A Conversation with James Hulse

By | June 28, 2023

James HulseFrom student to adjunct professor at Daemen University. James Hulse graduated from the Animation Program in May 2022 and was standing at the front of the class just a few months later. James spoke to us about his role at Daemen… 

This time last year, you had just graduated from Daemen University. In September, you started as an adjunct professor in the Animation Department. Talk about the move from student to faculty and why you wanted to teach at your alma mater…

Moving from student to faculty has been a challenge, but one I’ve tried to embrace and excel at. It’s kind of funny because, if you had asked me two years ago, I never thought I’d be an instructor at all. But I knew this experience would be good for me. Building a resume, exploring the teaching field first hand, and just giving something new a try. Teaching for Daemen was just a perfect bonus because I can get the experience of teaching in a familiar environment… learning how to teach with advice from people who taught me for the past few years.

You recently won a Gold Telly Award for your senior film, Datenight. What was it like to find out you were taking home a gold statue?

It was an honor to bring a Gold Telly home… for myself, my family, for Daemen, fellow students, and faculty. Animation seniors work so hard on their films. You would see us almost living in the studio. It’s 12-16 hour days. Sometimes you try to push even further. I don’t know if I’m the only one, but I used to have dreams of figuring out key frames. It can take a lot out of you, so to be acknowledged in such a manner is really gratifying. 

This summer you’ll be teaching alongside Disney Animator and Associate Professor of Animation Mike Jones at Daemen’s Animation Academy. Can you tell us who the summer institute is geared towards and what attendees can expect?

The summer program is definitely geared towards rising high school juniors and seniors interested in animation. The more you draw, the more you animate, the better you’re going to get at it. You’ll walk away at the end of the weeklong session with a portfolio of your work that can be used for college applications and scholarships. There are two sessions and registration is still open for both.