Cal State Fullerton’s Pencil Mileage Club gave students the chance to hear from a professional storyboarder and CSUF alumni, Kris Wimberly, about his work and experience on Friday, Oct. 11.
The Pencil Mileage Club, established in 1996, is a group of animators, illustrators and visual art students who work together in pursuing their artistic passions at CSUF.
Rowan Smith, president of the club said, “We’re the biggest art club here on campus. We represent animators and illustrators and also just art enthusiasts —- anyone who’s interested.”
The club also helps students develop connections through drawing sessions, group projects and speaker events with professionals in their field.
“We bring industry professionals to come and share a little bit of their wisdom with us, and then we also do socials or chances for people to meet other artists here on campus, chances to let the art community grow here on campus at Fullerton,” Smith said.
The club harbors a diverse group of artists on campus and members say they take pride in that community’s representation within their organization.
“I feel like animators and illustrators don’t have a lot of representation here on campus, but there are a lot of us. When I say we’re the biggest art club here on campus, we have around 200 members, so we try to represent all of them,” Smith said.
Wimberly currently works for Disney Television Animation, but has worked for multiple other animation companies such as Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Frederator Studios.
Having worked in the business for 12 years, Wimberly has been involved in many shows including “Puppy Dog Pals,” “Spongebob Squarepants,” “Teen Titans Go!” and many more in addition to hosting the The Animation Network podcast.
“When I graduated from here, I was able to make it into the industry and have a really successful journey, so I came back to share some of my knowledge,” Wimberly said.
Students brushed up on their art skills while Wimberly reviewed his past work for some of the series mentioned earlier. From paper to digital platforms, there were no restrictions on the resources members could use to express their creativity.
Students also expressed their appreciation on a thank-you card to Wimberly, filling it with words and drawings showing their gratitude for his wisdom and advice to CSUF art students.
Entertainment art animation student, Glenn Childers, shared that even though he isn’t a member of the club, he enjoys how their events engage artists on campus and fosters communication among them.
“My personal favorite aspect about Pencil Mileage Club is their speaker events because they bring people from the actual industry, and they all have different individual insights that are really helpful and beneficial to art students,” said Childers.
Lynn Benner, an aspiring animator, also participated in the event for the chance to learn from an industry professional and have a fruitful discussion.
“It’s really interesting to have people in, and especially since he cut such a long part of the discussion for (questions), I think that’s a really good thing to have,” said Benner.
Wimberly spoke about his career and experiences and answered questions from students regarding his career, personal life and colleagues. While some of his responses earned a few laughs and nods of approval, other remarks sparked inspiration for the eager artists.
“There’s room in the industry for anyone who wants it badly enough,” Wimberly said. “It shows dedication that they’re here on a Friday night voluntarily and that bodes well for their careers.”