Artist - Mack Carruthers

A few months prior to graduation from the Computer Animation Arts at Durham College in 2007, I was very fortunate to be hired at Guru Studio to work on Season 3 of Nickelodeon Jr's "The Backyardigans" as a junior animator. Finishing the weekly animation quota as well as final school projects made me lose a bunch of sleep, but I graduated and have continued to work for Guru Studio ever since!

Mack Carruthers Animation Reel 2013 from Mack Carruthers on Vimeo.

What part of Canada are you from Mack?
I grew up outside the extremely small town of Innesville, Ontario. The towns entertainment hub was the gas station. You could rent the latest movies!

Mack Carruthers

What inspired you to create animation?
Video games! I've been enamored with them ever since I can remember. However, it was the cartoony games like the 'Ratchet & Clank' series as well as 'Jak & Daxter' that pushed my animated interests into overdrive. Both games had hilarious characters and charming stories, but it was the unlockable behind-the-scenes features that blew my mind. Hearing the artists talk about their processes and decisions was fascinating. It was the first time I realized people made entertainment for a living. Funny how obvious it is until you realize it haha.

How would you describe your artistic style?
It's still going through growing pains, hahaha. It will take a few years before I find my own footing I think. If it could be anywhere close to having the same boldness and confidence as Bruce Timm's super heroes, I'd be a happy chappie! 

Can you share a piece of art work or script segment that no one has seen before?
This is a villain concept I've had kicking around for a bit. 
What roles do you play in the creation of animation?
So far, I've been a character animator for my whole career. There is so much magic bringing characters to life that I find it hard to imagine doing anything else.
Currently, I'm a Lead Animator on a pre-school tv show, balancing animation quota while helping the team with technical troubles.

What is one project that you are proud to have been involved in?
My independent short film 'Snowdrifter' is something I'm very proud of. It took an enormous amount of time and effort but being able to see it through to the end was profoundly fulfilling.

What projects are you working on now?
I recently finished some commercial freelance work, so I'll be jumping back into developing my own ideas and see where they go!

Who is one of your favourite Canadian animators?
My coworkers! They are nicest group of people I've ever met.

What is one of your favourite art or animation books? 
Betty Edwards' book 'How to Draw on the Right Side of the Brain' tought me so much when I first read it. I'd be hard pressed not to mention the Animators Survival guide as well. The teachings in it are amazing but it was the handful of pages where Mr. Williams writes about working in the industry that were really inspiring.

Who is an up-and-coming or relatively unknown Canadian animator that everyone should check out?
Paul Halasa is a really talented artist and animator with a super active tumblr account. Check him out!

Are you involved with any animation organizations in Canada?
I'm afraid not. I'd love to take part in a TAAFI panel some day. That would be really cool!

What are some of your animation milestones?
In 2011 and 2013, I was fortunate enough to work with an extraordinarily talented team on two short films (Waking Gus & Birthdeus-X), which were made to enter the CG Society's annual Challenges. Both of  our entries took home awards and prizes. (Waking Gus taking 2nd in 2011, and Birthdeus-X winning 1st place in 2013!) I would love to work with them again. It feels like we caught lighting in a bottle twice!

Waking Gus (2011) Short Film from Mack Carruthers on Vimeo.

Birthdeus X Trailer (2013) from Mack Carruthers on Vimeo.

My short 'Snowdrifter' was awarded the Vimeo Staff Pick badge. I was also lucky enough to receive just over 150k views in a day (thanks Reddit)! Currently, it's a few thousand shy from 200k. Even though the view count is rather small compared to other viral videos, it still floors me think how many people have seen it.

Snowdrifter - Short Film from Mack Carruthers on Vimeo.

Have you been interviewed elsewhere about your work in animation?
When Snowdrifter got posted online, the fine folks at reached out for an interview. If you'd like to hear more about the process that went into Snowdrifter, check it out here:

To see more work from Mack, check out his website below.
Main Website: