they do, maybe they don’t. And then after that is the epilogue or the resolution, it’s the New World Order. It’s like, Well, what happened after that, and then the movie ends. So there’s this build up. So I want you know, people should kind of recognize there’s this kind of this, the structure where you have a beginning and then things happen in progress. Now, having said all that, your job as a designer is to how do you show that visually? You know, you use it with composition, you use it with lighting, you use it with acting, because your career Adding emotion you’re creating, you know what they call intensity, you’re creating things that kind of build up, you know, so basically, you know, things are pretty much with your lighting, things are very lit, you know, maybe they’re lit very well, and maybe it’s a sunny day, and then maybe something happens. And when something happens, maybe you’re using a very harsh colors, contrast or large contrast, contrast is important. You know, for me, it’s for me to say something very happy, it helps when I contrast it with something very sad, because it builds up the happy. So, um, you know, you can use color. And when you can, you have color spiking. In contrast, usually, with sad movies, they take out the color and things are very gray and drab, and, you know, that’s where using color to underscore moments of sadness, or just apathy, or just things are just drained and zapped of life. Things that are intense, bright reds, garish greens, that things aren’t so right, you know, usually, you know, things that are have a scary villain, or some icky moment, and a feeling of just kind of things aren’t right, there’s a sick green or some kind of pale green or something. Things that are beautiful days, there’s usually a hint of a sunrise, because sunrise are metaphor for oh, it’s a new day, it’s a new opportunity, it’s a new chance and new beginning, and so forth. Same thing with sunset sunset, it’s it’s the closing of the day, you know, things are kind of coming to an end, so forth. You know, you’re using metaphors, visual metaphors, to kind of showcase what you’re trying to say visually. Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

Because you also work with shapes, right? When you have like happy moments, you have round shades and sharp objects for like scary areas and stuff.

John Nevarez  

Exactly. It’s like a good example of that as WreckIt Ralph Wreckit, Ralph, great movie, because there’s three worlds in that movie. There’s a nice landers, which are very square, and the square represents old technology, you know, they move up and down. It’s very boring, you know, they’re just kind of trapped in this square. And then there’s heroes, is it Hero’s Duty, it’s the second world where they have insects, very aggressive, you know, very warlike. So things have a very sharp, Angular, aggressive nature. And even the color is very, I think more like, you know, almost apocalyptic green grays. And then you have Sugar Rush, very flowery saw, and then the shapes are very soft, unless they’re like, picture clouds, picture swirls, very soft cottony. So you have contrast as the sort of worlds and right away, you can contrast the world. And their, their, their emotion or their mood. So yeah, that and then again, that’s just a very simple way of how do you use KR can use shape to really distinguish worlds or a feeling?

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, ever? That’s perfect example, actually. Yeah, sounds great. And so when you work in so many projects, and teams, how do you decide what to say yes, and no to kind of what is going on in your head? Like, what is your decision point? When I’m working on a team, or like when you’re choosing new projects to work on?

John Nevarez  

Um, let’s say, Well, I mean, I’ll be frank, usually, when I choose a project, it’s usually, you know, when, when an opportunity for a job or freelance happens to me, I mean, for me, I’ll be quite honest. It’s I’m basically looking for something that will that pays well. And the reason I say that is because my family, and I need to make sure I support them. But also, I also want to ask like, well, what’s this project about? Is it juicy? Is it something that interests me, because it’s great when something pays well, but if it’s not a good project, sometimes it’s like, Well, yours kind of, you have to keep finding the love, you have to keep finding interest because in the end, it reflects what you do with it. So ideally, when I look at a project for me, I try and find something that having a cipher the money, I mean, I’m just being honest, but something that really something that you can bring to it. Like, is it something that’s I always I always use the word it’s juicy, it’s, it’s something that interests you, it’s something like, wow, that’s, that sounds cool. I think I can, you can envision doing more to it or adding to it. So I always try and find things that are kind of that can hopefully I can I can add to it. It’s great to when I try and find things I’ve never done before because the challenging, it’s scary, but it really builds you as a designer. I I’ve had opportunities where I did do things If I didn’t think I would do it, and it was tough, but in the end, it made you a stronger designer, because you had to relearn things again, you have to figure out how to based on the story or whatever, how to make things work visually. So, but it’s great. I mean, you know, for me, I just try and find something that’s interesting that I can really dive in and hopefully be, you know, contribute to the team.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. And when you mentioned as well, like decisions in the team, maybe you can as well like, mentioned bed.

John Nevarez  

Yeah, with the team. Yeah. I mean, working with the team. You mean, like in terms of like working with the crew? And yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s funny, because right now I work from home. I mean, this is kind of where I work. I mean, I have my Cintiq here, and I have the iMac here. And I have my pads of paper. So right now I work alone. So I work at home, you know, I work I start my day at nine in the morning, and I try and stop like by six or seven. Sometimes it creeps over. But I worked alone, I do really miss working at a studio at the studio, I love the studio, because you work with people and there’s an energy there. I love working and contacting and sharing and, and together you’re kind of in, you know, you’re in the trenches, trying to figure things out together. And I encourage, you know, I always tell people, when they’re young, try and get a studio job. And that way you can, you know, you can interact and make a connection, a camaraderie with fellow people, that you’re kind of working together on this vision. And together, you know, you just learn how other people work, you learn how the studio works. That’s important growing as a designer, later on, you can choose to do freelance, but you should try try and get that opportunity to work in a studio, if you can, you know, it’s really, I think it’s important, you know, it’s very beneficial. And not to mention, you get to build contacts, and later on, that’s how you get jobs to come in. So

Iva Mikles  

yeah, and also, when you are older than will be maybe bit harder to adjust to a studio life. If you start with freelance,

John Nevarez  

it can be it can be possible, it just kind of like you know, just have to like, well, you know, you know, studios move fast. So things move so quickly. So you just have to realize that, you know, it’s not like you can kick back and stuff. Now you just have, you know, just like anything else you you know, they’ve got deadlines. It’s like Project Runway every day. It’s like, you just got to move fast. Do it right.

Iva Mikles  

So and now how is it the life balance or work life balance better than then you were like, full time in a studio when you’re sitting there? And now when you are like remote? Can you spend more time with your family? Or how is the balance working?

John Nevarez  

Yeah, it’s great. I love it. I didn’t, I didn’t love it. At first. When I was at Pixar, I was laid off at Pixar. And it was tough because I was like, oh, okay, there’s not many opportunities up here outside of Pixar and Ilm. So I was thinking like me, and my wife would probably have to move back to LA, because that’s where we’re from. And it’d be more easier to do to do that. But we gave freelance a go. And it was really tough, because I wasn’t used to that. Managing your own time, self discipline, working alone. That was tough. But after a while, the more I did it, the more I loved it. And nothing really changed. I still do what I did at the studios, but I do it at home, and I do it alone. But the payoff was, you know, I have I, you know, I set my own schedule, I have more time with my family. I opened up a little more time to do my own projects. It’s great. I love it. And, you know, I tell people, there’s opportunities out there, I didn’t think there were but a lot of studios now are more open to people working remotely freelance. It really helps when you’re established or when people know you because there’s a sense of trust, they can they can trust you like, Oh, you’ve done it before. So you know, if we give you this to you if we give a project to you that you can deliver on time and, and in a standard. So that does help. But you know, it’s great. I, I tell myself, it’s like, well, if I if I went back to a studio, would I like it? I don’t know, I know I love working with the team. But I love this too. It’s really there’s some, you know, there’s some great advantages. And for me, personally, I love it.

Iva Mikles  

And now how are your personal projects going? Because you mentioned previously that you were working on something? How is that coming out? Or maybe when can we see it?

John Nevarez  

Yeah, I’m working on a book. It’s about my cat. I have a cat character named Sonny. And it’s just something I’ve been kind of working for a long time. And just recently, I’m trying to get this book out for CTN the CTN Expo in Burbank. So that’s coming up in three months. But I’m actually going to try and finish two But because I’ll be traveling in the beginning of October, so I won’t have a chance to work on it. So it’s coming slowly. But surely, I’ll be quite honest, I originally had plans to do an 80 page book. But as time goes by that 80 pages turns to 60 pages, and then to 40. So right now I’m working at something like, I’ll be happy if I do like a 20 page book. But that’s okay. If I know if I miss the CTN. Deadline, I’m still going to work on my book, but I’ll just work on prints. It’s a slow thing, because I’m, you know, your day gig. And then you try and find the time to do this your personal project. So it’s like a balance. So it’s going a little slower than I want. But I just got to keep moving forward. And, you know, I, I now have a story I want to tell. So now it’s like, I need to tell it. So I’m hoping, you know, I have, at the very least I have prints, I have sketches and drawings. And I’m actually talking to some good, some good folks like Christopher Wright, and a few others about creating my cat. So hopefully, I’ll have some cats as well. Oh, perfect. So that’s something you know, it’s starting to, it’s starting to build up slowly, but it’s building up.

