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Studio art senior Caleb Eason spending summer at Nickelodeon

Caleb Eason, rising studio art senior focusing on animation in the College of Liberal Arts, is living “every kid’s dream” this summer as an intern at Nickelodeon’s New York City office.

“I’ve always loved Nickelodeon. It’s a dream come true,” Eason said. “I watched SpongeBob and a lot of the classic programs, growing up. I’ve met the voice of SpongeBob, Tom Kenny, at an event during my freshman year. I also wrote letters to the studio at some point, and the guy that plays Plankton is also an artist, so he's sent me some pictures, drawings and stuff back, which was super cool.”

Eason taught himself animation, and since 2017, has created five animated shorts. In 2018, “Just Plane Dumb” was selected for The Walt Disney Family Museum’s International Teen Animation Festival. In 2021, his animated short “Para Las Cucarachas” won Best Picture at Auburn’s Indie Film Festival.

In addition to his animation work, Eason creates editorial cartoons for the Auburn Plainsman and serves as a student producer for Auburn University’s Office of Communications and Marketing.

In his role as a creative promotions animation intern at Nickelodeon, he creates marketing and social media materials and supports production assistants for animated programming. Eason said the internship combines his love of animation, marketing skills and desire to connect with the industry.

“What’s on pencil and paper is, obviously, a really good resume credit. I would love to work this job or in LA, in the studio,” Eason said. “There are so many cool networking opportunities for interns here, so I’m looking forward to taking that time to get to know people in the industry. I’m also starting some of my senior thesis animation early, and I would love to pitch that someday. A few people up here have seen some footage from that, so I’m just trying to use everything to my advantage right now.”

To cover the cost of housing in New York City, Eason applied for and was awarded an Internship Enrichment Scholarship. The scholarship, sponsored by the Office of Career Services in the College of Liberal Arts, provides up to $3,000 to CLA students who have secured an internship closely related to their career goals and who need financial support to complete it.

“I didn’t have to set up rent and utilities, the scholarship literally paid for all of that,” Eason said. “So, my housing up here is completely free, in terms of what I've spent out of pocket. It's freed me up to where my paycheck here is good enough to where I can support myself with food and a subway card, all of that. Honestly, it's so much freer when you're not having to worry about a rent check or something up here, where you can buy groceries and just support yourself. That was good to just get out of the way.”

For current or prospective Auburn Animation students, Eason recommends seeking hands-on opportunities outside of the classroom. He looks forward to seeing animation at Auburn – as well as high-impact learning experiences – grow as the program gains steam.

“What Auburn has now is so much better than what could have happened out of a program in its infancy, because there's so many schools that you go to for animation, and they have this big curriculum, but I would say Auburn is off to a pretty good start for just starting up,” Eason said. “You come out with some really good skills – we’re in this current state of growth because it’s at the beginning.”

For more information about Auburn Animation, visit here.

Tags: Art and Art History

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