The student news site of Clark Magnet High School

Urielle Corcuera

From Disney to Clark

New animation teacher comes in with an admirable background

After working in the animation industry for 30 years, animation teacher Joseph Orrantia took over for his good friend of 20 years, John Over, as a Tech Lit and Computer Animation teacher. Although Orrantia doesn’t have any teaching experience, he has loads of experience working in animation.

Over and Orrantia have a lot of history together, as Orrantia worked as Over’s storyboard artist for Clifford the Big Red Dog. When Over left Clark at the end of this past school year and return to working in the industry, he said that Orrantia would do amazing things in his place.

Although Orrantia is a new teacher, he is not new to the Clark campus and students, including Animation 3-4 student Ligiya Mamikonyan. “I remember when Mr. Over had him visit us last year and help us with our life drawings,” said Mamikonyan, a junior. “When I found out that he was going to be our teacher this year I was ecstatic. I’m really excited to see what he’s going to bring to the table this year.”

Orrantia said he admired the Clark atmosphere from his very first visit, and when he was offered a job he was more than happy about it. “I love how dedicated the students here are,” he said. He said that he appreciates the variety of classes that Clark offers, and he wishes that he had such opportunities when he was in high school.

Orrantia said that he knew he wanted to go into animation since he was in high school. “Back in 1988, 12 friends and I all started getting into animation right when we were in our teenage years all thanks to our amazing art teacher, and then we all ended up going to either California Institute of the Arts or Cal State Long Beach,” he said.

He said that his wife works for Disney and that he tries to get his kids into the habit of drawing as much as possible. His wife is now working the same position that he once did. He has a 12-year-old son and a ten-year-old daughter who enjoy creating art. “My son helps me build puppets and miniatures and my daughter does cartoons,” he said. “Every afternoon when I leave here, my kids get art lessons.”

Orrantia said that he basically turned his hobbies into his job. One thing, however, that he enjoys to do at home and that he’s only done professionally a few times is puppeteering and building miniatures. “I made miniatures for the first live action Scooby Doo movie,” he said.

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