Los Angeles, CA
I got a BFA in Animation…. and became a PANCAKE ARTIST
Art has always been in my life. I had always loved drawing and painting. In school, I used every craft project to go overboard with creativity, and my parents were very supportive about it. The high school ROP (regional occupation program) introduced me to Animation as a career choice. I was already a huge admirer of the art of animation, so convincing myself that I was going to be an animator wasn’t difficult.
I enrolled at California State University Fullerton to study Animation. Instead of refining my skills and tailoring my portfolio for an artistic position, I focused on my GPA and worked part time jobs to support myself through school. When I was a Junior in College, I finally landed a creative job, doing pastel portraits at the local theme park. I also learned to face paint and started my side-hustle. When I graduated in 2012, I left my part-time portrait job for a full-time job at Art Supply Warehouse.
The first time I had heard of Dancakes, I was at work at Art Supply Warehouse in 2015. While working on our Facebook page, I came across the Dancakes Avengers Video. Normally my boss was the one calling me over to watch youtube videos, but this time it was me. “Mark, you have to see this! It’s amazing!!” We gawked at my monitor as the video continued, “I could never do that.” I was wrong.
I finally got a job in animation a few months later. A production job was opening at Film Roman, on the show I interned on, Ultimate Spiderman. I worked in Animation production for a few years, eventually ending up an Assistant Production Manager on Justice League Action at Warner Bros Animation. The whole experience was surreal! I loved the people I was working with, and the show I was working on. Incredibly Inspiring, and Humbling, and at the end of the day, tiring.
The long commute from Orange County in combination with my long hours at work was taking a toll on my health, and I was missing spending time with my husband (then fiance) and dog. I felt unfulfilled, even though I was good at what I was doing, and I was passionate about the project I was working on. I didn’t have time for myself or my loved ones, and I wasn’t doing any art anymore. When we started wrapping up Justice League Action, I made the decision to leave my job at Warner Bros. I felt confident enough that I could make enough money face painting on the weekends to afford to paint at home during the week. I was right. I have been making a living as an independent artist and event entertainer since February 2017.
Dan and Hank found me less than a year later. I had learned to do Pancake Art for one of my face painting clients. To practice, and motivate myself, I began doing pancake art challenges and posting them on my instagram. About a week after I started posting my videos, Dancakes reached out to me. 6 months after that I was on a plane to St. Louis to train with them in person. Now I am their Southern California Artist, and Dancakes events have taken me as far as London!
When I am not doing Dancakes events, I am painting at home, selling at pop-ups, or face-painting. It has been a crazy journey, and I can’t wait to see where else it takes me!