Interview with 'Hotel Transylvania 2' Visual Development Artist Aurora Jimenez

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The monsters of TRANSYLVANIA are back, and this time they venture out of their Transylvania castle to California. Visual Development Artist Aurora Jimenez was tasked with creating those new worlds foreign to the monsters for HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2.  The Spanish native tapped into her own life as an immigrant to design the look and feel of those new settings for the Adam Sandler movie.

Aurora Jimenez Hotel Transylvania 2 interviewAs the Visual Development Artist for Sony Pictures Animation, Jimenez tells CineMovie she designed the environments for HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2. You would think half the job was done because of the existing art work from the first animated film, but Jimenez tells us the team were given new objectives for repurposing the old designs. 

“Since the first one took place mostly in the castle, we had to take some of the old shots and repurpose them and change the function.”

Jimenez also created new backgrounds for scenes within the castle such as the dining room. For those designs, Jimenez referenced her recollection of European castles. Unfortunately for Jimenez she was not sent on a research trip like most animators. Companies like Disney and Pixar often send their artists to research trips for inspiration on their designs. “I would’ve loved that,” says the Madrid native.

However for the new world of humans the monsters encounter, Jimenez didn’t need a research trip. She experienced a similar adventure herself as a person in a strange land. The monsters of HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 leave the comforts of their castle into the world of humans in California. She could relate to the new adventure the characters are about to embark.   

“I had to apply my experience as an immigrant in the United States. How would the monsters see California for the first time?”

Jimenez adds that she had “so much fun” creating a world for the animated action to play out in.

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Aurora Jimenez has 14 years of experience under her belt with two of those in Hollywood. Her past projects include working on character designs for Electronic Arts’ (EA) "Sims Medieval" and '"Sims Medieval. Pirates & Nobles" while she also served as a props designer for Universal Pictures’ The Tale of Despereaux.

Aurora Jimenez has always been around creativity. Her parents owned a book store in Madrid, Spain hence she was constantly surrounded by comics and art supplies. After school, you’d find Jimenez reading and drawing characters. She looks back with fondness at those times.

“I knew then as a little girl that’s what I wanted to do as a career."

She hopes to translate her art into her own project and one day direct an animated feature. HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 is in theaters September 25.

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