MEET THE TEAM
After graduating from USC's film school, Dave was a Character Layout Artist for Animaniacs, Taz-mania and Carrotblanca at Warner Bros. As an Animator for Disney Feature Animation, he worked on Meeko in Pocahontas, Hades in Hercules and Fantasia 2000. Dave was a Supervising Animator on Mouseworks and The Tigger Movie. In addition to running his own commercial animation studio, he also animated on Scooby Doo, Looney Tunes: Back in Action and Medal of Honor.
As an educator, Dave was a Professor and Chair of Animation at Laguna College of Art & Design for over twelve years, where he and his colleague Dave Pruiksma were the architects behind the incredibly successful animation program.
Dave was hired directly from CalArts by Disney Feature Animation where he was mentored by Eric Larson, one of Disney's original Nine Old Men. While at the studio, he become a Supervising Animator, bringing to life such classic characters as Mrs. Potts and Chip in Beauty and The Beast, the Sultan from Aladdin, Flit in Pocahontas, the gargoyles Victor and Hugo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Mrs. Packard from Atlantis. He was also an Animator on The Little Mermaid, The Lion King,The Rescuers Down Under, The Great Mouse Detective, Oliver & Company and Cranium Command.
After retiring from Disney, Dave served for nine years a Professor and Assistant Chair of the Animation department at Laguna College of Art & Design.
Morghan Gill graduated from the Laguna College of Art and Design with a BFA in animation and has successfully worked in Animation (both feature and TV), Video Game and Toy Design.
Her primary focus is Character Design, plying her craft in a number of large studios including Fox, Hasbro’s Allspark Studios, Warner Brothers, and BentoBox, just to name a few. Morghan also has over 5 years of experience teaching, lecturing and mentoring students in Character Design and Professional Studies.
Morghan's website is: https://www.mogiarts.com/
Illustrator Larissa Marantz began working as a Character Designer for Nickelodeon's Rocket Power and Rugrats TV shows. Her picture book illustration career started when she left the animation studio to stay at home and raise her young children. In between numerous play dates, and hundreds of diaper changes, she illustrated almost a dozen books for Nickelodeon's licensed properties. For 15 years she taught art classes to thousands of children through her after-school enrichment program, OC Art Studios. Larissa has been an adjunct faculty member of the Animation and Illustration departments at Laguna College of Art + Design for 12 years. She and her author husband are the creators of Clyde the Hippo picture book series for young readers, published by Penguin Workshop. She is currently illustrating a middle grade graphic novel with her husband to be published by HarperCollins in 2022.
John has a BFA in Feature Animation from Laguna College of Art & Design and a MFA in Screenwriting from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he was the Fogelman-Rodriguez Fellow.
As an Animator and Storyboard artist, John’s past credits include “South Park: The Stick of Truth” at Obsidian Entertainment. As a screenwriter, he has received numerous industry awards and nominations including Academy Nicholl and Tracking Board.
In the field of comics, John wrote the series “Archon: Battle of the Dragon” originally published by Action Lab Comics and recently released his new independent comic "Social Fiends."
John currently teaches at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman Univeristy.
James Lopez is a veteran Disney animator who has been working as a professional in the animation industry for 30 years.
His credits at Disney include being a Lead Animator on films such as The Emperor's New Groove and Hercules and as an animator on the character "Dr. Facilier" in The Princess and the Frog and "Timon" in The Lion King.
He has also worked for studios such as Warner Bros., Dreamworks and Nickelodeon in both television and features and has performed a variety of positions that range from Directing, Storyboarding, Layout, Art Direction, Production Design and Character Design.
He is an alumni of CalArts where he has taught drawing and animation to inspire a new generation of artists.
He is currently storyboarding on a show being produced for Netflix as well as producing his own personal crowd-funded animation project called Hullabaloo.
As a Director, Art Director, and Designer in the film industry, Pixote brings more than 40 years of production experience in animation to teach. In 1979 he started his Disney training in animation with Eric Larson.
