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@School: Robert Paul Jr.

April 27, 2009 — Robert Paul Jr.'s calling as an animator came early in life: At just 3 years old he was drawing cartoons in the pages of a book during church service, and in elementary school he broadened his artistic horizons by painting vivid pictures of animals.
As his talent grew, his teachers began pushing him toward a career in the arts. Paul took the suggestions to heart. Now a senior at Antilles School, 19-year-old Paul has set his sights on the Savannah College of Arts and Design, where he plans to work toward becoming an animator for Pixar. His interest in cartoons and how they're made serves as the inspiration behind the career choice, Paul says.
"I started drawing because of my fascination with cartoons," he explains. "I never watched them just for fun — I always concentrated instead on how they were made and observed the movement and expressions to master feeling and personality."
As an artist, Paul says he also takes inspiration from his environment and his experiences with friends and family.
Paul's signature creation is Munk Munk, a wisecracking monkey that Paul says symbolizes his "sarcastic wilder side." In other drawings, Munk Munk's sidekicks take on the various personae of Paul's friends — both the good and bad parts.
"I like opposite types of people — my friends, they bring out the best in me," Paul says.
While growing up, Paul — who describes his younger self as "chubby and not very athletic" — also used drawing as a form of expression. But his creativity took a backseat in middle and high school once Paul became a student-athlete.
"I became obsessed with sports and working out," Paul says. "This began to overshadow my artistic talent."
With Antilles School art teacher — and renowned local artist — Karen Bertrand on his side, Paul began to draw again.
"I showed her some of my character designs and she was amazed," Paul says. "I had not taken art since ninth grade, but she was willing to help me expand on my talent. She recommended that I take studio art in my senior year."
Then, in late September 2008, tragedy struck. While playing in a football game on St. Croix, Paul dislocated his knee, tearing three ligaments.
"After this injury, I realized that drawing was my talent and that I never should have abandoned it," Paul says. "My art teacher, Karen Bertrand, suggested that I tell stories with my cartoons, and that's what pushed me to start cartooning."
While in college, Paul hopes to jump start his career with an internship at Pixar.
"I've always watched the Pixar movies," he says. "I like the way the writers and animators express themselves with what they do. Those are the kind of films I want to work with."
Paul's talents also include poetry, including the one below, which describes his evolution as an artist:
Creations
By Robert Paul Jr.
I started out a mellow child,
With imagination that went wild.
I thought of one, I thought of two,
I thought of images, and then I drew.
Creations, cartoons with boyish delight,
The love and passion won the fight.
I gave new life to characters drawn,
Like days did come from dusk to dawn.
One day I know my art will show,
Images that make minds grow.

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April 27, 2009 -- Robert Paul Jr.'s calling as an animator came early in life: At just 3 years old he was drawing cartoons in the pages of a book during church service, and in elementary school he broadened his artistic horizons by painting vivid pictures of animals.
As his talent grew, his teachers began pushing him toward a career in the arts. Paul took the suggestions to heart. Now a senior at Antilles School, 19-year-old Paul has set his sights on the Savannah College of Arts and Design, where he plans to work toward becoming an animator for Pixar. His interest in cartoons and how they're made serves as the inspiration behind the career choice, Paul says.
"I started drawing because of my fascination with cartoons," he explains. "I never watched them just for fun -- I always concentrated instead on how they were made and observed the movement and expressions to master feeling and personality."
As an artist, Paul says he also takes inspiration from his environment and his experiences with friends and family.
Paul's signature creation is Munk Munk, a wisecracking monkey that Paul says symbolizes his "sarcastic wilder side." In other drawings, Munk Munk's sidekicks take on the various personae of Paul's friends -- both the good and bad parts.
"I like opposite types of people -- my friends, they bring out the best in me," Paul says.
While growing up, Paul -- who describes his younger self as "chubby and not very athletic" -- also used drawing as a form of expression. But his creativity took a backseat in middle and high school once Paul became a student-athlete.
"I became obsessed with sports and working out," Paul says. "This began to overshadow my artistic talent."
With Antilles School art teacher -- and renowned local artist -- Karen Bertrand on his side, Paul began to draw again.
"I showed her some of my character designs and she was amazed," Paul says. "I had not taken art since ninth grade, but she was willing to help me expand on my talent. She recommended that I take studio art in my senior year."
Then, in late September 2008, tragedy struck. While playing in a football game on St. Croix, Paul dislocated his knee, tearing three ligaments.
"After this injury, I realized that drawing was my talent and that I never should have abandoned it," Paul says. "My art teacher, Karen Bertrand, suggested that I tell stories with my cartoons, and that's what pushed me to start cartooning."
While in college, Paul hopes to jump start his career with an internship at Pixar.
"I've always watched the Pixar movies," he says. "I like the way the writers and animators express themselves with what they do. Those are the kind of films I want to work with."
Paul's talents also include poetry, including the one below, which describes his evolution as an artist:
Creations
By Robert Paul Jr.
I started out a mellow child,
With imagination that went wild.
I thought of one, I thought of two,
I thought of images, and then I drew.
Creations, cartoons with boyish delight,
The love and passion won the fight.
I gave new life to characters drawn,
Like days did come from dusk to dawn.
One day I know my art will show,
Images that make minds grow.

Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.