I am artist and filmmaker, originally from Virginia Beach, VA, where I was born and grew up. The Little Mermaid inspired me at age 8 to one day work on animated films. I obsessively practiced drawing Ariel, sang every song and dreamed of being part of that world (*wink). I wrote the Disney company when I was around 12 years old (with my feature ideas and drawings… all promptly returned with a legal letter, but also with a nice packet on how to eventually get a job in animation!)
I landed at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond Va, from 1999-2003 earning my BFA in the Communication Arts & Design, Kinetic Imagery (animation and video.) From there I, worked like mad, and was ecstatic to receive the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship from the US Department of Education. I was off to California! I attended graduate school at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, earning my MFA in Animation from the School of Cinematic Arts in 2007. While there I completed multiple films. Lolly’s Box was part of Annecy and one of the final seven films of the animation category for the Student Academy Awards in 2006. I then briefly worked on commercials and music videos for Partizan Entertainment.
I have been at Pixar Animation Studios as a full-time Story Artist, since January 2007 after being an intern in the first story internship program at Pixar in the summer of 2006. In that time, I have worked as a Story Artist on Presto, Brave, Mater's Tall Tales, Partysaurus Rex, Small Fry, Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur. Then as Story Supervisor on Toy Story 4. I have also had the unique opportunity to work with the theme parks division: Disney Imagineering. My drawings have been transposed into massive images on the side of the Art of Animation Hotels (Nemo & Cars) at Disney World! I also had the opportunity to work on the Ratatouille ride for Disneyland Paris.
My typical day working in Story consists of storyboarding, participating in brainstorming meetings on various projects, and an occasional scratch voices (a fun extra.) You can watch a few of us discussing our job and path to Pixar here.
In my own time, I have the typical artist's list of a million works-in-progress. A graphic novel, some animated short ideas, a children's book, and screenplays. My most recent personal project is 100 Years of Fashion and Fun, published by the General Pencil Company. Thanks for visiting the site!
You can follow me on INSTAGRAM: valerielapointe