Christopher Mark "Chris" Battle is a concept artist and character designer who has worked on Dexter's Laboratory and several other Cartoon Network shows as well as outside cartoon shows and films. He considers himself to be CN's to-go-guy for robot designs and is responsible for making some of the more notable robots in Dexter's Lab.
Animation Insider Interview
- What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
- Without a doubt, my 7-year stretch at Hanna-Barbera/Cartoon Network, where I worked on DEXTER’S LABORATORY, POWERPUFF GIRLS, and SAMURAI JACK. Truly amazing shows that I’m personally very proud to have been a part of, working alongside some of the greatest talent this industry has to offer.
- How did you become interested in animation?
- I was lucky enough to grow up during the 80’s, which was a perfect storm of kid pop culture: The best of the old (Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera, Classic Disney, Marvel & DC comics) and the best of the new (Star Wars, Muppets, Nintendo, Robotech, etc). You can’t help but come out of that creative stew with a head full of cartoons and desire to be part of it!
- Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
- I was born and raised in Santa Monica, California– A definite advantage, ’cause growing up in Los Angeles surrounded by the film & television business, one’s dreams of working in cartoons/illustration aren’t as a silly fantasy, but as a valid career choice. During the 1990’s there was a boom in animation, and most studios were very open to trying out inexperienced yet capable talent. By keeping in touch with a single yet important contact I had in the industry and putting my work out there, I was able to fill a job slot when one became available.
- Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
- 1) It may sound cliché, but you should just draw like crazy. Draw plenty from real life. Study from everyone and everything that’s come before you. Draw what you love, but also make sure you draw what’s most difficult for you– push yourself to grow outside of your comfort zone. Always keep growing as an artist; Always keep moving forward creatively.
- 2) Keep your digital skills up to date– Photoshop is as essential as paper and pencil these days; Illustrator’s a close second. A Cintiq is a must– But if it’s too pricey for you, a Wacom tablet will do.
- 3) Get your work out there… You HAVE to maintain a web presence these days, be it on your own website, a free blog or portfolio site like Deviant Art/Flickr, or your own YouTube channel. Make it easy for industry people to find your work.