Artist - Cale Atkinson

Cale Atkinson is a freelance illustrator, animator, and writer currently living in Kelowna BC. His work can be seen in children's books, animated shorts, video games, television, comics and more! He has a love for creating stories whether told in an animation, book or single illustration. 

What part of Canada are you from Cale?
I am definitely a west coast chap. I was born and raised in Vancouver BC, and since then have lived in a couple other cities in BC.

"Monster Kids"

What inspired you to start drawing?
I would have to credit my parents for always giving my brother and I a creative environment. We were always drawing, writing stories or making movies. That along with my love of children’s books and cartoons helped fuel the flames.

"Lil' Red"
"Lil' Red"

How would you describe your artistic style?
I suppose I would say my style is simple shapes and strong colours with a retro feel. Hopefully that makes sense!

"Professor Whale"

Can you share a piece of art work or script segment that no one has seen before?
Erm I suppose I can find something! 
Here is a sketch that NO ONE has seen! Though I can’t say it’s best thing I’ve ever drawn :)

What type of animation projects have you worked on?
I have worked on a number of small animation projects but never something as large or polished as a feature film. I’ve done a handful of different roles from animating characters, to doing background or character design. These have ranged from television, video games, online properties, and personal projects. From my experience I’ve come to the conclusion that I prefer to animate on my own personal projects rather than to do it for others. Animation takes so much blood, sweat and tears I have found it hard to put that into a project that I do not have my heart or passion invested in. Regardless I still can’t say I ever had a ‘bad’ experience working on any of the past animation projects.

"Lil' Red"

What is one artistic project that you are proud to have been involved in?
Hmmm! Hard to choose one! Though to go with something current, I am very proud to have recently had the chance to do a comic feature of Spider-Man for Marvel comics! The feature will be in a Spider-Man annual coming out this December. I got to redesign the characters in my own style as well as write/design the pages. It was a lot of fun, especially since I grew up a big time Spidey fan! :)

What projects are you working on now?
A lot of my work is currently in Children’s Publishing. I am currently working on three children’s books that I wrote and illustrated (2 for Disney Hyperion and 1 for Owl Books) and another two that I am just illustrating. I am also working with a game studio here in Kelowna BC called Hyper Hippo, doing art direction, visual development and design. I do hope to work on another animated short but alas have to wait until the right idea and time permits it!

"Boat Saver"
UPDATE: The first of Cale's books, "To The Sea",  has just been released along with an animated book trailer. 

"To the Sea" was written and illustrated by Cale Atkinson and published by Disney Hyperion.

Who is one of your favourite Canadian animators/artists?
I am a big fan of Nick Cross’ animated work! I also always found it incredibly inspiring how he makes his own amazing animated shorts.

What is one of your favourite art books? 
Whewf! Now THAT is a tough question!
For animation I love the classics, Preston Blair’s animation book, Richard Williams survival guide and of course Frank and Ollie’s Illusion of Life. For Children’s books I love everything the Martin and Alice Provenson did, Oliver Jeffers, Jon Klassen and of course Mary Blair. We have tons of books in our place and are seriously in need of more shelving...
Who is an up-and-coming Canadian artist that everyone should check out?
I have to take this opportunity to plug some uber talented friends of mine, started with my wonderful wife Jessika!

Jessika Von Innerebner:

Are you involved with any art organizations in Canada?
My wife Jessika and myself help put on some art shows out here in Kelowna. We have partnered with the Kelowna Art Gallery to do shows that are more in line with the type of shows happening in LA. Focusing on pop culture topics including retro video games, saturday morning cartoons and now super heroes this coming January! 

What are some of your artistic career milestones?
A couple recent milestones that I have been very fortunate and excited to hit include: Having my animated short featured on the Disney website, Having a book I wrote and illustrated soon to be published by Disney Hyperion, and doing work for Marvel and being featured on their website.

Do you have links to other sites where you were interviewed?

An interview feature I did for Marvel: 

A feature I did with Animation Insider: 

To see more work from Cale Atkinson, check out these sites: