Lee says he’s happy to be joining the staff and is looking forward to “building a relationship within a team that results in better workflow while getting a chance to explore new techniques on future projects.”
New York and Toronto-based boutique studio Artjail is bolstering its creative team in anticipation of another busy year. Matt Greenwood has been named design creative director, with Jonathan Lee and Weichieh Yu coming onboard as CG leads. The three new hires will be based out of the New York studio but will pitch in on selected projects in Toronto. The hires were announced by Artjail’s managing director and EP, John Skeffington, and founder and creative director Steve Mottershead.
“We’ve always offered design services, but Matt is the first CD we’ve brought on to run the design team,” noted Skeffington. “He’s got a well-rounded skill set, a strong eye and great leadership abilities. We see him playing an important role in the future development and growth of the department.”
New CG leads, Lee and Yu, have worked on both staff and freelance roles for top animation and VFX houses. Collectively their resumes include stints with The Mill, Psyop, Framestore, Taylor James, Buck and Zoic. Lee has taught computer art at New York’s School of Visual Arts; Yu’s hire marks his return to Artjail, where he’s freelanced in the past.
“It was an easy decision adding Jonathan and Weichieh,” commented Arthail head of 3D Ross Denner. “Both have over 10 years’ experience at the industry’s top studios and have won multiple awards. They’re incredibly talented and accomplished artists/leads, but more importantly they come with personalities that complement Artjail’s culture. They add new dimensions and perspectives to our skill sets, not just in producing pixels but also mentoring, leading, and developing talent.”
Debbie Diamond Sarto is assistant news editor at Animation World Network.
“I was familiar with Matt’s work and reputation in the industry and was keen to loop him into our growing team,” shared Mottershead. “He’s one of those rare talents who’s not only an amazing artist, but an even better person. His calm demeanor and confident artistry put both the team and clients at ease, knowing that they’re in great hands. We’re extremely excited to grow our design department around such an amazing talent.”
“I’m honored to be named creative director for design and motion graphics,” shared Greenwood. “Their work is top notch, with a high level of precision and sophistication that shines through. I love the idea of helping develop and grow the motion design side of the studio, and I’m excited by the prospect of contributing to their amazing work.”
Yu says he’s eager to take on a heavier load as a staffer versus a freelancer. “It lets you take on greater responsibilities, and you can see things in a broader view,” he noted. “As an artist, I like the challenges it presents. I believe I’ll be able to express more of my creativity as part of a team here at Artjail. I’ll feel more at home.”
“What we are doing at Artjail is building a highly concentrated, supremely talented CG department that can flex with job demands and expand and contract when needed,” explained Denner. “The experience both Jonathan and Weichieh have fits perfectly into this philosophy. By working at the big companies, they’ve been exposed to a wide range of jobs of varying complexity and have held different roles within those teams. All this, combined with the existing senior staff at Artjail, will make this a very nimble and dynamic environment.”
“Having an artist of his caliber allows us to confidently go after more involved design work and lets us expand our creative capabilities,” added Skeffington.
“What makes Artjail unique and special is its people,” he added. “They make all the difference.”
Greenwood, who was most recently with Nice Shoes, has contributed to several key Artjail projects, including spots for Doritos, directed by Henry Schofield of Reset, and Peloton, directed by Los Perez through Caviar.