Is Work From Home The Future? California's Animation Artists Discuss Their Hopes For Post-Pandemic Working Practices

Is Work From Home The Future? California’s Animation Artists Discuss Their Hopes For Post-Pandemic Working Practices

I got back 10 to 12 hours/energy a week wasted in LA traffic.

— Jorge R. Gutierrez (@mexopolis) February 28, 2021

After receiving a flurry of replies from industry artists, Gutierrez concluded in a later tweet that the general mood was in favor of a flexible hybrid model, like the one Box described to us:

So the overall consensus was most would want a new hybrid work week with flexibility based on each person’s home situation. I really don’t think this would be an issue at most LA studios. Here’s to a new more balanced and healthy future! https://t.co/3AvonFwQny

— Jorge R. Gutierrez (@mexopolis) March 1, 2021

While there does seem to be a lot of support for a hybrid approach, the responses to Gutierrez’s question are interesting for how varied they are. We’ve reproduced tweets from leading artists below (with their permission). They reveal that people’s preferences can be conditioned by a range of factors, from union affiliation to the kind of work they do…

Ben Mekler, staff writer on Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, story editor on Final Space, co-executive producer on an upcoming Dreamworks/Netflix series:

I think writing over zoom goes a lot slower, and makes it harder to learn and reach a creative hivemind. The benefits are great, but I think a hybrid would be nicer – as a writer, not being able to pop into an artists office to kick around ideas together has def been a bummer

— ben mekler (@benmekler) February 28, 2021

Michael Ruocco, storyboard supervisor on The Cuphead Show!, storyboard artist on Looney Tunes shorts:

My output since Covid has easily been halfed, and there’s nothing to really motivate nor inspire me while in my own solitary bubble. I’m also probably one of the few people who actually enjoy commuting since it acts as a warm up/cool down during my day.

— Michael Ruocco (@AGuyWhoDraws) February 28, 2021

Matt Jones, storyboard artist:

LA commutes take the joy out of the job. Let the studio buildings turn to dust! We’ve proven we can live in Hawaii and make the same stuff. Until drone-taxis happen let’s stay home and create! pic.twitter.com/3aQP1K0Iwl

— Matt Jones (@Jonezee99) February 28, 2021

Sabrina Alberghetti, shorts director, storyboard artist at Disney Television Animation:

I would love to have an option: Work from home for a few weeks, come in for a few weeks. The problem with us union people, is that we HAVE to be in the LA area. Wondering if the union will change/have to change with all this happening, since we’ve proven it works.

— Sabrina Alberghetti (@TheRealSibsy) February 28, 2021

Mikel Wellington, character designer on Wendell and Wild and My Dad the Bounty Hunter:

i just like the idea of being around other creatives and in a creative space. I feel like working from home is such an isolating experience. To me, having the dedicated environment to do that is great. Plus, space in LA is hard to come by so it’s nice to have that separation.

— Mikel Wellington (@MikelWellington) February 28, 2021

Henrique Jardim, director at Titmouse:

Not to mention, when I was working in-studio everyday, I didn’t necessarily want to socialize EVERYDAY. Some days I just wanted to have my headphones on and eat lunch alone. By doing half in half out, I can see us all being more extroverted on the days we come in!

— Henrique Jardim (@henriiscrap) February 28, 2021

How do you feel about physical studios? Share your thoughts in the comments, and look for continuing coverage of this topic on Cartoon Brew.

Image at top: Dreamworks Animation campus in Glendale, California

This content was originally published here.

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