Joel Parod has worked as a professional artist in the animation industry on features, shorts, and commercials since 1996, designing and painting concept art, environments, characters, color keys and more. He specializes in illustrating the 2D or 3D character designs from the amazing character designers to flesh out the color and texture and visualize the ultimate look of the characters. He also paints color keys to determine the color, lighting and mood from shot to shot, which helps guide the artists in the lighting department to create the final color & lighting for the film.
As an illustration major at San Jose State University, Joel started painting freelance illustrations in oil paint for Interact Magazine (a Hewlett Packard trade magazine), West Magazine (San Jose Mercury News), St. Martin's Press and others. His illustrations won 2 student awards at the New York Society of Illustrators (1992, 1994) and was published in the LA Society of Illustrators (1995) and Spectrum 12 (2005).
His first taste of working in animation and painting on the computer came at The Learning Company in Fremont, CA, his first official job after graduation, where he worked in the art department doing everything from digital ink & paint to animation to design for educational software.
Circumstances greatly changed when Joel landed a spot in a once in a lifetime training program at Warner Brothers Feature Animation in 1996. He relocated southbound to Glendale, CA, to be trained with 11 other lucky people about the production of 2D animated feature films and the different animation departments by seasoned professionals. He was ultimately trained to be a traditional background painter with acrylic paint on illustration board and cells, resulting in his work on Quest for Camelot and The Iron Giant, as well as concept and development art for Osmosis Jones.
Joel began taking figure drawing and figure painting classes at the American Animation Institute, as well as storyboard and layout design, continuing with some of the same great instructors he had at Warner Brothers. He also refined his Photoshop skills while working for a variety of studios including Stan Lee Media, Warner Brothers Animation (Duck Dodgers), and WildBrain (The Ricky Gervais Show).
In 2002 he joined his animator/director wife, Claire Armstrong Parod, in the wild world of animated commercials where he worked in a variety of styles and roles as an art director, co-director, animator, editor, painter, or all of them combined for clients such as United Airlines, Microsoft, Charmin, CVS and more. Their commercials have won several awards including "Best Commercial" at the 2006 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards for Longford Homes, directed and animated by the duo. Joel also hand painted animation with oil paint on the 2004 Annie Award winning United Airlines commercial, The Interview.
From 2007 - 2014, Joel worked with many talented people on the Tinker Bell movie franchise where he specialized in painting visual development illustrations of the characters, as well as painting environments, color keys, props, and other illustrations. He also art directed some Tinker Bell: Great Fairy Rescue shorts and painted color keys for Planes II shorts. Known now for his character paintings, Joel went on to paint many of them at Original Force 3D Animation, as well as design and paint concept art, environments and more.
Back in action at Warner Brothers Feature Animation again, Joel is working as a Designer and Visual Development Artist on the upcoming 3D animated film, The Cat In The Hat. He had previously worked on SCOOB!: Holiday Haunt as Lead Vis Dev Artist. Unfortunately, the nearly completed movie was cancelled in the aftermath of the WB-Discovery merger. Prior to that he was on the crews of Space Jam: A New Legacy and the first SCOOB! animated movie where he again painted many characters and environments, painted concept art, designed a few things, and painted scores of color keys.
When inspiration strikes, Joel likes to explore in creative ways through photography, strumming and plucking away at the guitar, and painting his own concepts, landscapes and figures.