Character Designer Mendez Lectures at AI

The April 17th session of the Animation 21 Lecture Series at the Art Institute of California’Los Angeles will feature a session with accomplished character designer Phil Mendez. He will be on hand to demonstrate the techniques and essentials of his trade before AI and members of the Los Angeles chapter ff IGDA turn the evening’s focus to the use of 2D animation in video game development. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Big Room at the Art Institute of California’Los Angeles, located at 2900 31st Street in Santa Monica.

Mendez started a regular comic strip in the Mercury Shopper’s Guide at the age of sixteen and, a couple years later, got hired by ad agency Dancer-Fitzgerald-Sample as an assistant art director on the General Mills account. He freelanced on comic books for Charlton Press and DC Comics in 1966, and by 1970 was working at Disney on the animated feature film Robin Hood. He then worked for Fred Calvert Prods. and Ron Campbell Films on projects including Nanny and The Professor, Sesame Street and the Great Blue Marble IBM specials.

At Hanna-Barbara Prods., Mendez designed presentations and layout work for such series as The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, The Yogi Bear Show and Hong Kong Phooey. He was then hired by Mark Davis in 1975 as his assistant to design attractions for Disneyland where he worked on Fantasyland rides, Epcot Center and concept work for future Disney Projects.

Phil Mendez Prods. was formed in 1982 and, through the company, Mendez designed the original presentation and characters for An American Tail and Rose Petal Place. He created the children’s shows Kissyfur and Foofur, and wrote the Scholastic Press book The Black Snowman, which has sold 1,7 million copies and won the Martin Luther King Living the Dream Award in 1991.

Game Center partners supporting the Animation 21 Lecture Series include Alias, AMD, Animation Magazine, Autodesk Inc., Softimage, F. Dice, International Game Developers Assn.(IGDA), Luminetik Animation Studios, Motion Analysis Corp., Nvidia Corp., PC Unlimited, Peachpit Press, Pioneer (U.S.), Seagate Technology, SilverStone, Tyan Computer Corporation, wondertouch and ViewSonic. For more information on these and future events, contact Bijan Tehrani at (818) 613-4227.