Op-Ed: Animator keeps his goal in sight of a studio 'on the Plaza' Special

Posted Jan 25, 2017 by Jonathan Farrell
When I talked with him during the second week of January of this New Year of 2017, animator and aspiring entrepreneur Carlos Gomez said he is doing more than just making note of his resolutions. He is taking charge of them.
As reported last in February of last year, Gomez talked to this reporter about his vision for an animation studio on the plaza. Despite the most obvious of obstacles like the cost of rent in such a chic location, Gomez has not lost sight.
"It is still my goal," he said. Only now, he has embarked on producing a comic strip. Gomez has teamed up with Vincent Pacheco, the local shoe-repair man in town who as it turns out is supplying material for the series called, "Saving Soles."
Gomez was most excited to talk about his visit to Southern California this past November to listen to animation veteran Floyd Norman. A documentary of his life is now on Netflix. I asked Gomez if Norman was in person as he appeared in the documentary film. "Oh yes! I was very excited and honored to be there... but I was a little disappointed that I was not able to meet him and speak to him personally afterwards. The man is a legend. He has worked on so many classic animated features. Not only for Disney but also at Hanna Barbara and other places."
Gomez was emphatic when he talked about Norman's work and how much it meant to him to be able to listen to the veteran animator speak about a career that spans over 60 years. "It was an inspiration," he said. "The man is amazing. I hope I can achieve a career in animation like that."
Floyd Norman this past Nov. 2016  speaking to a group of aspiring animators.
Floyd Norman this past Nov. 2016, speaking to a group of aspiring animators.
Carlos Gomez
Just before the holiday season, Gomez and I met for lunch. He had a little sketch pad in his pocket which he mentioned is always with him. "I keep this in my pocket or backpack at all times. Inspiration and ideas can happen anywhere at anytime. Sort of like a professional photographer, got to have the camera close by for those unique moments." This is part of what lead to his teaming up with the local shoe repairman Vinny.
"Most of the material you see on Carlos' web site for the comic series is really based upon interactions with customers. I had one just the other day," said Pacheco. "The customer wanted to use a credit card to purchase a pair of shoe laces that cost less than $4.00. Really! I then said to the customer, 'it would be better for me to just give you the laces, because it will cost me just to do the transaction.' Credit card companies charge the vendors too you know."
Pacheco always eager to help other businesses besides his own, is pleased with the series. So much so that he ordered a new set of business cards via Carlos Gomez Designs. The new business cards with a characterization of Pacheco and a pair of shoes, promote his business and the work of the local animator. It is a win, win situation. And, one that Pacheco hopes will help Gomez achieve that dream of having an animation studio on the plaza.
For more information about animator Carlos Gomez and his work, visit his web site, Carlos Gomez Creative Labs.