We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex Ferreira Simoes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alex, how do you think about risk?
Throughout my career, I had to make many decisions that involved a lot of risks. When I started learning animation in Brazil, the industry was really small and we didn’t have any good schools for the subject at that time, but I kept pursuing it on my own until I started studying at Animation Mentor, without good knowledge of English, I took the risk of leaving my day job in Brazil to study full time. After that I had a pretty good and stable job in Vancouver, Canada at Bardel Entertainment, I was very comfortable with the work and life in general, but I wanted to push myself, so, even being an international in Canada, I decided to take a temporary 3 months job in Montreal risking the stability of having a job in Canada for a 3 month contract that I thought would be better for my growth, which it ended up giving me the right experience I needed.
My carreer was shaped with a lot of risky decisions that ended up bringing me the most successful path and that’s what I try to explore with my students, taking risks but understanding the reason you’re taking that decision and accepting the outcome of it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a character animator currently working with Gameplay Animation for the Champions Team on the League of Legends game at Riot Games, and before that, I have worked with Featured Film, TV Ads, TV Series and Short films paying all the varies roles from Animator to Lead Animator to Supervisor and Animation Director. With all that said I think that’s what stands out on my profile, all the variety of industries and variety of roles I played, understanding the needs of every different one of them. But it was definitely not easy to achieve all of that and I still feel like I’m learning every day, both on my craft and new subjects, and I think I was able to succeed only because I didn’t give up and, the main lesson I always want to emphasize, is to have a clear idea and direction of what I’m doing and why. all the risks and rewards and what’s the best plan to achieve that. But of course, things don’t happen in a day or two, it’s always good to have small goals to keep you on track to the bigger dream you have. I’ve always been passionate about teaching and mentoring so I decided to have my own mentorship and Patreon page, where I can share my knowledge, it’s being an immense pleasure to see my mentees learning and applying all this learn on their craft, and, having better opportunities because of my mentorship. That’s the most rewarding feeling I could have.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Definitely the beaches, I love going to Santa Monica / Manhattan Beach for a walk or playing some volleyball. Grab some authentic and delicious Mexican Food anywhere in LA. If you want to have a nice chef dinner I would recommend Nobu Malibu with amazing views and an experience of a menu, go for the Omakase special. And to finish the night and grab some drinks I would recommend the 71above in DTLA. Don’t forget to stop by in the afternoon for some shopping in one of the malls around the area. If you’re not really into beaches, we can still go to a hike with spectacular views in Malibu 😉
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give a big thank you to all my friends, especially the many friends at Bardel Entertainment, helping me push myself to be a better self, the supervisors at Dreamworks Animation who shaped my growing skills at an unbelievable level in such a short amount time, Riot Games to trust me on the position I’m at right now, my students for taking all my advice in consideration and appreciating my thoughts. All my friends that kept supporting me during this journey always telling me good things to push me forward and, most importantly, my family that is always together with me, supporting all the risky decisions, even if they think it’s crazy, they still support me!
Dreamworks Animation, Riot Games, Sony Pictures