Iva Mikles  

So people can check it out, we will be sending you that with a stand on CTN and then maybe signing the book as well, if it’s ready.

John Nevarez  

Yeah, I mean, gosh, my dream is to have something on my hands that I can hold on, give to you. See, if I don’t have the book by then I’m going to shoot for like maybe in March. But at the very least, I’ll try and have pages that I can make into prints of this of this cat.

Iva Mikles  

And we live through Kickstarter, or you found your own publisher, or how do you do it?

John Nevarez  

Well, I have great friends of mine from the NEMO Academy, they’re gonna help me print. So I’m actually working with them. And they’re great. You know, I did my first book with them. And I’m gonna do it with him again. So they’re great. They do they did such a great job. And so they’re gonna help me.

Iva Mikles  

Perfect. And where can people see you next time? So you mentioned CTN. And then you are going to Florence? Right?

John Nevarez  

Yes. Going to Florence. I’m actually well, in September that the end of September, I’ll be in Pennsylvania. There’s a Comic Con there. So I’ll be there for the weekend. And then in October 15 14th, the 15th. I’ll be in Copenhagen for a school ism workshop, which should be great. And then October 25. through November 5, I’ll be in Florence. And I’ll be with the NEEMO Academy. Those are the folks who are gonna help me my book. I love those guys. They’re great people. And there’s so you know, they’re just great friends. I’ll be doing a workshop with them. And it also be in Lucca, the Lucca Comics Festival. I think it’s in end of October. I’ll be there. And then I’ll be at CTN.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, so you have a lot of stuff to do. A lot of stuff to do

John Nevarez  

to you. Oh, and also I’ll be in. Where is it at? I’ll be at the Emerald Comic Con. I believe in March. That’s in Seattle, or is it Portland? I feel bad because I don’t know. I’ll be an emerald con. And then I’ll be in Paris. In in March. In mid March. I’ll be in Paris.

Iva Mikles  

Oh, yeah. Good. I mean, that’s amazing. I mean, like, when do you actually work?

John Nevarez  

I know, I should be working out. I know. I mean, like, it’s like, it’s hard to say no to these opportunities, because it’s an opportunity to travel. But to meet great people. And this is one thing I know is traveling, everybody. I mean, you know, we all love the same thing. We all love to draw. We all love to geek out at the same thing. We’re all fans of the same thing. So it’s just kind of It’s a universal brotherhood sisterhood of people just like me. And I want to keep connecting with them. So yeah.

Iva Mikles  

And maybe the thing you wish you knew before you started the whole art career.

John Nevarez  

Ah, I wish I wish I took film studies. I actually wish I was I did maybe maybe took film more seriously. Or maybe I could have maybe gone to film school. I really appreciate editing now. Because editing is like storyboarding. So I really wish I kind of knew a little more about film before this, but that’s okay. I learned it later. But I think now I appreciate it. And like wow, it’s funny, because early on when I was in high school people say like they mentioned film studies, but I didn’t know what film studies was. I was so naive. I didn’t. I didn’t bother to think more about it. But I wish I did. And, you know, I just encourage people like you know, don’t you don’t just have to go to film school. Well, it’s nice, but start looking at films, you know, because it’s the same thing you’re going to eventually do.

Iva Mikles  

And what do you think what was like the best advice and maybe the worst advice you’ve ever received?

