By NICK YAMASHITA
Local kids got their first lessons in the art of animation and anime from a real expert last week through a program at the Moapa Valley Public Library branch.
Animation and anime artist Carl Nieto visited Old Logandale School on Wednesday, July 14 to give some instruction in Anime Your Way, a detailed step-by-step drawing program developed over 10 years by the former artist for the animated television program. The Simpsons, Carlos Nieto III.
Almost 20 youth from elementary school to high school attended the workshop which was sponsored by the Clark Country Library District.
Nieto taught children to draw anime characters using simple, basic shapes.
“It was a wonderful opportunity for these young people,” said Aimee Potts, from the Moapa Valley Art Guild who was in attendance. “Slightly older young people love animation and animation literature and videos, which gives them a great opportunity to learn from someone who has done it and has seen their work showcased in Hollywood and in entertainment. “
Nieto accompanied the youth step by step by drawing characters. He started with the head, the face and even went into facial expressions. The young people loved it and many were silent as they focused on creating their own anime characters.
After the scheduled hour had passed, the youngsters were so enthralled by the special guest that the parents ended up waiting an extra half hour for their children who all had questions for Nieto.
“It was awesome,” said Judge Rowley, a participant. “I’ve been drawing since I was 4 or 5 years old. It was great to meet him (Nieto).”
Nieto said he was delighted to be here. Born of Colombian roots, he grew up in Los Angeles, California. It was here that he entered the Hispanic culture and heritage that influenced his work.
Nieto is mainly self-taught. He did the layout for The Simpsons and King of the Hill. He has also worked as a consultant to Disney and Universal for illustrations for sets and more.
“I’m currently working for myself and trying to get things done on a new app that will help people access my website and draw,” Nieto said. “It will be similar to apps like DrawShow and ibisPaint, but it will really highlight the simplicity of the Anime your Way program and hopefully help young people find their creative side.”
Nieto is also writing a graphic novel, which will highlight his Hispanic roots and culture.
“Like the Japanese paranormal and historical references in the anime, I’m trying to highlight the supernatural, Hispanic culture and history in my new graphic novel,” Nieto said.
Nieto will continuously develop the Anime Your Way program and expects many new and interesting works of art and comic book style cartoons to come out in the future.
“I will never completely withdraw from this,” he said. “This is something I will do until I die.”
You can follow Nieto in his animation activities and program at www.animeyourway.org.