Behind the animated series we are subscribing to watch each day are hardworking illustrators and animators that have been perfecting every detail on sketches to full-blown animation. Surely, Thomasians aren’t left out in producing the greatest animators and artists in the world. From International artists like Ronaldo del Carmen of Disney Pixar, Armand Serrano of Walt Disney Animation and many more, we also have local animators in the Philippines that have been producing cartoon series we look forward to see each day at the same time and same channel.

From the Filipino industry that brought you cartoons like Daring Defenders, El Americano, Dayo, Blackjack, Nikte and Pepito, is Mr. Jerry Santiago, a committed Thomasian Animation Director based in the Philippines, who continuously illustrates and perfect minute details to bring to life these animated series.

Jerry Santiago, a Commercial Arts graduate of Batch 1988, aspired to become an illustrator for Komiks Magasin. When he was a kid, apart from being a local Komiks fan, he loved drawing and enjoyed reading and looking through comics. Inspired by his passion, he worked hard to become a Comics Illustrator.

Starting off as a shy probinsyano coming from a low class family, he had to face various people, culture, and environment in UST. In the process, as he starts to contribute pieces of his works in college’s exhibits, he gradually came out of his shell, started to bind with people from all walks of life to meet great friends, and broadened his boundary to continue cultivating his skills and become better. Truly, he is grateful and proud to be a Thomasian for his experiences in UST which taught him and placed him to where he is now.

Soon after graduation, he achieved what he wanted as a kid by becoming a comics illustrator at Graphics Art Service Inc. (GASI) in 1988. Here, he provided cover illustrations and four-page illustrations of short stories, novels, and series per day. After seven years of working in the company, he found himself doing the same thing day by day. So, he opted to look for other avenues and thought of entering the animation industry. Luckily, he was able to enter easily in his new found passion because of his wide experience and expertise in illustration.

From 1998-2000, he became the Assistant Animation Director of “Goofballs” and other shows at Southernlight Production. In 2001, he contributed freelance work as 2D Animator/Key Animator at Topdraw, Toon City, Philippine Animation Studio Inc., and Fil-Cartoons. Some of the notable childhood shows he participated in included Class of the Titans, Lilo and Stitch, Winnie the Pooh, My Dad is a Rock Star, Pigs Next Door, and Capertown Cops.

As he continued to hone his skills, he took a greater leap by becoming an Animation Director. Currently, he is the Animation Director of Cuttingedge Production in Makati where he handles Flash project short series, directs short 3D productions, and supervises numerous animations that involves designing and story boarding. In Cuttingedge, he was able to direct a Teaser entitled “Blackjack”, an iconic western comics that was brought to life in 3D animation. He was also able to supervise full-length digital animated film projects that were shown in Mexico and in the Philippines. Some of these animated films included Nikte, Pepito, El Americano, Dayo, and Daring Defenders. “Dayo” was the first digital animated film produced locally and an entry for MMFF shown last December 2008, while “Daring Defender” is another local content made in 3D that was shown in MOA Exploreum Science Center.

Apart from working as a full time Animation Director in Cuttingedge, he is also currently engaged in three part time and overseas works. First, he is a part-time animation instructor at iACADEMY where he teaches subjects such as Storyboard, Animation, 2D Effects, and FreeHand Drawing. He is also a part-time Animation Director at Curl Stone Entertainment in Jordan where he overseers development of scripts, storyboards, animatics, layout, and final output of production series. Lastly, he is working remotely as a Storyboard Artist at Bardel Entertainment working on Warner Bros’ animated shows. He also shared his art direction and storyboard in the animation sequence of the local movie “Bonifacio”, another MMFF entry shown last December 2014.

As an artist, he believes that there is no typical day as one does his thing. To add, “Your mind works all the time whenever, wherever you are- on the bed, in the shower room, on the road, and so on. You’re under all these when you are working in the creative industry. Schedule and deadlines will kill you, but it is up to you how you handle time.”

To all the younger Thomasians, Mr. Santiago urges them to “Keep what you have learned and seek more. It is always to your advantage to know more than the others. Be true to your craft and be the best that you can be. STRIVE TO ACHIEVE!”

(You may view more of his artworks at https://www.behance.net/JerrySantiago)

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