By Ivan Mejia.
Los Angeles, Jun 2 (EFE).- Edwin Aguilar entertained himself by sketching cartoons during his childhood in El Salvador, and after emigrating to the United States he developed that talent to a degree that he eventually became assistant director of animation for the popular television series "The Simpsons."
"When I was in El Salvador, I liked going to get the newspaper, and once I got it, I'd always look for the Periquita and Condorito comic strips so I could copy them," the animation expert told Efe.
"My passion for drawing kept growing," said the assistant director of Starz Media, who in 1982 crossed the border between Mexico and the United States without papers, together with one of his brothers, to rejoin their family in Los Angeles.
The 42-year-old Aguilar was born in the municipality of El Carao in San Miguel province, and thanks to a scholarship he studied illustration at the Art Center of Design in Pasadena, California, and animation at the Bridges Visual Institute in Santa Monica.
He started out as an animation assistant at Graz Entertainment when it was producing "Transformers" and "GI Joe," went on to work with Hanna-Barbera when it was creating episodes of "The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show," after which he joined Chuck Jones, creator of cartoon characters and animated shorts like "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" for Warner Brothers.
"In my first lunch with Chuck Jones I told him that as a kid in El Salvador I drew pictures of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, showing them inside the bottle tops of the soda-pop bottles I collected," Aguilar said, recalling that the story got a laugh from the legendary artist who passed away in 2002.
In 1998, the Fox channel launched "The Simpsons," created by Matt Groening, and Aguilar contacted some friends on the animation team to say he wanted to take the test of drawing the characters.
"Drawing the Simpsons isn't easy," Aguilar said, but thanks to his talent he landed a contract to draw Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie and all members of the Simpson family.
Aguilar is currently production director of a team of 80 artists, including seven Hispanics, who breathe life into the Simpson family that lives in a fictional town called Springfield.