The trainees had a vast variety of backgrounds and aged from 19 years all the way to the late 30s. We had nationals from Abu Dhabi, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Yemeni, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany Libiya, Africa, Sudan, Jordan and India going through the animation programme. None of them short of a trememdous amount of talent, passion and dedication to create something very special together. The creative vibe and athmopshere in the academy has always drawn people from all walks and sparked a strong sense of astonishment and curiosity for what we are up to.
After my departure in 2015 I stayed in touch with the developments in Abu Dhabi and worked remotely as the Creative Head Consultant for Abu Dhabi Media (ADM) / Majid TV. I am still engaging graduates and artists from the region in international projects when opportunities arise. I also temporarily worked remotely with Cartoon Network Arabia Studios as Story-Artist on "Mansour" (see episode above) and as a consultant for Cartoon Network Dubai on their training initiatives.
Futhermore I have initiated the successful connection and collaboration of the Mansour production with an Asian outsource studio to produce the animation content and CG assets for Season 5 there.
We practised an open door mentality and we were always happy to share our passion and vision with anybody that is excited about animation and creativity in general. My five years at the academy and the people I have worked and created with will always stay dear to my heart and I am grateful for this experience.
The journey of establishing and operating the Cartoon Network Animation Academy stays one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things I have done until today.