Elijah Character Design by Gavin Ball

I'll try to keep this as short as possible, but I have a tendency to write a lot once I get going!

I started drawing at a very early age, as do most children...I just could never put the pencil down. All through school I either frustrated or entertained my teachers (or both) with the doodles that filled the margins of my tests, assignments and day planner. I took a short break from drawing (outside of doodling during classes) in my high school years because I fell in love with basketball. Like many kids, I had dreams to play in the NBA. Long story short, that didn't happen and at 21 I decided to take something seriously, and I decided it would be art.
I went to study animation at Seneca College in Toronto and that's where things really started happening for me. I had a lot of great classmates and teachers who helped instill in me a tremendous passion for art. Especially my life drawing teacher Werner Zimmerman who pushed me to become better than I thought I could become. Coming out of school I was able to intern with a great mentor in Bobby Chui, another Toronto artist who is now doing great things with Imaginism Studios.
Working with Bobby was a great experience for me because it taught me that you could make a living as an artist without working for someone (not that there is anything wrong with working for someone...I just didn't think it was possible).
After working with Bobby at Imaginism for a summer, I ventured out on my own trying to make it as an artist. What happened next, I didn't expect at all...I struggled big time. It was a pretty low point for me because I couldn't get any opportunities anywhere. It was a very humbling experience, but a good one. I learned how to work hard in that time and how to focus on the positive things in life. Fortunately, it didn't last for too too long. I got an opportunity out west at Rainmaker Animation in Vancouver about nine months later. That was turned out to be better than I could have ever imagined.
During the time when I was struggling, I just kept working hard and trying to improve as much as I could. So as soon as I got the job at Rainmaker, I brought that same mentality...to work hard to improve and focus on positives. Since I was out in BC by my self and my wife to be was back in Toronto, I decided, I would just put my head down and work as hard as I possibly could. So that's exactly what I did...Just about every day after work I stayed late and practiced. Pretty soon I started to see an improvement and my work was starting to get recognized by my supervisors.
This led to some opportunities for me to do some work with Stan Lee on one project and another for Rainmaker's Reboot series which they are ressurecting. Most importantly, while I was out in Vancouver, I found God. But it seemed a lot more like he found me!
Just to let you know...up until that point, a lot of things in my life were leading me into a life of faith...but for whatever reason I always put it off. You see, growing up I didn't always put my drawing abilities to the best use. I did a lot of lewd drawings that would make my friends and classmates laugh. I basically would have drawn just about anything if it would make some one laugh...no matter how crude or lewd. It was something I was pretty notorious for in high school and college...Not surprisingly, many times in the past I did work that I didn't necessarily feel good about or agree with solely for the money.
Thankfully, I've since dedicated my life to God and to using the gifts He gave me for His purposes. I realized that by working on something you are automatically co-signing it by helping to bring it to life. Now, through prayer I must find peace with whatever I'm working on before I do it.

I currently live in Toronto with my beautiful wife Emily and I work with a talented group of artists in Full Circle CS making media infused with Christian values.

God bless,

Gavin Ball