While our favorite industry long ago expanded beyond the palm-shadowed studio lots and bungalows of Burbank, California, “The Animation Capitol of the World” is still a major hub for the global toon scene. This is evidenced on a yearly basis by the CTN Animation eXpo, which will take over the town once again November 16-19 for its milestone 15th anniversary.
Animation Magazine: Congrats on the big anniversary of CTN this year. How does it feel to celebrate such a milestone?
Tina Price: Thank you so much for your congratulations and support in helping to get us to CTN’s 15th episode. It’s truly a miracle that a middle aged woman animator has gone on to celebrate this significant milestone and now gets to look back and see how far we’ve come. This journey has been filled with passion, dedication, and the shared love for the community. We’re grateful for the opportunity.
Can you tell us what prompted you to begin such a venture 15 years ago?
Back in 2006, after a remarkable 23-year career at Walt Disney Animation as an animation artist, I had an idea and embarked on the exciting journey of figuring out (pre-Facebook) and establishing the Creative Talent Network. The artists in this industry are an extraordinary group of talent, truly like none other and it brings me an incredible amount of joy to help them. It is what I am apparently supposed to be doing now.
What are the biggest changes you have noticed in our industry during this time?
The whole pacing of an animated life, between going global and our entertainment attention span, has sped up along with the screens getting smaller. Other than that, the one thing that remains constant is ‘the talent’ and the timeless art of good storytelling. Regardless of the medium, compelling narratives continue to hold their power and significance.
What are some of the highlights of this year’s big anniversary edition?
We are opening a fresh gateway through our CTN Foundation that spotlights the talent and their cinematic creations, as well as their diverse forms of expression. Our initiative draws inspiration from our many years in this arena all infused with a strong commitment to NewGen Initiatives and scholarships for the future.
What would you say is the biggest challenge of launching such a big industry event each year?
Staying true to your values and that of the community and your guests. The bigger you get the harder it is to actually help others. Kind of like the difference between a big department story and a boutique shop. This year, the CTN Foundation is launching the first Andreas Deja Scholarship Award, an initiative to champion and sustain quality 2D animation.
Do you have any advice for CTN expo attendees who want to make the most of their experience?
Bring a sketchbook, leave your job and your judgement at home and come for four days with wide-eyed optimism.
What are you some of memories you will cherish most from these past 15 years?
All of it. It has truly been one of the most amazing experiences of my life on so many levels. I wouldn’t change a thing and I can’t wait for what’s next. Thank you to everyone for all you’ve contributed and a special shout out to Animation Magazine. Let’s do this!
CTN Animation eXpo will be held Thursday, November 16 to Sunday, November 19 at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport. More information available at ctn-events.com/event-ctnx2023.