Our Guest of Honor: Joaquin Baldwin
Gonna try everything... everything artistic that is!
Riddle me this, caped crusader: What do a poem about origami and the Disney blockbuster hit Zootopia have in common? Why, the esteemed Mister Joaquin Baldwin of course, this year's guest of honor at our cozy little convention.
Joaquin was born on February 21, 1983 in Asunción, Paraguay. His father was an artist and his mother an environmental activist - artistic talent and adventurous spirit obviously runs in the family. During his high school years, at the tender age of 15, he started to dabble in various graphics software like Bryce 3D and 3D FX as well as Paint Shop Pro. 3D or 2D, it didn't matter to young Joaquin. He checked out whatever he could get his hands upon and soon it was an all-out challenge between him and some class mates on who could produce the most uber-cool exploding letter and light effects in 3D Studio Max.
During this time, he started to work for Christian Chena and his magazine Hypermedia as a multi-media designer. This job got him into Flash animation as he created animated intros for the magazine's CDs. He continued to work for Mr. Chena and his company Chena Ventures Inc as a web designer until he moved to the US to study at the Columbus College of Art & Design in 2002.
Joaquin naturally went for advertising, web- and graphic design but soon found, he enjoyed the film and animation department more, especially the teamwork there. He did, what every strapping young lad at the age of 20 would do and changed his major in his second year as an undergraduate. And thus, the tracks leading to the stellar hit Zootopia were firmly set.
After completing his BFA at CCAD, he moved to Los Angeles and in 2010 received his MFA in animation at the UCLA Animation Work-shop, where he created Papiroflexia, an animated short themed after a poem about origami, he had written once (thought we'd forget about that, did you, dear reader). This short made it to the finals of the Festival de Cannes on the Short Film Corner Online Competition, judged by the National Film Board of Canada, in 2008. A year later he would go on to win at Cannes with his animated short “Sebastian's Voodoo“, a short film about a voodoo doll who has to fight to keep his friends from being pinned to death. These two shorts would continue to impress and earn him over 120 international awards.
Of course, Disney could not overlook such a talented fellow and hired him right after his graduation. Since then he has been working for Walt Disney Animation Studios as a layout artist and supervisor for feature animation on such hit films as Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, Big Hero 6, Moana and of course our favorite smash hit, Zootopia... gonna try everything nananaaaah.
But animation is not the only artistic venture Joaquin has chosen to explore. He's also an excellent photographer, mostly doing nature photography. His motives range from landscapes, to mammals and birds.
He also creates highly complex conceptual sculptures, using the latest 3D printing techniques and a variety of materials, such as porcelain, brass, nylon, and precious metals. – Holy multi-talent Bat-man!
You guys and gals should really check out his awesome stuff at www.joaquinbaldwin.com
Enjoy the con and give Joaquin a big round of applause!