John Nevarez  

The best advice I think it just never quit. You know, you never want to quit. You always want to just keep trying, you know, things happen, you know, but sometimes they may not happen immediately. But what’s important is that you keep trying, and I think I learned that from my mom and dad, it’s like, you know, my mom was always she saw me, you know, after I got kicked out of school, you know, I went home, ashamed. I felt like a loser failure. And she was always kind of cheering me up saying like, you know, just, it’ll be okay. I mean, she didn’t, she wasn’t upset. She was like, All right, keep going. See, she she kind of knew. I wasn’t happy at my spot. But I didn’t know where I wanted to go. But she was the one who always said, Just keep going, you know, she had a hard times too, but you realize you just gotta keep going. I’m trying to think of the worst advice. You know, I think the worst advice was something I kind of convinced myself, it wasn’t I think it was something I try and do things that are safe. And I, you know, when you do things that are safe, you don’t take risks. And you don’t know if if it’s the it’s the risk, you don’t know if it’s the right thing for you. That’s why That’s why I took math, or that’s why I pursued math because I thought it was safe. And then I realized, well, I don’t really like math. And I, it didn’t make me happy. And I’m so glad I failed. And I’m so glad it took me I went a long way to for it to happen. And I wouldn’t change it. Because I learned so much things on the way I met great people. And I and I think it made me stronger. And so

Iva Mikles  

and what do you think was like your the most difficult moment of your art career or like the worst moment and kind of what you learn from that moment?

John Nevarez  

Ah, let’s see, the worst moment was tripping with the worst moments where there really wasn’t a worst moment, there was a moment of like, you know, when I when I got laid off from Pixar, it wasn’t anything big. I mean, people get laid off. But at the time, I actually thought I was going to stay at Pixar for a long time. Like, I would retire for Pixar. So when that happens, you’re like, wow, I mean, my whole life plan just changed. And then you always have self doubt, like, oh, man, I, I really messed up. And it really, it really seeps into you like, Wow, maybe you’re not a good artist, maybe this is it. And, you know, let’s, it just messes with your head. And so, and that dimension, you know, I had a family. And, you know, my daughter had just started school, she loved it up here, sort of my wife and I, it’s like, what do you do now, and it was scary, but then it’s kind of like, well, you just keep doing what you always do. And then you just try and find out what you can do with it. So that little moment after Pixar, for me was kind of like, what’s next? I don’t know if this is going to work. But then you go through the motions, and you realize there’s opportunities out there, you know, and you just have to work at getting out there. You know, when you work for a studio, you are for student you have a job. But when you’re freelance, you always have to look for the next thing. So you have to hustle. You have to start calling people you have to, you know, take advantage of social media, you have to be on people’s radar, you have to tell people like hey, yeah, that’s what you have to do. And you just have to, you know, yeah, you just have to somehow get their attention. So I it made me hungry again, you know, and that what what came what came to me kind of a scary moment became a very happy thing for me, it reminded me of why I got it because all this time, my whole my whole life. When I started this was to work for Pixar. Then I got to Pixar. And then when, when that happened when I was like, what now and then I just reminded myself, well, why I was doing this and you know, you just you just do it for you. Now I’m doing it for me. And you just kind of just, you know, do things for you now, and that’s what I’m doing. I’m trying to do my own book, I’m trying to do things and tell my own stories. And I’m trying to do that that’s where I find my passion or trying to find the thing that pushes you further, you know, plus, you know, getting a day job is great. I love that and I missed that and and and want that. But now I’m like I’m 51 So now I’m at a point in my life where like, what do you want to do and I’m Well, that’s what I want to do I want to tell my own stories. So, yeah, that’s

Iva Mikles  

and they have maybe some like tool or software or something which you bought, which simplifies your life.

John Nevarez  

Not really, I get, you know, Photoshop, you know, but then everybody has kind of Photoshop or mostly everybody has Photoshop, um, no nothing technology or product that simplifies my life, you know, what helps is I go for walks, that’s not really a product, that’s not something technology. I actually have to disconnect from this, you know, I work here in this room. The thing that really makes me happy is when I just shut it off, and I go for a walk. And it sounds stupid, it sounds like really, but when I come back, I feel recharged. And I get energized. And it’s that little break it just, you know, smelling the air and, you know, the wind and just kind of being by yourself and walk. There’s a Starbucks, like about a mile away. So I walk to Starbucks, you know, big surprise. I always drink Starbucks. I go and I come back, and I feel good again. So it’s kind of like that thing where I mean, it’s not really it’s not our product, but that’s what I do. And that helps me. I mean, that helps me find a little balance. Every day. I try to I was I, I try and do it as much as I can. So not maybe not every day, but maybe every other day.

