Artist - Hector Herrera

Hector Herrera is a creative director and animator living and working in Toronto. Having headed the design teams of several award winning studios (Cuppa Coffee Animation, The Studio Upstairs and Trace Pictures) he is a founding partner of the animated content production studio Together: Words+Pictures for Art & Culture where he has designed and directed several animated music videos and short films for the arts, education and non-profit communities as well as their own original content.

Hector is also an instructor in the illustration program at the Ontario College Of Art and Design where he teaches classes in digital mixed media, animated illustration and illustrated activism.
What part of Canada are you from?
I was actually born in Juarez, Mexico. I moved to Toronto in January 2000 after working for 10 years in Mexico City.

RSA The Power To Create

What roles do you play in the creation of animation?
I direct, design and animate. Sometimes in the same project, other times I only direct and design.

Half a Pantaloon (Beastly Bards)

What is one project that you are proud to have been involved in?
Oh man, there are several and for different reasons.

I would have to say our first set of original films: Beastly Bards has been great and I’m very proud of the results and feel very fortunate to have been able to work with amazing people that liked the project enough to get involved in it.

Typesetter Blues (Beastly Bards)
The animates sequences we did for Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire’s documentary on child soldiers ‘Fight Like Soldiers, Die Like Children’ was a very powerful experience.

The main title sequence for David Cronenberg’s ‘Spider’ as I got to work with one of my favourite directors.

Fight Like Soldiers, Die Like Children

What inspired you to create animation?
I come from a graphic design background so my drive to animate came from title design.
When I first saw David Fincher’s ’Seven’ and the amazing title sequence by Kyle Cooper I knew that THAT was what I wanted to do. So I looked for a job doing broadcast design and then slowly moved onto storytelling and character animation.

WWF Freshwater
Who is one of your favourite Canadian animators?
Definitely Norman McLaren. Even before coming to Canada, he was a huge inspiration because he opened my eyes to the fact that animation could be so much more than Saturday Morning Cartoons. He really made me see it as an art form.

What is one of your favourite animation books?
I didn’t go to school for animation, so my animation education has been more pragmatic rather than academic.

So I haven’t read many animation texts. But one book that has actually helped me a lot with my timing is "In the Blink of an Eye" by Walter Murch (Editor on Apocalypse Now and The Godfather series). His insights on why editing and timing work are amazing and a great resource for anyone working in any form of film.

Amazon Link - In the Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch

Who is an up and coming Canadian animator that everyone should check out?
My friend Andrew Foerster is doing some very nice things. He’s another self-taught animator. He started as an illustrator, but then discovered After Effects and has been getting better and better each day. Great focus on storytelling and he has a very instinctual sense of timing.

You can check him out at:

Are you involved with any animation organizations in Canada?
Sadly no. I feel like a latecomer to the industry so I’m a bit out of touch with what’s out there in terms organizations.

We (at Together) are in talks about starting a kids animation program with WordPlay which is a reading and writing program run by Type Books which we’re super excited about.

RSA Shorts | The Power To Create from TOGETHER on Vimeo.

(Click here for more info the film RSA Shorts | The Power To Create)

To see more animation from Hector, follow the link below:
Hector Herrera | TOGETHER: Words + Pictures for Art & Culture | (416) 662 4534