Author: Sean Ridgeway
On Nov 27th, 2D Animation & Digital Art Quarter 1 students and Animation for Game, Film & Visual Effects Quarter 1 students were exceedingly happy to have been visited by guest speaker Todd Ramsay, the main man behind local animation house Yeti Farm Creative.
Growing up in a family where creativity didn’t flourish wasn’t about to deter Todd Ramsay from pursuing his passion and being determined that he could make a living as someone who loves to draw cartoons all day.
Todd is the co-founder of Yeti Farm Creative (www. yetifarmcreative.com), a full-service 2D and CG privately held animation studio right here in Kelowna. Todd, along with his wife Ashley Ramsay, founded Yeti Farm in 2007 starting as a one-man operation in their basement. Today they employ more than 50 artists in an environment that’s fun, creative and pays you to sit and make cartoons all day.
Born and raised in Kelowna, Todd was bitten by the animation bug when he first saw Toy Story in 1995. That inspired him to attend an animation school in Vancouver and hopefully make a living in the industry.
Upon graduating, jobs didn’t come easy and Todd paid the rent by painting houses, all while continuing to hone his animation skills in hopes of kick-starting his animation career.
The landscape in the Canadian animation industry was changing with the introduction of Flash, a new software that let you do 2D animation on the computer, and the conversion to a digital pipeline meant keeping the work locally (the budget conscious model at the time was to have animation shipped overseas).
As it became cost effective for studios to keep the work in Canada, it resulted in more available animation jobs. Todd was determined to get in on the ground floor of this new ‘tra-digital’ pipeline model and tailored his portfolio work toward it.
As a result, Todd got his first big break in 2002 on a Warner Bros series ‘Mucha Lucha’.
This gave Todd the animation experience he craved and as he moved from project to project, animating on other hit shows ‘Yakkity Yak’ and ‘Rocket Monkeys’. He moved up the ladder, eventually landing the position of Animation Director at Studio B.
By 2007, now with a family to provide for, Todd made the decision to leave Vancouver and return to Kelowna where he could set up shop at home, work independently and pursue new dream ventures.
Todd is a big champion of CATO animation and is always willing to mentor and give young, talented artists an opportunity to pursue the same dreams he had and is now fulfilling.
Yeti Farm has provided animation services for studios such as Nelvana, Atomic Cartoons, Nickelodeon, Electronic Arts and Kickstart Entertainment. Shows they’ve worked on include Angry Birds animated shorts, Rocket Monkeys, Max and Ruby, Mysticons, Camp Lakebottom and the award-winning Beat Bugs.
They are currently developing new IP’s for both Broadcast and Digital delivery platforms. Given all this going on, we were doubly happy that Todd was able to make time in his busy schedule to come in to speak to Q1 animation students this term.
“Todd had a lot of illuminating things to say, and it was interesting to hear from someone who had really been through the animation wringer and not only survived, but had come up and created their own lucrative studio.” – Jarod Long/2D Animation student