We had the good fortune of connecting with Conrad Schmidt and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Conrad, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Hmm, what came first, the passion or skill? When I was two years of age, my mother took me with her to a drawing class. Her charcoal sketches are excellent. I also remember seeing life-like sculptures gathering dust in the closet. She never perused art as a career but is distinctly creative. When it came time for presents, art supplies were always the go-to. So, I guess it was an early path. That, and I could draw better than my second-grade teacher. That’s what the other kids would say anyway. I suppose if I made them laugh instead, I might have pursued a career as a comedian. When I was five years old, turning the pages on one of mothers giant sketchpads, I asked her, ‘mom, you are a great artist, why aren’t you famous? She replied with a smile, ‘because I had you.’ So, perhaps I feel a sense of duty to succeed as an artist. She also encouraged a sense of humor. At some point, having a creative profession became an overwhelming need. I love the people I work with, the growing challenge, and the potential of pursuing a creative career.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I began my career as an animator and storyboard artist. Working through a show with a team of artists is a bonding experience. About seven years ago, I transitioned to a Designer role at DreamWorks. It is a great place to work, and I am constantly growing as a designer. I do have a side hustle to nurture when between productions. I make games. I have self-published three video games and am currently launching my first boardgame ‘Portal Block,’ which you can check out here: www.portalblock.com @portalblock. Testing has been so much fun. Also, I love working with my hands and getting away from the computer screen.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I like playing tourist when friends visit. My go-to is Venice, the Observatory, Universal Studios, 3rd Street promenade, Central Market, Tar Pits. There are many great hikes in LA, to my surprise, and so many great restaurants. Check out Korea Town for eats.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My amazing girlfriend and dogs inspire and give me purpose. They help provide a balance to my otherwise creatively obsessed existence. Other artists are a source of inspiration. It could be a colleague, a random creative sharing their work and process. A wall of graffiti might stop me in my tracks. If something is truly unique and built with passion – I connect emotionally with the work. It’s not just the art. I am empathetic to the journey. With only so much time, what we choose to do with that time is a gift to ourselves and others.

Website: www.trepidfilms.com

Instagram: @portalblock.com

Linkedin: Conrad Schmidt

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