Back in high school, I went to a summer camp held at CalArts called CSSSA (now known as InnerSpark, which isn't any better a name than "California State Summer School for the Arts.") They offered all sorts of art programs, and I was part of the animation one.
For me and several others, it was like attending a reunion of family members you didn't know you had. Sharing such a niche interest with people was a wonderful experience, especially since we all were so equally passionate. Joe Pitt, who went on to work for Disney, traveled all the way from Atlanta and was overjoyed at meeting people just like him. We all inspired each other like crazy, it was a month of watching cartoons together and never putting down our sketch books.
Philip Vose was another extremely talented friend, who I've sadly lost touch with since those days. Thankfully, it looks like he's doing some amazing work, as shown in his beautiful short film "Umbrella."
I remember when I would flip through his sketch book I'd see detailed notes he'd written himself about how to improve his own drawings. I remember thinking he was being way too hard on himself, but it looks like it paid off in the end. I can't wait to see what he does next.