Animation Alumni Visit Campus to Inspire Students



Southern Adventist University students in the School of Visual Art and Design listened intently as 2020 alumni Angelia Butts and Chris Cartwright shared about the importance of asking questions to improve one’s skills in the workplace. In Disney’s recent film Wish, Butts worked on the effects animation, Cartwright worked on the character effects, and 2019 graduate Hannah Leung, who was not able to make it to the Q&A on November 28, worked as a story artist.

In a classroom packed with curious students and staff, Butts and Cartwright shared about their experience working on the film and the specific animation processes they used. In addition to breaking down the process behind some of their recent work, the artists answered questions about the work cycle, networking, and goal setting in college.

“It was really encouraging to see that other animators from Southern were able to achieve positions at one of the biggest and most highly esteemed companies,” said Shelby Brautigan, a sophomore animation major, “It helped to show that, with some hard work, our own hopes and dreams are not so far-fetched.”

Both graduates emphasized the importance of getting a foot in the door after graduation. Cartwright talked about the value of making connections with working alumni and finding mentorship. Butts was a part of Disney’s training program and was able to make the transition to working on the feature.

Before joining Disney Feature Animation, Butts delivered the visual effects for All the Wrong Ingredients, a feature film produced by Southern Adventist University’s School of Visual Art and Design. Cartwright worked in the early development of the upcoming David movie before joining Disney for several features, and is now working on a faith-based feature currently in development. Animation professor Zack Gray spoke highly of the graduates, who “each demonstrate Southern’s values in the workplace and provide current students with a shining example of how to succeed after graduation.”

The views and opinions of campus guests do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Southern Adventist University. An individual's or group's invitation to speak or present on campus should not be regarded as a university endorsement of their philosophies and beliefs.