Iva Mikles  

Perfect. Do you do some other things as well, kind of every day, which contributes your sexes like meditation, or

John Nevarez  

I wish I did. No, I don’t. I know. I always want to do yoga. I haven’t done I always wanting to go hiking. I haven’t done hiking, and I shouldn’t because where I live, we live next to a hill or mountain Diablo mountain, Mount Diablo. And there’s like hiking trails all over the place. They’re all over me. But I don’t take advantage of it. At least not yet. But I always wanted to go hiking. And I think maybe I should kind of you’re a hiker, right? You’re biking.

Iva Mikles  

I’m forced to hike by my boyfriend. But otherwise.

John Nevarez  

Like, okay, let’s go.

Iva Mikles  

Extreme like eight, nine hours, you know, so?

John Nevarez  

Oh my gosh, really? All day? Yeah.

Iva Mikles  

So we go crazy, you know?

John Nevarez  

Oh, my God. It’s like it’s like a track. Yeah. It’s awesome. I bet you come back. So it’s a bench, it’s a good time to come back. And then you come back with just, you know, like, the endorphins are working and you feel energized. Yeah, that’s what I want to do, I need to start doing that more. So I need I need to start exercising, right, because I used to be, I used to be, I was just telling somebody, a friend of mine, where I used to be so athletic and so thin. Before I started animation, and now all I do is sit in a chair and work and which is great. But like, I need to move. So yeah, I just, you know, I gotta start moving more.

Iva Mikles  

So because then maybe it’s not good for your bag afterwards when we are sitting too long. And yeah,

John Nevarez  

exactly. You know, you start your head over

Iva Mikles  

to the paper.

John Nevarez  

I know, it’s like, you know, I have to wear glasses now because I’m looking at a computer all the time. So it’s good to it’s good to get away. You know, you know, it’s like I try and draw pens and paper old school. You know, it’s, that’s, that’s always good.

Iva Mikles  

Do you have a favorite Pencil? Pencil? That’s my product? And yeah, do you have a favorite pencil like brand?

John Nevarez  

Um, I like these woodless pencils. They’re the mystery if you can see it, but it’s a credit color. Okay. And these brands are great. There’s a brand called ebony. They’re called layout pencils, but it’s called ebony. And then I like the standard pencils. I don’t really have one right here. But yeah, they’re like the the blue ones that you always see. They come in different grades like two h two B four B, they get darker. I like those because I like to play with those.

Iva Mikles  

Do you have like a favorite quote? You know, who kind of you like or do you live by

John Nevarez  

a favorite quote. I always say I guess it’s all good in the hood. I basically you try not to let things kind of bother you. It’s like, you know, there’s only thing so much you can do. But you try and do what you can do at the moment you make the best of it. And, you know, you just kind of just go for it. You know, you just kind of you know things are gonna happen no matter what. But it’s like you just gotta keep moving forward somehow. So, you know, I always say like, Oh man, it’s all good to say to my friends and my wife and everybody. But you know, I just kind of like you I just said, you just got to do it. You know, I don’t really have a, I wish I had like one of those nice coats that you hear from an artist or a philosopher, but I really don’t. I just kind of like, you know, just do the best you can. What you can, you know, every day is a new day, you know, if you have a crappy day or a “beep” day, all right, it just ends just hopefully next tomorrow will be a good day. And you just gotta just, you know, it’s a it’s a real, it’s a refresh, it’s a reset. And you just try and think in those terms. So

Iva Mikles  

yeah, and some of my last questions I want to ask you is about the future. And something like, in like, five to 10 years that if you cannot fail, and you are not afraid of anything? What would be your dream scenario?

John Nevarez  

Like, why can’t fail? Like I like nothing goes bad? Nothing? I guess my first answer, is I probably a gambler. Gonna be at the blackjack table or somewhere? Our crops and whatever. Yeah, for our well,

Iva Mikles  

you can be a gambler as well.

John Nevarez  

Yeah, it’d be kind of I don’t know, I would, I guess it would be nice to create studios, like studios in places that never had the opportunity. No, I, because I had the good fortune of traveling to the Czech Republic. And I have a good friend in Scotland, where they’re having challenges trying to get schools or studios there. And, you know, either the powers that be whether it be like the government, they don’t really appreciate what studios can do and what film can do. If I had that power, and the money and the resources, I’d say yes, here, you know, and start creating studios and schools. And it’s like, okay, together. Now I want you guys to tell stories, tell stories of what’s happening in your country, tell stories that are personal to you just tell stories. And I guess that would be if I had, you know, if I couldn’t fail, which means I’d probably be rich and add resources. I would do that. Because I know it’s a good thing. You know, because stories can do great things they can entertain, but they can teach and everybody loves going to the movies. And you know, it’s empowering. It’s a beautiful thing. And I think everyone because I’m still one, I’m a student who loves doing this, who wants that opportunity to do something with their art. So I guess that would be my answer. I would probably be a I don’t know, I guess a studio maker. Or someone who gets money per studio. That’s what I want to do. Oh, perfect.

