“It’s tough. You have to have to relax a little bit. You have to kind of let yourself wander and play a bit. …but then you have to have a purpose for the character.”
At age 10, Brett “2D Bean” wanted to be a rock drummer but his Mom told him to become an artist because “drawing is quiet.”
It must have been good advice because Brett is now one of the most adored character designers in the animation industry.
…and it’s not just his Mom who adores him.
Among The Oatley Academy students (and at many other art schools across the world, I’m sure), Brett is one of the most often-mentioned inspirations.
I met Brett Bean at San Diego Comic Con a few years back. The clock was ticking. I only had two hours to spend on the exhibit floor and I was rushing around to find several of my friends before everything shut down.
…despite my urgency, Brett’s work stopped me in my tracks.
I was inspired by his stellar talent and shocked by the depth of his humility.
I spent about twenty minutes talking to him and his awesome wife Julie and I knew right then that I had made friends for life.
Finally, Brett is on the ArtCast.
…and his contribution exceeded my already-high expectations.
Prepare yourselves. You might get a little choked up around the one hour mark…
In This Episode:
- Why you might NOT want to work at Pixar or Disney…
- What makes an appealing character design?
- Do you HAVE to do your own personal projects to succeed as a character designer?
- How you might miss your creative calling if you don’t question everything.
- How your artistic growth is like video games.
- How to battle bitterness.
- What to do when you feel like giving up…
Click through to listen to the interview and watch a Character Design + Digital Painting Demo by Mr. Bean…
“I was talking to one of the Pixar guys and he [asked me] how much of my wanting to work at Disney or Pixar was just hubris. [He told me to] dissect the reasoning behind my goals. That was tough. But I went home and I did some soul searching. It was the best advice I could have [received]. He was right. I want to work in an environment where I’m learning and I’m helping and I’m making people laugh and I’m making people happy… …doing art for a living. And then everything switched. My goal was no longer thinking ‘I have to be here or there…’ There are so many great companies that I’d love to work with… But it’s no longer THE goal. It’s not the end-all-be-all.”
More From Brett “2D Bean”:
Listen To The Interview:
Other Links Mentioned:
Chris Oatley’s Digital Painting Course ‘The Magic Box’
Music by The Hokum Highrollers
Get Mind-Blowing Portfolio Feedback at CTN Animation Expo
Brian McDonald’s article about “…being bad.”
Brett Bean’s Kickstarter Video (FUNDED!):
Character Design + Digital Painting Demo by Brett 2D Bean:
Don’t Be A Stranger!
Brett really challenged my assumptions during this interview.
What was the most thought-provoking part of this episode for you?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below…
Learn More About Character Design:
Check out my new Character Design Resource Page!