Chicago-based Calabash Animation has added animator Jeff Mika to its full-time staff. Mika has been freelancing with Calabash since 2001.
“Jeff is an amazingly gifted animator, and he has a great understanding and appreciation for character and story-telling,” executive producer Sean Henry said. “He’s taken on key roles in many of our most challenging commercial projects, and we’re proud to welcome him to our full-time creative staff.”
A native Chicagoian, Mika graduated Columbia College, Chicago in 2000 with a degree in animation and began freelancing at Calabash Animation in May 2001, where he worked off and on for 12 years before joining the staff full-time.
Ironically, although he studied computer animation in college, it was his skills at hand-drawn 2D cel animation that made him an in-demand freelancer at Calabash.
“I was fortunate to join Calabash early in my career and work alongside Wayne Brejcha and Sean and really learn every aspect of the animation process, from early sketches through shadowing to main character development and final touch-ups,” said Mika. “There are things you can’t learn about how animation works on a professional level in school, and Calabash has been a great place for me to grow as an artist. This is a really fun place to work, and I look forward to contributing to Calabash’s great creative reputation for years to come.”