In a March 8, 2006 USA Today interview, Pixar’s John Lasseter explained his passion for animation: “Animation is the only thing I ever wanted to do in my whole life," he said. Christopher Kier Wilcots can identify with that life-long passion. Born on May 30, 1984, Wilcots knew by the age of two that the word “animator” defined him. “My family recalls that when I first heard the word on a Disney documentary,” he explains, “ I said, ‘Oh, so THAT’S what I am.” From that point on, Wilcots has dedicated himself to the study of the craft.
Growing up as “the class artist,” Wilcots drew comics of his friends, having taught himself to draw the industry’s biggest characters from memory, including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Huey and Riley Freeman of “The Boondocks.” In high school, he discovered Japanese animation or “Anime.” This new genre was rapidly increasing in popularity, and it wasn’t long before Wilcots had adapted techniques from the land of the rising sun into his own style, carefully studying the artwork of anime greats, Eiichiro Oda and Osamu Tezuka, the creators of “One Piece” and “Astro Boy” respectively.
Wilcots attended the Savannah College of Art and Design where he learned from lectures by animation legend Richard Williams, “Simpsons” writer Mike Reiff, and several Pixar artists. His primary professor was Phil Young, animator for several Disney’s major features, including The Fox and the Hound, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King.
Wilcots culminated his academic career by studying animation in Tokyo, Japan. He graduated from SCAD in 2006, joining the ranks of celebrated alumni, including Grammy winner India.Arie, graphic artist Jefferson Wood, Pulitzer prize winner Matt Davies, and (most importantly to Wilcots) a number of concept artists and animators who have gone on to work at places like Pixar, Disney animation studios, LucasFilm, Industrial Light and Magic, and Cartoon Network. Currently, Wilcots undertakes freelance projects as he anticipates his big break in the world of professional animation.