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July 1 2012 1 01 /07 /July /2012 14:45


Curtis Jobling demonstrates how to draw characters from a circle and an oval. Screengrab from Bob the Builder video.


Animation students leaving college often struggle with how to integrate their need for personal expression with the necessity of earning a living. Many will be content to find employment and employer direction but many would prefer to find outlets and markets for their own creations. 

Imagineer Curtis Jobling is a shining example of how belief in yourself and your talents will bring you success in the end. While his story of work experience at Aardman is well worth hearing, having completed his art course, Curtis set out to find clients for his style of illustration.

In a presentation that he gave to a writers' group recently, Curtis made it clear that an aspiring animation creator must keep generating fresh images, a stream of fresh character ideas, and develop a portfolio. The portfolio is not a static showcase, it is kept fresh and up to date; the artist constantly sketching and playing with new ideas.

Suffice to say he did not sit around waiting for work to find him. Nor did he simply send off hundreds of job applications and haunt the letterbox every day hoping for the invitation to an interview. Like most authors and illustrators, Curtis sat down with whatever directories of publishers, production companies, and producers he could get hold of, and compiled a list of addresses for all those that he thought might respond positively to his product. Then he got out his appointment book and started phoning them.

For the details of how Curtis travelled from his home in the North West of England to London every week, visiting each producer or agent on his list, touting his portfolio; on the train journeys constantly generating new ideas, sketching new characters, coming up with fresh twists on previous stories, you can visit his website and explore.

This kind of networking stood Curtis in good stead when a production company acquired an idea generated by Keith Chapman for a new toddler television series. Curtis was approached to create sketches for a possible production design for the show which was eventually titled Bob the Builder.



Curtis Jobling demonstrates to school children how to create animation characters like Bob the Builder.
Curtis went on to illustrate other television series and to create picture books, some with a touch of Horror. Now he is the author of several picture books for young children as well as Horror series for older children and Young Adults.


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Published by Dr Val Williamson - in Film Education
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