Animation Guild

Fall 2018

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12 KEYFRAME T H E C L I M B LILA MARTINEZ IS HAPPILY EMPLOYED AS A STORYBOARD REVISIONIST AT AMERICAN DAD. BUT THE MEXICO CITY NATIVE STILL WAKES UP EVERY MORNING AND PRACTICES HER SKILLS FOR AN HOUR OR TWO BEFORE COMMUTING TO THE SERIES' OFFICES. HER VISA TO WORK IN THE U.S. IS TIED TO HER JOB, SO SHE NEEDS TO STAY EXTRA COMPETITIVE. "Every day, I practice my life drawing. I do something to keep improving, to not get stuck, because any show will get canceled, and any movie's going to wrap up, and I need to be ready for another studio to hire me," she says. Indeed part of her success might be attributed to this industrious work ethic along with a single-minded determination to pursue her dreams. At the age of nine while watching a Tex Avery cartoon she decided she wanted to go into animation. For many children growing up in Mexico becoming an animator would be an elusive dream, especially in a country without an established animation industry or a path to study the craft. But Martinez chased it anyway, undeterred by obstacles. It took a degree in a different field (graphic design), a detour modeling for Corona, two stints studying in Canada, and even starting her own company to carve a path leading to Los Angeles. "In the beginning my father told me it was a career not meant for Mexicans, that it was only for Americans and that there was no market in Mexico City," she says. She went to a local university in Mexico City to study graphic design and applied to an animation program in Canada after she finished her degree. ARTIST WITHOUT BORDERS Photo by Tim Sullens

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