Chris Suave
Animation Director

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
I work in Animation. I have done so for over 30 years, working as an Animation Supervisor, Story Supervisor, Director, Development Artist and Designer. I have worked for Disney, Warner Bros, and Nickelodeon in the past, but I’m now at a boutique animation studio called Duncan Studio located in Pasadena.

How did you first become interested in art?
I was encouraged to explore art from a young age by my parents. My Dad played guitar when I was young, and I wanted to be like him, so I started to play as well. I started guitar lessons when I was nine years old, and I still play almost every day. Around that time my parents bought me a big, hardcover book of Disney art. I loved that book and would spend hours drawing the animated characters pictured in it. I think my parents recognized the focus and energy I had towards the drawing, and they always seemed pleased with the results. I enjoyed drawing, and my parents were very supportive. In high school they sent us on tours of local colleges. I was amazed to find that a college 30 minutes from my home (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada) offered a world renowned animation course. The rest, as they say, is history.

How does art enrich a community, and what are some ways people can engage with art in Burbank?
Anything and everything inspires me creatively. As an animator, you develop a knack for observing. You take note of the things you see, the behaviors and idiosyncrasies of the people you meet, the art you encounter all around, you collect it all in your creative memory. You then draw upon it and mix it with your own life experience when creating your art. Inspiration can come from anywhere (and sometimes without warning!) if you are open to it.

If you could share with our community one thing about art, what would it be?
Life without art is bleak and boring. Art enriches life. Art can sooth us in troubled times, it can motivate us to take a stand, it can say things that words cannot, it can inspire, give us joy, give us comfort, relive memories, and give us a sense of place and belonging. Art is expression, and art gives a community its soul. Fortunately in Burbank, there is plenty of art around. Take a walk, look at the buildings, the architecture, the design. Look at the public displays of art all around. There are also a handful of great little museums here in Burbank, art galleries as well.

One of the great things about art is that you don’t need to know anything about art in order to enjoy it. If you look at a painting, or a sculpture, or any kind of art and you like it, it’s good art. Open yourself to being inspired, or being “wowed,” or just enjoying a piece of art. It doesn’t matter if you know anything at all about it. Art is for everyone, and art is all around you. Go enjoy it!

To find out more about Chris and his work, visit his IMDB page here.