Hi there! My name is Cade Parker, and I am currently a senior here at SCAD majoring in animation. I am from a smaller town in Arizona, called Prescott, and what a change Savannah has been! I specialize in 3D character animation, and absolutely love the idea of bringing emotion to any scene I take part in! During my time here, I have been lucky enough to collaborate on multiple films with some wonderful people, including this year’s upcoming film, “OutFoxed”, directed by Cameron Brown, where I take on the role of lead animator. I also have been able to grow close to animation Professor, and Disney legend, Troy Gustafson, as his Head Personal Assistant! Outside of SCAD, I love stargazing, going on hikes, munching on some tasty foods, and hanging out with some of my best buds!
What area of animation do you enjoy the most and why?
When it comes to animating, 3D character animation is where it’s at for me! I got into the field of animation because of the impact it can have on people emotionally. I find it so intriguing that films and shorts can have this lasting impression on its audience, making them feel like they are a part of the story, experiencing what the characters are experiencing. It made me realize that these animations are more than just stories to people, they create an emotional meaning to the viewers. I knew that’s what I wanted to be a part of. I wanted to make people feel something with my work.
What is a challenge that you’ve had to overcome?
One challenge that I have noticed progressively as I have gotten older, has been my tremor. I was born with a tremor in my hands, meaning they just shake all the time, which has brought obstacles when it came to my art and animation. As I have gone through college, the shaking has become more recognizable. Activities from gesture drawing all the way to just holding a drink or plate of food are more difficult than I would like. However, I do believe it has helped me improve as an artist and a person, encouraging me to practice more while learning how to adjust, as well as even trusting, and growing closer to, the friends, family, and teams surrounding me. Of course, it has been a challenge, but the improvements and mindsets I see in myself from it are something I would never trade.
What advice would you give yourself as a freshman?
I would just say enjoy it! SCAD is about building yourself for your career, and while I know that is so important, I also think it is valuable to emphasize that this is college. I feel like when I was a freshman, I highlighted the idea that I was here to pave my way to my dream job. Of course, I still want to do that, but I also want to meet new people, experience new cultures and personalities, explore the areas around me. It took me a few years to realize that I could make time for my work, and make time for those memories that I could make with some of the most amazing people. I have been living this way now for a bit, and am the happiest I have been for a while!
What inspires you during a difficult project?
It is tremendously important for me to work on projects that I care a lot about, so when I start to struggle on one, I do my best to remember why I started on it! I worked on an animation for my reel called “Breathtaking”, and that was a project that kept poking at me. There were many times where I kept second guessing, but the reason I had the motivation to keep pushing was because it was so sentimental to me! I put so many aspects of myself in that animation, and so it being so difficult for me made me care for it even more! Finding that reason of why I started, and why I care for a project, is what keeps me going, and cooking that meal as best I can!
What experiences have stood out to you?
Absolutely meeting my best friend, Meagan Shawron. She is the most genuine, beautiful hearted person I have ever met, and the impact she has had on me is one that I could never put into words. Megs inspires me to be so much more than I ever thought a person could be. Whether it be artistically with my animation, or as a person, she has helped me find who I want to be to myself and others. I came to SCAD with the ambition of creating a career for myself within the animation field, but I found so much more. I found a person who has helped sculpt my most treasured memories here at SCAD, and I am beyond grateful to be so close to her. When I think of experiences that stand out, she takes, bakes, and shakes the cake.
What classes have you enjoyed, and why?
Any class with Professor Rutland or Troy have been amazing. Rutty was just so fun to hang around in class and joke with. He made the work environment so relaxed and enjoyable, it felt like hanging out with a group of buds, while still creating some great work. Troy is cream of the crop when it comes to Professors. He cares so much for his crew, and will get them to improve immensely if they are willing to put in the effort.
Have you worked on any projects outside of class?
Outside of classes and SCAD, I was reached out to last summer by a studio in Argentina, called Gizmo Animation Studio, where I was an animator for a commercial short. It was really amazing getting some professional experience, and even meeting, and learning from, some great animators I hadn’t run into before!
Is there anything you want to see SCAD offer in the future?
For animators, I think it would be really nice to offer some more improv/acting classes. Acting and reference is such a large part of animation, more opportunities to hop into an environment with other animators and having some fun with it would shake off those nerves a bit when it comes to filming yourself or for others!
Do you look up to anyone in the industry? And why?
Michal Makarewicz is one main animator I look up to for sure! He spoke in one of the zoom presentations, and I have NEVER been so inspired and motivated by a speech in my life. I really felt the emotional aspects that he touched on, as well as resonated with the tips he shared. I would love to meet, and/or maybe work with him one day!
What are some things you enjoy doing in your free time?
I really love the stars so much. I actually found a super secret place in Savannah where I like to go look at them! I’ll pick up a pizza or maybe make a chicken wrap with some hot sauce and lettuce, head over there, put on some jazzy tunes, and just gaze at the stars for a while.
Thanks Cade for sharing! Make sure to check out Cade’s work on his following socials: