Featured Artist of the Week: Jeff Freeman

Jeff Freeman, his midichlorian count is off the charts
  • Q: Where did you go to school?
  • Indiana University – I studied English and Film Production
  • Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to work in animation?
  • I started making flip books when I was 9 or 10 years old and fell in love with animation.  I cannot put into words the feeling I had when I first saw one of my drawings move. It felt like I had learned some type of dark magic. It still freaks me out sometimes. 
  • Q: Who is your biggest inspiration?
  • I grew up on Looney Tunes and always gravitated towards Chuck Jones’ stuff – the Coyote/Roadrunner cartoons specifically. I’m a big fan of silent comedy.
  • Q: What is your favorite animated movie/show?
  • That’s an impossible question! I love Nausicaa and Princess Mononoke – really anything by Miyazaki. As far as shows go, I’ve been completely obsessed with Mobile Suit Gundam lately.
  • Q: What would you say to those who are not getting hired by a studio or having trouble finding a job?
  • I don’t know if I’m gonna have any insightful information here. As cheesy as it sounds, if this is something you really want to do, don’t give up. I’m a self-taught animator and didn’t get my start until much later than most people in the industry. There is no one path into animation and opportunities can arise at any time in your life. 
  • Q: What are some stories of your path to art and animation? 
  • Allow me to contradict my previous answer – I had given up on drawing for a long time (don’t do that!) When I first moved to Austin I was doing sketch comedy and making short films. I started creating animated shorts to intersperse between our sketches. I ended up reconnecting with my inner 9-year-old-flip-book-making self and haven’t stopped making cartoons since. 
  • Q: What’s it like working in Austin? And how is the creative community here?
  • I love this city. There’s a large artistic community here and so many varied creative projects to get involved in. 
  • Q: What do you love most about working on Powerhouse Projects?
  • The best part of my job are the people I work with. I’m so grateful to be surrounded by such amazing, talented people. Everyone here is so encouraging and supportive and it’s really helped me grow as an artist.  
  • Q: What is your favorite Powerhouse project that you’ve worked on?
  • My favorite projects tend to be video game trailers. Swords of Ditto and Metal Wolf Chaos were a lot of fun to work on.
  • Q: Most challenging part of working at Powerhouse?
  • I work in our boutique department which requires switching between styles constantly depending on the client. During very busy times I might be on three or four different projects in the span of a week, and that can be a lot to keep track of. It’s great though because it keeps my job fresh and interesting. 
  • Q: Any cool little known facts about production (funny stories/cool animation tricks/etc)?
  • There’s a jar of sand hidden at the studio (long story) and I know where it is.
  • Q: If you could be any anime character who would it be and why?
  • Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop. Cool clothes and a dope-ass spaceship, that’s why!
“I’ll try spinning, that’s a good trick” – Jeff Freeman
About the Author
Hailing from "Parts Unknown" Virginia, Ryan scoured the United Stated searching for a place to call home. After a short stint in the "Entertainment Capital of the World" Ryan wandered into Austin with nothing but a Gameboy Color, his Star Wars Blu-Ray Collection, and too much hair product. Now a Production Coordinator at Powerhouse Animation, Ryan works all across the board on studio projects. A word of caution though, there are rumors that if you look in the mirror and say his name three times he will appear behind you and beg you to watch the Prequels with him.