There are a bajillion different goat paths into the scented uplands of the animation business, but veteran background artist Bob Schaefer's entryway was probably unique ...
Find all TAG Interviews on the TAG website at this link
Bob was a young man with a sign company in Bakersfield, California, gifted with a steady hand and a keen eye. Also a knack for pinstriping, sign painting, and applying gold leaf to windows.
He was making an okay living at his trade, but thought he should stretch for something more. And lo, a friend who worked at a cartoon studio in distant Hollywood called to say that the studio was in need of a title painter, and fast. So Bob loaded into his sign truck and drove to Southern California.
Over a long and hectic weekend Bob turned out a lot of title art for Hanna-Barbera. On Sunday, Bill Hanna came in and looked at what he was doing, liked what he saw, and offered Mr. Schaefer a longer term job on the spot.
For the next four-plus decades, Mr. Schaefer was seldom out of work, moving from titles to background work within a few years. Bob credits his success to hard work and a natural gift for painting all manner of surfaces, first evidenced while he was a teenager in Bakersfield.