Mentor at Animation Mentor
Animator at DreamWorks Animation
Mike Stern was born in Bronx, NY and grew up on Long Aye-land. He is one out of four siblings born to a pediatric nurse and a rock n' roll drummer.
Mike was raised on healthy portions of loud music, cartoons, comic books and various toys and electronics. As a result Mike was naturally drawn to the arts.
Knowing that he could never fill his father's shoes as a rock musician, Mike chose to focus on visual arts. He went to Syracuse University to study illustration, and upon graduation, accepted a job as an art director in the advertising industry. During his time as an art director, Mike had the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects. Some of these projects involved some primitive animation in flash. Mike caught the animation bug and decided to leave advertising to pursue 3D animation full time. He enrolled in the digital imaging and design masters program at NYU and learned all about the technical side of 3D animation. During his final term he decided to specialize in character animation. As luck would have it there was new online animation school opening called Animation Mentor. Mike signed on and was part of the very first class.
During his schooling, Mike worked his way through various jobs in the animation industry. He started as a freelance 3D generalist working in commercials and then made his way into some game studios as a character animator. In the fall of 2006, Mike got the call to come down to DreamWorks in Glendale to crank out some cycle animation for Bee Movie. He jumped at the chance and has been with DreamWorks ever since. Some of his work can be seen in Bee Movie, Kung Fu Panda, Monsters Vs. Aliens and How to Train Your Dragon.
Mike also took an extensive festival run with his AnimationMentor short film Distraxion. The film has played in over 30 festivals and took home awards from 9 of them. It also has well over half a million hits on youTube. Yowsa!
Although Mike is still a New Yorker at heart he currently calls Los Angeles a home. In his free time he enjoys drawing, snowboarding, playing guitar and watching films and live music.