By ALANA RAYMAN
Max the Mutt College of Animation, Art and Design on Danforth Avenue was founded by Toronto artists and animators in 1996 and moved to the Danforth five years ago.
Courses are taught mostly by industry professionals and offer a variety of specialized diploma programs that give students the competitive edge employers such as Pixar and Warner Brothers Games are looking for.
The four-year animation diploma offered by the college is one of the most popular options. The program allows students to work on drawing, cartooning, 2D and 3D animation.
The college also offers two other diploma programs: Illustration & Storytelling for Sequential Arts (comic books and graphic novels), and Concept Art & Video Games. Both are the only in-depth programs of their kind in Canada.
Max the Mutt also offers workshops for people who want to hone their skills and explore a career in art or to help build their portfolio.
Maxine Schacker is the co-director at the college. “We are a close knit community and classes are very specialized and small. Almost all of the teachers are working industry professionals,” she said. “They like teaching here because of the intimacy and the motivation and passion of from students.”
Potential students have to meet eligibility requirements, said Schacker.
“Every applicant is interviewed either in person or virtually. We are looking for passion, work ethic, and potential, as well as a sense of community. These professions require teamwork. The first year of every program includes foundation courses in traditional representational art skills. The programs are designed so that for each class students have already learned the basic skills they’ll need to succeed in the next level.”
Max the Mutt produces graduates who are job-ready.
“We’re not interested in people that are just looking to get a first job, we’re interested in people who want careers,” explained Schacker.
“A successful graduate from our college is Aaron Long who was recently a featured speaker at TAFFI. He’s been in L. A. (Los Angeles) ever since he graduated, working for ShadowMachine, and is considered one of the best talents of his generation. He is best known as a director of Bojack Horsemen (Netflix).”
Max the Mutt also welcomes international students and offers a lot of support from the application process through skype interviews to finding housing if accepted.
When asked what makes this college stand apart from other animation/art schools or public colleges she said, “This is a community. We have the desire to be the best we can be and that includes both committed instructors and students. For instructors, teaching here is a way to pass on their skills and they know that their input and suggestions for changes will be respected.”
Max the Mutt College of Animation, Art and Design is located at 2944 Danforth Ave., just west of Victoria Park Avenue. For more information, please visit www.maxthemutt.com