Disturbance in the force

So yeah, here's a slight change of career plan for ya: I'm no longer at Laika. My last day was the 6th. Quite a shock to the system, but hey, to quote Kurtis Blow: "that's the breaks." I've now decided to use this opportunity and focus my efforts on character design and storyboarding. I feel that I'm at my happiest when I do those two particular things. And when I'm happy, I produce some great work. I love animating, too, so I'll be looking for any 2D traditional work, as well. It's strange to be looking for opportunities when I've had opportunities find me for the past 12 years.

So, there ya have it. I'm looking for work. Crazy, huh?

Here's to rude awakenings and new perspectives....


  1. Love ya, bro. God only gives us what He knows we can handle.

  2. Whoa. Thats exciting/scary. Any chance you'll head back to atlanta?

  3. Ah, such is the life of an animator. But you're crazy talented and stuff will find you as much as you find stuff, I'm sure. Good luck with new endeavors!

  4. Wow - really sorry to hear that. Is this an economy-related issue?

    Hey, as you've implied, ten years from now you'll back on this as the turning point that led to your real passion/success.

    Probably the most important thing right now, as Walt once said, is "Stay busy - for God's sake, stay busy!" (or something like that).

    Good luck to you man.

  5. I know...

    Who wants to start a new studio?

  6. Whoa! I hope some opportunities come along real soon!

  7. Ward- I couldn't be more shocked at your news. Sounds like you've already achieved a good attitude about it, though. These things often turn into even greater opportunities to re-invent ourselves. Please let us know how we can help. You are destined to do great things! Of that I have no doubt.

    Your friend, John Ryan,DAGNABIT!

  8. Sorry about the news -
    If I hear of anything down here I'll definitely send it your way.


  9. prayers are definitely going up for you and your family. it's obvious to see God's hand in your life and i know He is faithful and will guide your steps.

  10. Hey Ward,
    Sorry to hear about your job loss. I frequent your blog from time to time and love all your stuff and style. You and your family's life reminds me a bit of my family's.

    Anyway, John K was looking for some talented people recently and probably still is. Some guy named John Ward even applied and John K asked him if he was Ward O Matic, so he's obviously already somewhat familiar with you. Perhaps he's still looking for help, check out his blog.

    Also, Pixar has a Character Designer job posted as well as an Art Director position open on their site. I applied for both but am not optimistic - YOU however appear to have the right qualifications. I think they are also looking for an Animator, but I assume it's 3D.

    Disney Interactive in Salt Lake City (where I live) was looking for a character lead - but they do Disney's video games which is 3D and I dunno if you're interested in that. They also employ some great storyboarders as well. You could probably find that listing on Monster.

    I work with a guy (Adrian Ropp) who works at Disney Interactive and has started a small 2D studio (Circles & Squares Animation) and is always looking for more help (only freelance at the moment) but is hoping to expand. I'll pass along your info.

    Sorry if you already know all of this and I'm just wasting your time. I'm sure some one as talented as you doesn't need the likes of me trying to help you find work, you'll surely have plenty on your own, just thought I'd try to help.

    Best of luck!

  11. Hey Ward,

    I haven't been following for a while, but... wow.

    I'm so glad to see you making a film.

    I was cleaning out my studio the other day and found the roster of films for the ASIFA-Eats fest in 2000. A couple names down from mine is Ward Jenkins, Noir, :30.

    What a weird connection - I never saw it before because I didn't know you!

    If you need to come up for air (literally) and get some coffee or something, give me a ring. I know how isolated you can get in the basement!

  12. Thanks, guys for all the kind words and uplifting attitudes. A little bit o' that goes a long way, believe me.

    Adam: Probably not. We'd like to live in Portland for at least a few more years if all goes according to plan, although I'm willing to move anywhere a job will land me. We really love this town and would like our kids to get some decent years here before we'd have to uproot again.

    John, many thanks for your encouragement. Hope you and Pope are doing well in Atlanta -- holler back if you need some animatin'!

    Bryan -- wow, what a great comment. Many thanks for all the footwork you've done! Now I don't have to do any job searches! Ha ha...anyway, thanks so much for posting about these items. I'll definitely look into some of them.

    Thanks again, all! I'll keep you all posted on my situation soon -- I'm currently working on a portfolio site (how'd I go for so long without one?) and putting together a disc for a potential job. That one I need to work on for tomorrow. Also: illustration work! Yipee! Nice to get back into the fold, drawring-wise.

    Until then...

  13. Darn, so sorry to hear that. You know what they say - when one door closes, another one opens. Or something lame like that.

    Go for the freelance illustration - you'd totally get jobs there!

  14. Good luck Ward, I find myself in the same position right now. So perhaps I should say good luck to both of us.

  15. Hey there, Ward! I'm wishing you nothing but the best, and I know things are gonna work out well for you. It's crazy...I found out about your situation via your comment the Kitsune Noir blog.

  16. Like most folk I read the blog but never post. Sorry to hear, from what I've read of the comments you have an army of good folk behind you. I have a feeling word will spread like wild fire and you have something in 4 weeks, on reputation alone. Well best of luck.

    (now back to my cave)

  17. Ack. I'm so sorry to hear this, Ward. My thoughts are with you and I hope fabulous new opportunities come your way...right away! I can't wait to see what you do!

    btw, I might be up to Portland sometime in the next couple months, I'd love to meet you guys!

  18. Be encouraged, man. It's not the end of the story!

  19. Oh Ward. I am just reading this. What terrible news. Scary stuff when you have chitlins to support.

    I have no doubt you are destined for greatness. I've always known that. I really do believe things happen for a reason.

    I will be thinking of you and your family.


  20. Well, I'm little late to the news here because I've been busy trying to compensate for my own "summer of no work" with my new "workaholic autumn", but i'm shocked that you are no longer at Laika. The posts after this one inform me that you're adapting well to the transition, but if I may make one prediction its this:
    2D is going to have a resurgance of sorts.

    Thats just a prediction of mine, but one I make after noticing some signals across a lot of media markets.