Testimonials from Industry Professionals:
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.
“Anonymous” Testimonials from students at the acclaimed on-line Animation School, Animation Mentor:
Absolutely brilliant mind. Very organized. Got through a ton of information each week. Very professional, tough but fair.
James has a particular method of teaching in the Q&A, with live illustrations and schematics on syncsketch that is tremendously efficient. He doesn’t only speak to us about the technical aspect of the thing, but also about the spirit and discipline required to really understand the art of animation, in a clear and wise way, like the philosophy of some martial art. We learn to raise the bar with our standards, and along the road, there’s real progress happening and you can feel it.
James conducts his wisdom in such an entertaining and informative way that makes you learn so much just in one class! He has an illuminating way of guiding you to train your focus to notice more things as you work, especially when tackling “stumbling blocks” and improving your skills as an animator. It is a joy to work with him!
James is able to delivery very complex notions through fast and easy examples, also very understandable to non-native English speakers too.
James has been a great mentor this term. He is patient with us and honest in his critiques. I really enjoy listening to his interesting stories during the Q&As. He also offers thoughtful advice on how to live a fulfilling life as an artist and reminds us to enjoy the learning process. He is someone I really look up to and I hope to live my life by his example. Overall I am very grateful that I had the experience to be his student this term.
Awesome, will take him again as soon as he is available.
James Chiang is a really great mentor ! A lot of knowledge in all categories. We can also sense a big and strong body mechanic. You don’t want to mess this with him or you’ll be thrown to the ground ! But that’s the part of a great class, and to greatly improve forward your animation. This guy knows what he’s talking about, so be sure to follow!
I rate him a solid 5 out of 5.