I have a variety of different influences in the animation world, such as Fred Moore and Don Bluth. As an animator, I found it exhilarating to be able to draw from (pun intended) different styles – both prominent and underground. In a lot of cases, I wasn’t only emulating style, but process as well. So, when I began to tackle the character design for John Smith from Pocahontas, I decided to create him from the inside out. I wanted to understand who John Smith was at his core – what his actual historical significance was in the context of Pocahontas’ story. Building off of John’s background and history naturally translated into every single layer, from an animation and design standpoint. When I was tasked with designing the character of Milo Thatch in Atlantis, I took a very different but straightforward approach. Essentially, Milo is equal parts me and Michael J. Fox. There’s a lot of both of us infused into Milo. So, much like in storyboarding, the collaborative piece in character design is very much present. It’s pretty cool and fulfilling to see the process – to see my characters in early film tests, gauge our team’s reactions, see what resonates with people, and then complete the final design.