Tell us about yourself Peter; where are you from and how old were you when you discovered that you wanted to be a Modeler?
I was born in Hollywood California, but I mostly grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. I guess I was pretty young, maybe 4 or 5 when I first got the bug to make monsters, but of course it wasn't until many years later that I was able to decide to do it for a living. By "modeler" I suspect you mean sculptor, because that was my first aim, to sculpt in clay to create creatures and characters.
Could you tell us what your very first attempt at Modeling was like? What did you create?
I'm pretty sure my attempts go back to preschool days. But I was obsessed with Godzilla and was constantly trying to make that character. It wasn't until my teen years though that I really focused on sculpture. I wasn't totally sure where it would take me, or how I was going to get into the movie business, but I knew that I loved to do it.
Are you formally trained or are you self-taught?
Self taught for the most part, but I was always looking for information in movie magazines and whatever books existed on the subject, which weren't many. Most of my "training" came from books on anatomy, animals and nature and books about other artists. It wasn't easy having the strange interests that I did where I grew up. I certainly didn't know anyone else who wanted to do what I wanted to, and there weren't any galleries or museums anywhere nearby where I could see real art in person.
Do you think that artists with a formal education in animation or Modeling have an advantage over self-taught artists?
You know, I think it all comes down to the person. I suppose I could have benefited from formal art school training, but in the end I think I was driven enough to find my own way. For animation, it's hard to say. I review a large number of animator demos and I have to say that school or no school, most of the tapes are pretty lousy. One out of a hundred is decent, no joke. I tend to think that you're either born with the talent or you're not. People with minimal talent can be coached into being somewhat competent, but they can't hold a candle to folks that just have it in their blood. I can only say that because I've been doing this stuff long enough and have seen enough of it first hand, though of course you'll come across exceptions. But until you try and work hard at it, you just don't know if you got "it" or not.
For more details : Product Sales Video. Microsoft