Working at Bardel has been an awesome experience. Not only has it been my first decently paid job (outside of Mexico), but it is also my first Animation industry-related job. I work in the dark cave of LRCs on the show VeggieTales, and I’m starting to develop a method to move around in the dark, like a bat or owl. All thanks to our beautiful lack of windows, which is a necessity to work in as an LRC. Seriously though, the first few months I worked here my mind was blown by the amount of smart people we have. The tools, methods and solutions that everybody comes up with are incredibly creative and genius.
Even today, now that I have a little more experience, I look around and I am marveled by the quality at how impressive the tools we make actually are. The greatness all around me, combined with a few grains of jealousy and ambition, have pushed me into making my own smart tools, and to try and push myself into making them better overall, no matter if it’s a Comp, a Maya object or a script.
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Another thing that I like about working here is the general sense of easy going attitude and looking after each other. This is a hard one to explain, but there are two main examples I can give. Coffee and Lunch Break. Solid and simple. The thing about coffee is that, everybody drinks it, and everybody makes it for everybody else. I’ve seen people drink the last cup and then brew the next batch before going back to their desk. This not only tells me that people are really nice here (which is true and obvious), but also that we care for the ones that come after us. Someone I look up to once said, “You live the same way as you play”. I find that this same kind of care goes into our work and pipeline. But it’s not a competition, it’s about taking care of your fellow artists and friends, and here it is something that’s done almost as second nature.
And lunch breaks? Well, this is a little bit more personal for me. I have strange eating habits, get super hungry at odd hours, and eat more than once a day. In some places where your lunchtime is dictated, I am personally uncomfortable most of the day because I’m hungry. Here at Bardel, I can choose my times, and that not only makes me personally happier, but it shows me the maturity they expect of you as well as the maturity of the company itself. You are responsible to get your stuff done, and while there is a general rhythm to maintain, you can pretty much play to your own tune.
Working here has given me the opportunity to grow as an artist, a geek, and a problem solver in the midst of fellow artists and geeks and problem solvers. I don’t know what I’ll be doing 10 years from now, but I’m sure i’ll always look kindly to this stage in my life, that has been so productive and filled with tiny adventures, one shot at a time.
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