Cal State Fullerton alumnus Ari Castleton went from watching cartoons as a kid to becoming a storyboard artist on “The Loud House,” an animated TV show on Nickelodeon.
“It was such a big part of my childhood. I love ‘Catscratch’ so much, that wacky type of comedy is what built my sense of humor. I’m just a kid who gets to draw cartoons all day and I have to thank Nickelodeon for that,” Castleton said.
Castleton gave insight to art students on how to succeed in the animation industry at the Pencil Mileage Club speaker event on Friday.
The return to his alma mater was what he described as “surreal.” Castleton said attending CSUF prepared him for a career in animation and provided him with the skills to improve his work and ability to network.
Being a former member of the club himself, Castleton said he appreciated being able to come back and give advice to students that are in the same position he was while he attended the university.
“I think all (Pencil Mileage Club) students should be going to every speaker event that they can. You never know what somebody’s journey is like and where you can pull information or advice from that. It certainly helped me as a student,” Castleton said.
The Pencil Mileage Club is for animators and illustrators who want to get a better understanding of the animation industry and build connections with those in it, said Kat Turner, president of the club.
The 22-year-old club is hosting several speaking events this semester with one more to come, Turner said.
Castleton said events like speaker night are valuable for students to attend because they provide an understanding on how to network and build relationships while they are still students.
“We’re pretty connected with the industry,” said Cassidy Foelsch, club officer and event coordinator. “Luckily we’re at a point now where (Pencil Mileage Club) has a pretty good reputation in the industry that people know what it is.”
CSUF alumna John Munoz said he believes the events inspire students to find their own unique career path.
“These events are a good example to show not everyone goes in the same way that you’re expected to,” Munoz said.
Chuck Grieb, an animation professor who taught Castleton while he attended the university, said the success that Castleton has achieved is a win for him as a teacher and that it was wonderful seeing him come back to speak at the event.
“It doesn’t take anything away from him. He’s the one who’s done that, but still for (professors), this is why we do it. There’s a sense of pride and it just makes you feel wonderful cause you’re helping to see this person achieve that dream,” Grieb said.
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