Pixote has six years of production experience as a 2D Effects Animator. His painting and design mentors were Walt Peregoy; at Hanna-Barbera, his character design/development mentor was Iwao Takamoto. The Rescuers Down Under was his first Disney feature as Art Director.
Pixote’s experience in combining animation with live-action began in 1994 when he Directed and Art Directed The Pagemaster. He designed the 3D opening and interstitials for Fantasia 2000 that seamlessly weaved the animated sequences together. In the Disneytoon’s shorts division, his work was primarily Art Directing all CGI shorts produced.
In 2005 he was Directer and Production Designer for the traditional animated short One by One. Pixote is currently an art director and visual development artist at Disney TV.
He has taught at the K-WAN School of Art & Design, The Animation Workshop, Laguna College of Art and Design and California Institute of the Arts.
Chris Bailey is an Animator, Director, Showrunner and Producer with over 30 years of experience in both traditional and CG character animation.
His career began as an animator at Walt Disney Feature Animation on the classic features
The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under and The Lion King.
He grew into CG Supervising on the hybrid feature films X-Men 2, Alvin & The Chipmunks, Garfield and Hocus Pocus. Chris directed a number of award-winning TV series, theme park films and animated shorts, including the Oscar nominated Runaway Brain, the now classic-cult TV series, Clerks and Disney’s Emmy Award winning action comedy, Kim Possible. As Showrunner and Producer on Scooby Doo Guess Who? Chris also directed its pilot, What a Night, for a Dark Knight!
Chris is the creator of Major Damage, a super-hero character that has appeared in comics, a short film and merchandise.
Chris’s website is www.majordamage.net
SIERRA K. LEWIS
Sierra graduated from Laguna College of Art and Design with a BFA in Animation. They have worked for over a decade in the animation industry with over 6 years of Art Direction experience.
Sierra’s main focus is in Visual Development & Character Design, but they have worked professionally in all aspects of the front end design pipeline for 2D & 3D TV series production. Sierra has worked for DreamWorks Animation Television, Warner Brothers Animation, Eric Goldberg, Renegade Animation & has created content for Netflix, Peacock, Fox Animation, Boomerang, Bento Box, and many more clients and platforms.
Sierra’s Website is: www.sierraklewis.com
Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, John attended the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design until he was bitten by the animation bug after seeing Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and The Little Mermaid.
John attended CalArts in their Character Animation department, and then joined the Disney Story Department. There, he boarded and wrote on such features as Atlantis, Mulan, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He also co-directed the feature Home on the Range.
John has boarded and directed at Sony, Dreamworks, Pixar, Nickelodeon and Warner Brothers, in both Features and Television.
Brett earned his BFA at Laguna College of Art and Design, and in his 10 years of industry experience has worked for studios such as Cryptozoic Entertainment, Victory Point Games, and Blind Squirrel Entertainment.
With an emphasis in Character and Creature Design, Brett has been a Principle Concept Artist for video games, tabletop games and trading card franchises, as well as working as an Illustrator.
He has been an instructor at Laguna College of Art and design for 7 years, and in his time there has taught numerous subjects including Visual Development, Digital Painting, Character Design, and Figure Drawing.
Brett has been a student mentor and portfolio reviewer for many years, and has been on hiring boards and pitch teams in studio environments.
Marshall Vandruff has been an artist and educator in Southern California for 36 years. His clients include MAD Magazine, Hanna Barbera, Dark Horse Comics, Blizzard Entertainment, Rockstar Games, Disneyland, Disney Studios, Insomniac Games, Warner Brothers Entertainment, ImagineFX Magazine, AutoDesk, The Gnomon Workshop, and over forty advertising agencies.
He has taught nearly 300 courses and workshops in various art schools and colleges, including CSUF, Laguna College of Art & Design, LAAFA, Concept Design Academy and Fullerton College.
He co-hosts the DRAFTSMEN podcast with Stan Prokopenko. Marshall’s website is www.marshallart.com