I had the great pleasure of working with James for several years at Blue Sky, and was impressed by his passion, artistry and talent for inspiring the people around him. He’s the best kind of animator; always creative and always willing to share. — Michael Thurmeier, Annie and Oscar nominated Director at Blue Sky Studios.
I cannot describe how much James influenced me as a filmmaker and as an artist. He is a natural teacher to many of us in this community and I am encouraged by his generosity to share his knowledge and philosophy of art and animation. — Dice Tsutsumi, Annie and Oscar nomimated Director, Co-founder of Tonko House.
As a professional animator it’s easy to just think about deadlines and quota, but I had the great fortune to sit next to James Chiang at work. He would peak over, drop these tidbits of knowledge and I found myself a student falling in love with animation all over again. A great teacher that comes along at the right time can be life changing. Thank you James for being that mentor for me. — Aaron Hartline (Supervising Animator); Lava , Inside Out, Monster University, Toy Story 3, Up, Cars 2, Horton Hears a Who, Ice Age 3, Robots.
James is a world class animator with a complete understanding of the theory and practice of the medium. — Alex Williams, Founder of Animation Apprentice & Buck’s University Animation.
I was thrilled to have James as my mentor. I wanted his strict, efficient, always spot-on and insightful feedback and I sure got it! James’ attention to detail and his clear way of explaining animation concepts pushed my work to another level. His personality, passion and attitude make him a really great teacher. I’d recommend him to anyone looking to become a better animator! — Thomas Grummt (Lead Animator); How to Train a Dragon 2 (Annie nomination), The Croods, Kung Fu Panda 2.
James Chiang was the most influential mentor I’ve had in animation. He pushed and inspired my work further than I thought was possible. He breaks down your shot to its fundamental errors while at the same time gets you excited about the possibilities. — Mariya Kalachova (Lead Animator); The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug , Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Hotel T 2, Jack The Giant Slayer.
I have a little database in the corner of my brain filled with James’ quotes and lessons. His guidance and encouragement helped me land my first feature animation job. James has been a great mentor to me not just in art, but also in life. — Geoff Hemphill (Animator); Free Birds, Pirates of the Caribbean, Rango, Transformers, Star Trek, Charlotte’s Web, Ice Age2, Robots.
If you’re looking for someone who will challenge you and really get to the heart of what you need to advance, James Chiang always delivers. He’s the teacher for the student who’s serious about learning animation. — David Humphreys (Animator); Alice Thru the Looking Glass, Pixels, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Ender’s Game, Escape From Planet Earth.
His teachings and him putting his neck out for me was what actually made me the animator I am today. I wouldn’t be where I am today without James. I mean it and I’ll never forget it. — Pete Paquette (Animator); Book of Life, Free Birds, Rio, Horton, IceAge2, Robots.
James is one of the best mentors out there. He’s a great source of techniques, tips and tricks that I still use when animating. When he was directing, people would always want to do their best and they improved immensely under his leadership. — Joseph Hollmark (Animator); Storks, Rio2, Angry Birds.