JJ Villard graduated from California Institute of the Arts (also known as CalArts) with a degree in Character Animation. Over a three-year period, the artist was the winner of top prizes for international collegiate animation at North America’s most prestigious animation festival in Ottawa, Canada. Close to his graduation from CalArts, Villard’s unique film work garnered other honors including being a finalist for the top student animation prizes at the Cannes Film Festival and the Student Academy Awards.

Villard’s unique artistry did not go unnoticed. DreamWorks Animation hired Villard as a storyboard and visual development artist, and over a four-year period, he worked on such feature films as Shrek 3, Shrek 4, Monsters and Aliens and Mr. Peabody and Sherman.  Villard’s artwork and animated short films have been shown in museums in the United States and abroad. These arts institutions include New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei; the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Museum of Modern Art in Croatia, and Los Angeles’ REDCAT.

Villard’s creative work has been featured in articles in The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times. In her 2006 article, “Cal Arts: The School with Antz in its Square Pants,” New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis described one of Villard’s short films as having “a rough-hewn beauty and direct narrative attack that recall RAW magazine.” (read the full article here).

In a 2003 article for The Los Angeles Times, Dargis wrote that “his 11-minute short, Son of Satan – an adaptation of a story by LA’s wino poet laureate, Charles Bukowski – Villard deploys a jagged, expressive style that recalls cartoonists Gary Panter and Lynda Barry and yet is wholly original. It’s a must-see.” In the pages of The Los Angeles Times, art critic Leah Ollman also offered a thought-provoking review of Villard’s solo 2005 show at Cirrus Gallery (Which can be seen here).

Artwork from Villard’s animated short Son of Satan graces the cover of Chris Robinson’s 2006 book Unsung Heroes in Animation and his artwork appears in Dark Horse Books’ 2008 book Scrambled Ink.

Villard is currently working on numerous projects at Adult Swim/ Cartoon Network. Adventurous viewers can check out Villard’s wonderfully weird menagerie of artful images at www.jjvillard.com, www.facebook.com/jjvillard, or find him on twitter using the twitter name “JJVillard”

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