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Page last updated at 12:03 GMT, Friday, 17 September 2010 13:03 UK
Bangor artist lands job with animation giants Pixar

A drawing by Matt Jones
Thanks to Matt for this exclusive drawing of himself leaving for the USA

Bangor artist Matt Jones has his bags packed for San Francisco and a job with animation film giant, Pixar.

After viewing his portfolio, the makers of Finding Nemo and The Incredibles invited Matt for an interview and then offered him a three-year contract.

"They haven't told me what I'll be working on - it's top secret," said the 34-year-old, a former student of the art foundation course at Bangor's Coleg Menai.

As a storyboard artist, Matt will be part of the team who first bring the animated film characters to life.

"We create the first visual version of the script, which takes about two years," he explained.

Matt Jones
Matt has been working on Aardman Animation's Arthur Christmas film

"They won't go ahead and produce the film until they've got the story right, so we'll be working closely with the director to crack the story and what all the characters look like."

Matt has already spent a year working with Aardman Animations, creators of Wallace and Gromit, on their 2011 film, Arthur Christmas.

And in a break between films this summer, Matt used his artistic skills to enter a competition to promote Norway as a tourist destination.

The Norway Your Way online campaign aimed to find the best creative talent in Europe to take a 10-day trip round the country, blogging as they went.

"I found out that in Norway they have a tradition of trolls, so I thought that'd be a great character to work with," said Matt.

Catherine Foster of Visit Norway UK said: "With his creative talent, sense of humour and excellent grasp of the spirit of Norway, Mr Jones was the perfect choice."

Troll Journey illustration by Matt Jones
Matt travelled round Norway with a group of artists

Matt was joined on his creative tour by a German singer, French musician, Italian video-maker and Russian animator.

"One day we went rafting, the next kayaking down a fjord and climbing a glacier - and trying to squeeze in some artwork in between," said Matt.

"I just sketched the scenery and the people we met. It's one of those countries I'd always wanted to see, but never thought I would."

But while Matt's work to promote Norway will be seen by thousands, his work for Pixar will be unseen.

"Our drawings are never seen because they're replaced by computer images," he explained.

"But we're always proud of the ideas that get through from the storyboard stage.

"It's often us who do the voices in the initial stages, and if you're good, some make it through to the final film.

"In Ratatouille, the human character's voice was one of the animators."

So maybe one day there'll be a cartoon with a Bangor accent.

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