Ball State’s School of Art has been inviting different artists to speak this semester. Thursday, March 28, John Pomeroy gave a talk to aspiring animators and artists.
Pomeroy was trained directly by several of Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men, an elite group of employees during Disney’s early years. Some of his most popular animated work is included in Pocahontas, Land Before Time and An American Tail.
Pomeroy said that his main thrills with animation were being able to create something new. At one point he felt that working for Disney was becoming too repetitive, so he left with a few of his friends and they created a separate company. This company was Bluth Films. Through his work with Don Bluth and other coworkers, he was able to work with Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas.
After some time, Pomeroy began to feel stuck in a creative rut at Bluth. He was invited to join Disney again to work on the character for John Smith in the Pocahontas movie, and he accepted. He has stayed with Disney since then. Currently he is an animator for the children’s series Fancy Nancy which airs on Disney Junior.
The main thing Pomeroy emphasized throughout his talk was to never give up. He had to try three times just to be able to work for Disney as an animator, and he has now worked on some of Disney’s most popular movies. The first scene he ever animated was for Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too and he had to animate it 18 times before his boss was happy with it. Pomeroy said to “remember that it takes persistence,” but not to give up on your dreams when things get hard.
When asked what he felt was the best advice he could give to an animator just starting, Pomeroy began discussing the importance of collaboration and being open to making friends in your field. He credits a lot of his success to things he was able to learn and do thanks to coworkers and friends in his field.
Pomeroy encouraged the audience in a true Disney like fashion that their dreams weren’t out of reach if they worked for them.
For a more in-depth look at his work you can visit his website https://www.johnpomeroy.com/
Featured Image: John Pomeroy