January 15, 2016 OTG_Admin

OTG Welcomes Animator Kevin Markis to the Team


OTG started working with 2D Animator Kevin Markis in late 2014. The project was creating a brief animated “History of Carp in America” for the film CARPLAND. The film went on to tour the world with various film festivals and was awarded Movie of the Year and Best Story in 2015 by the Drake Magazine Video Awards. It was also the first time this style of animation had been utilized in the fly fishing film genre.

The OTG team was really impressed with Kevin’s skill sets and quick turn around on the production. In late 2015, we called upon Kevin again for another history-style storytelling cartoon – this time for the film Chanos Chanos (Cpt Jack Films), also touring the world with various fishing film festivals. You can catch Kevin’s latest work at a film festival screening near you. Official Schedule.

Kevin Markis is a 2D animator from New York currently living in Denver, CO.  Like most artists, you can find him at a coffee shop, bar, or reclusively hidden away at his desk drawing lots of little pictures in succession, creating the illusion of movement.  Kevin hates bananas.

1) When did you first start to draw / sketch?
As soon as I could.  When I was young I would draw things that were popular with kids during the 90s; I probably drew Sonic the Hedgehog about 10,000 times.  When I was 10 years old my cousin and I got our hands on an old 8mm camera with single-shot frame capabilities and (unsuccessfully) attempted to create an animated cartoon with cels and paint.   As I got older I started creating my own characters and worlds, and in high school I got in to doing short comics.  After a few years in school for advertising and commercial art, I realized that my passion was more towards story and character-driven animation.  By 2007 I had figured out a way to scan my drawings and created my first (very crude) animated short.  In the years since, I’ve created dozens of short cartoons and comics as well as various projects for clients all over the world.

2) When did you think, “Hey, I could do this for a living!”
In the summer of 2013 I decided that I was going to save up a bunch of money, move, and start freelancing with my art.  In May of 2014 I moved to Denver and began the journey.  I lived off of savings for awhile while I built cred and clients, but have been doing it full-time ever since! 

3) What are your creative influences? Other artists you really enjoy?
Growing up I loved learning about Disney animators from the 20s-70s.  Milt Kahl, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson in particular.  I found it fascinating that these artists basically pioneered feature animated films from nothing, with all of them having classic art backgrounds before being hired for animation with only a few years of previous work to learn from.  Flash-forward to now, my work is more inspired by artists like John Kricfalusi, Nick Cross, Scott Campbell, and Nathan Stapley.   

4) What’s the best aspect of being an artist?
I love being able to sit down at my computer and create stories and characters out of thin air.  I don’t always have the time to make progress on my personal projects, but I think it’s important to always have one going; they allow you to experiment and grow.    

5) How is technology changing the way you work for better or worse?
I wouldn’t be able to do my job without technology, honestly.  Not without new training, anyway.  Without the internet, I wouldn’t as easily be able to connect to people, and without specialized software and equipment, I wouldn’t be able to bring my work in to the digital realm.  It was technology that allowed me to take my art from hobby to job.

6) What’s your dream job? If you could do anything career wise? Have your own animated series? Tell all..
Someday I hope my work brings me to an animation studio on the East coast (where I’m from) doing something like storyboards or character design.  I have a few pitches ready for animated series for both children and adults if that opportunity ever comes.  Whatever happens, I never want to stop creating and always want to be improving.



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