Faktorovich: What kind of work did you do at Disney? You mentioned during our chat at ALA that you started in illustration when a friend told you that because you are such a quick animator, you could make a lot of money in illustration. Can you give an example of the timeline for one of the projects you did for Disney or another company you animated for, with details on how long each image, or set of images took? What are the daily tasks you had to complete as a professional animator? How are they different for an illustrator?
Adams: I participated in the WDW College Program Internship, MGM Studios Food Service, Professional Lifeguard for both waterparks and resorts, which ranged from lifeguard, health club, to caricature artist. In every WDW position, I continued to submit portfolios to the Disney Animation Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida until the studio closed. At that point, I gave up my animation dream for the reality of a house and family in Florida. I drew ridiculously fast and was referred by a coworker, Ronnie Mesa, to a publisher in Tavares, Florida. I illustrated two children’s books within 45 days. The publisher said, “You’ll make a lot of money in this business, if you keep illustrating at this speed.” A second of animation is composed of 12-24 drawings. Most animators create hundreds of drawings a day. The standard children’s book has 32 full page illustrations, which is less than a day’s work for an animator. The $500 the publisher paid me in 1997 wasn’t going to help me quit my day job.