Hammond comic book artist making it big in animation industry

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - From comic book heroes to anime moon princesses, it’s easy to see from his Instagram page, Jake Wyatt’s got some powers of his own. Marvel, DC, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon -- his work has been featured in popular comics and T-V shows.

And now, he’s the Creative Director for Moonbot Studios in Shreveport.

His love for art started many moons ago, in a galaxy far far away...just kidding! But it did begin at a young age, in his hometown of Hammond.

“There was just art everywhere when I was growing up. And then I had nerdy aunts and uncles that would give me their comic book issues when they were done," said Wyatt. “I would reread them and reread them and wear the covers off of them.”

And reading comics turned into drawing comics.

“I didn’t have paint at the house, I didn’t have pastels. I had pencils and pens. So that was an easy art to duplicate and to work towards," said Wyatt.

After high school, he moved nearly 2,000 miles away from home and went to Brigham Young University in Utah, earning a bachelor's degree in animation.

“It was like Hogwarts man. Finally had people to teach me thing I wanted to do my whole life and now they were showing me how," said Wyatt.

He graduated then took a job in Virginia, illustrating textbooks for kids during the day. He worked on his own ideas at night.

But after a couple years, he decided it was time to move on.

“I kind of out grew the job and went to L.A. to try to make it. And I didn’t have prospects or a job or anything. I just went to Los Angeles and said I’m going to work in animation now. I’m ready.”

He changed the location on his blog to L.A. and got a message:

“'I’m a director at Nickelodeon, I direct on Ninja Turtles. I’d like you to work on the show.' And, at first, I thought that I was getting pranked by my friends, because that’s just not a legit way to get in touch with someone – right?” said Wyatt.

But it was legit.

And that’s how Jake got his first animation job. And many jobs – and accolades – came soon after, including a Hugo Award for his work on a Ms. Marvel comic.

He landed at Moonbot Studios, a little over a year ago, and has already completed huge projects, including this Olympic Gatorade Sponsored short on Usain Bolt.

“It’s the highest profile thing I think I have worked on, I think it has 13 million views on Youtube," said Wyatt.

He says he’s happy to back in his home state of Louisiana doing what he loves.

“By day, right, I’m mild-mannered creative director Jake Wyatt. And at night I go home and I write and draw just a bunch of weird comics. I love both those things and I am really lucky that I get to do them both.”

Kind of like Peter Parker – without the Spidey powers – but a pen.