Artist Spotlight w/ Meg Grube
Feb 21, 2023
First, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm a freelance 3D animator who has worked in animated features, VFX, games, commercials, and theme park attractions. I grew up watching animated movies and shows and cannot remember a time when I did not just absolutely love animation. It just feels like it's part of my DNA. I'm based out of the northeast United States and live with my husband, toddler, and rescue dog.
When I'm not animating I love spending time with my family, going for a run, and exploring new hiking trails.
The biggest lesson I've learned is that rough patches can be a good thing…
If I hadn't hit that bump in the road, I think I may have gotten complacent and not taken the time to push myself to get better, and I certainly wouldn't have been bold enough to enter freelance work.
Can you tell us about your experience and the role you are primarily filling?
I actually kicked off my career as a production assistant for DreamWorks Animation. I was able to work in almost every department, which gave me a sense of not only what every department does, but what every department needs from one another.
While I spent my days working as a PA, I spent my evenings taking classes at iAnimate. I eventually was able to put a reel together and get a job as a VFX animator. Even though I was initially worried that my time spent as a PA was going to be time I'd have to "make up" as an animator, it ended up being hugely beneficial.
I was able to bring over the organizational and time management skills I'd learned as a PA, as well as the awareness of what other departments need from animators in order to be successful, and overall I felt it made me a better coworker. After a few years in VFX, I briefly transitioned over to games before making my way back to VFX, and now most recently feature animation.
If you could speak directly to the resourcing gods and powers that be, what would be your ideal project?
If I was being really honest, I'd ask the resourcing gods to build an animation studio on the east coast :)
Beyond that, my ideal project would probably be more of an ideal team. Remote work can be a bit isolating, and I would love to work with a supportive animation team that both inspires me to push my work and make bold choices, and also gives me opportunities to give back and mentor junior artists.
Do you have any dream clients?
I'm always chasing character animation with opportunities for beautiful acting, so really any client who champions that.
There's been a lot of diverse, unique, and mature series and features being done in animation now, and I just want to work on all of them. I get major FOMO.
Beyond that, I like to work for clients who value their employees' time, their growth, and view their artists as individuals who all have something unique to contribute. Bonus points to a client who supports animators who are interested in stepping into leadership roles.
Lastly, do you have any memorable stories, life lessons, or tall tales you can share from your adventures as a freelancer?
The biggest lesson I've learned is that rough patches can be a good thing. For a time I was in a job that wasn't the right fit, I was struggling to find my footing as a new parent, and the pandemic had just started. I really thought that I'd made all the wrong decisions and that my career was over.
But it didn't feel right to quit, and I wanted to set a good example for my child, and I eventually was able to turn the career rockiness into motivation. I took a class, spent time adding new pieces to my portfolio, and eventually was able to get my goals back on track and have some of the most successful years of my career.
If I hadn't hit that bump in the road, I think I may have gotten complacent and not taken the time to push myself to get better, and I certainly wouldn't have been bold enough to enter freelance work. And ever since then, I've had a much different perspective on work.
I feel fortunate to get to do what I do, and the fact that I get to do it with some of the most talented, kind, and creative people in the world makes me feel unbelievably lucky.
profile on Rolo