We had the good fortune of connecting with Neil Jensen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Neil, why did you pursue a creative career?
This is something that I have always known. I grew up involved with a local community theater in Salt Lake City, UT, and that very much had a big influence on my decision to pursue animation and film making. There was something interesting to me watching a production come together from nothing, and then having the finished project realized for the run of the show. I now go through that same process, on a much smaller scale, to get from my small idea to a finalized animation, and it is always gratifying to have the finished piece.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
It is very hard in today’s world to be seen in the artistic world. There are so many different kinds of art, and so many other artists in each discipline, that it seems every market is super saturated. The best thing I have found to help is to find what you are actually passionate about in your field. I went to school with many many talented people, and a lot of them have begun and continued their career with big studios and gaming companies. All of these people had a drive to tell more adult stories with their animation, and have pursued that angle for their passion. My influences in my life are much more childish in nature, and that is what shows in my work. My passion in my animation is to create the fun and exciting animations for children, that may also educate at the same time. This is my strong point, I guess, and it is very evident in the short films and other animations that I have done so far.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
One of the biggest shout-outs for me, I suppose, would have to be to my very first animation professor, Chad Erekson. He was the very first left handed art teacher I have ever had, and it was astounding to watch him draw something and think, “oh, that’s how that is done.” Having always watched right handed professors draw, and then try to figure out how to do that backwards was very frustrating. So, thank you Chad for not knowing you taught me how to draw, as well as animate.