Iva Mikles  

And what about what would you like to be remembered for in like, 100 years.

John Nevarez  

Want to be remembered for? I guess I would love to be remembered as a I guess as a as a, as a good person who did their best, who hopefully helped other people be their best as well. You know, I’m being a teacher, I value that and I’m doing all I can to help. You know, I’m not the master or not the best at anything. What I tried to do is share my experiences and I so barely know how people want it, because I wanted it and I still want it. So I want to help people be happy and and get their dreams. So that’s what I want to do. I want to be remembered for hopefully, you know, pushing people to kind of say it’s okay, just do it. Just go for it.

Iva Mikles  

So perfect. Yeah, and I love it. And before we say goodbye, maybe you can share it last piece of advice or like key takeaway.

John Nevarez  

See takeaways. I always I say this to students always be hungry. You know, try and find something that you’re passionate about and just do it. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You know, be fearless. You know, you’re gonna make mistakes, we’re human. It’s okay to make mistakes. Just keep drawing through the mistakes and that’s what makes you a stronger artists because it helps you draw fearlessly you just don’t be careful be just go for it have the energy and throw it down. You know, if you’re working for a studio, this is just common sense. But just be nice. You know, you don’t want to be a jerk Don’t be an asshole because that they that follows you around. And you know, you know, let the art speak for itself. You know, be a pro and just try and just do the best you can. You know, be hungry learn something, you know if you draw characters, great backgrounds. Once you draw that good do storyboards once you do that good start painting. Good which is that okay, do a short seven minute story. Good after do that, do a 14 minute story. Good start doing a feature. There’s you can always build up and learn and just keep doing it. I’m So I’m still learning it. So, you know, it makes you stronger, it keeps you on the hustle, it keeps you hungry. So I tell people start doing that start looking at film. You know, I know people don’t have time to look at films. So start looking at scenes, go to YouTube, you know, look at movies you like and study them, and then turn the sound off and look at him again. And then see what the visuals tell you. What is the lighting tell you? What, what were the editing choices. So looking at David Fincher started looking at Alfred Hitchcock scenes in movies, studying them, and and then trying to take something out. You know, start looking at a keen eye, look at observation, look at you know, go to the coffee shop, start drawing just to start doing it. You know, and it doesn’t stop, you know, the learning doesn’t stop. You know, from my experience, I still got a lot to learn. So that keeps you moving forward. So that’s my I guess my goal always like you just got to keep doing it. Don’t wait for Pixar to tell you to do it. Don’t wait for Sony or DreamWorks. People say like, Oh, when I get to here, I’ll do this. Don’t wait for that. Just do it now. And, you know, you know, there’s a thing I said, just be on Pixar. It could be be whatever be whatever studio you want. Be whatever you think is the best it is just do it. And do it now.

Iva Mikles  

Perfect. Amazing. So thank you again, so much for being here. And so it was so great.

John Nevarez  

No, thank you. And this is thank you for the opportunity. Hopefully I didn’t banter or just kind of bah, bah, bah all the time you do that. But thank you for letting me at least share my experiences and my and my story. And I hope others enjoyed it. And hopefully they can start you know, sharing theirs as well.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. So don’t forget to inspire each other guys. And thank you so much for joining and see you next time.

John Nevarez  

Cool. Thank you. Bye bye.

Iva Mikles  

Hope you guys enjoyed this interview. You can find all the resources mentioned in this episode at artsideoflife.com. Just type a guest name in the search bar. There is also a little freebie waiting for you. So go check it out. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes, hopefully five stars so I can read and inspire more people like you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to Art Side of Life podcast, because I post new interview every single workday. If you want to watch the interviews, head over to artsideoflife.com/youtube. Thank you so much for listening. Don’t forget to inspire each other. And I will talk to you guys in the next episode. Bye.

Announcer  

Thanks for listening to the Art Side of Life podcast at www.artsideoflife.com

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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