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After gaining steam in France with his animation work there, Baptiste Lucas began freelancing for studios in the US. How did he find fame?

From Paris to Hollywood: A Spotlight on Animator Baptiste Lucas

Baptiste Lucas, best known for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (2015), Robotboy (2005), and Dawn of the Croods (2015), was born into a family of creatives in Paris, France. His father was a jazz musician, his mother a painter, and his grandfather a famous sculptor. It’s no surprise that Lucas would follow his family into a creative field like animation.

After graduating from Ecole Emile Cohl in Lyon, France, in 2003, Baptiste began his career in animation as a background artist for studios Xilam and Gaumont. Baptiste quickly advanced in his career, taking on lead positions on Robotboy (2005-2008) and SantApprentice (2006).

After gaining steam in France with his animation work there, Lucas began freelancing for studios in the US, including Disney, Netflix, and Nickelodeon. One show he co-created with Marion Billet and sold to Xilam, Paprika (2006), became a global success and is available on Netflix in select countries. Mouss and Boubidi won the Nickelodeon award and was bought by Gaumont. This success allowed Baptiste his first opportunity to sell his first show to Gaumont for broadcast on French TV.

After various successes and animated films, TV shows, and commercials, Baptiste Lucas was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Production Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production at the Annie Awards in 2016, sharing the nomination with the other artists on Dawn of the Croods (2015) for their work on the “Garden of Eaten” episode. This nomination gained him a lot of attention, leading him to freelancing for Disney Television Animation, Netflix, and Paramount Pictures.

As an Art Director, Baptiste plays a critical role in leading and inspiring various lead artists in Background, FX, and Characters. Baptiste Lucas believes in building teams with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and skills to create balance and bring fresh perspectives.

Baptiste has served as an Art Director for the animated series Incredible Ant (2020), bringing together artists and resources from around the world. He has worked as an Art director/ Production Designer for Dawn of the Croods (Dreamworks, 2015) and Alphanim (Mouss & Boubidi, 2006, also writing one episode).

Baptiste has emphasized the importance of maintaining a balance between staying open-minded to ever-evolving technology and trends while also preserving artistic integrity. Another problem to remember, according to Baptiste, is that in animation, you need to be open-minded but have the strength of will not to change your mind every minute. He warns that “artistically … the danger of always trying to be on trend is that the animation process takes a long time, and if you try to catch up, you’re never really going to be innovative.” This is true as technology has come far enough to allow practically anyone to create animation on their smartphone.

Baptiste has absolutely sought to teach young artists, sharing his experiences and insights. Lucas has conducted Masterclasses portfolio reviews and participated in panels. He values storytelling as the essential animation component and emphasizes finding the balance between showcasing team skills and remaining focused on the project’s needs.

Baptiste has always valued storytelling through animation. Earlier in his career, he co-authored the background on the TV series Commander Clark (2010) and co-authored Si C’était Moi (If it Was Me) with Marion Billet, a short TV show aired in 2011. Recently, Baptiste Lucas worked as one of the visual creators for the series Mr. Magoo (2019) for Dreamworks and Xilam, which can be watched on Prime and Paramount Plus.

Baptiste Lucas currently works as Art Director of Visual Development for Disney Television Animation in Los Angeles, California. Baptiste hasn’t lost sight of his beginnings and still frequently works as a background artist. You can watch his project, We Lost Our Human (2020), which he created before starting work at Disney, on Netflix.

About the Author

Lauren Barton is a film buff who loves watching animated series and movies, even without her kids.

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