Jabril Mack, it's a pleasure to meet you! Please share with audiences what a typical day of an award-winning animator looks like.
I spend a lot of time drawing! Whether I'm sketching out a new story or designing a new funny Holiday character, I'm always trying to find ways to make my work fun and inviting. Animation takes a long time so I like to really plan my stuff out and make sure I love it before any real work begins.
You've captured the limelight of network executives from Disney and Nickelodeon thanks to your creation of "The Weeklings".
Where does the premise of "The Weeklings" emanate from? What were your initial thoughts before launching your first episode on Youtube, TikTok and Instagram? Did you have any expectations when you clicked 'send' to upload your first Youtube video?
The Weeklings is a broad comedy series about these crazy characters but at its core, the show is about friendship. Even though they all have very different personalities and points of view, these 7 Days are best friends who have each other's backs through anything. This relationship is based on a lot of the friends I had in college. In my freshman year dorm floor, there were a bunch of different people from all over the country who were forced to interact with one another every day! Throughout the school year, we all collectively built a strong bond. I wanted to share that magical quality of friendship with the world! When we first finished the first episode, I was SO NERVOUS that people wouldn't get what I was trying to say but luckily it all worked out.
The Youtube comment section can be the worst place ever. It's always scary putting your soul out there for people to comment on publicly! I get fan mail and fan art sent to me daily. Kids from all over the world have fallen in love with the Weeklings. I couldn't be more grateful. I would've never imagined the impact my cartoons would have on the audience.
There are seven characters representing each day of the week. Which character resonates with your personality and how so?
If you had to add an eighth day to the week, what would you name that character? What personality and emotions would that character exhibit?
All the characters are different parts of myself. While I do the voice for Tuesday and appreciate his focus and smarts, I like to think I'm as cool and likable as Friday! As anyone who actually knows me and they would probably disagree with that assessment, hahah, but a guy can dream right? I think If i were to add another day to the calendar I'd add Blunday! It would just be an extra day on the weekend! Weekends are too short!
While creating your weekly series, did you intend to accommodate any vacuum that exists within the entertainment and animation market space? How did you rationalize your work was distinct enough to attract loyal audience members?
What do "The Weeklings" deliver that some shows lack in today's cartoon space?
When it comes to Youtube, there isn't that much on there that is impressive. I knew if I created something that looked like an actual TV show on Youtube, it would catch people's attention. Diversity is so important for audiences as well and I feel like people want to see themselves represented, having holidays that are the cornerstone of cultures from all around the globe, helps us stand out too. From a storytelling standpoint, right as I was ending college I knew I had a distinct point of view and style that wasn't quite like what I was seeing. Once I realized that I just decided to jump in and see if people would like it.
Did you pitch the idea of "The Weeklings" before a talent agent or a network prior to taking control of your destiny? When did you decide to manifest your artistic blessing on your own?
I don't think I formally pitched it before making it myself. I've never been the type of person to ask for permission. I just decided to do it. We live in the best era to be an animator. We have the tools to make animation easier than ever before, we have the platforms to get our work in front of an audience without the studio gatekeepers as well! Artists 10-20 years ago would dream of being in a situation like we are in today. I couldn't squander that privilege. Anyone can make anything now, there is no excuse.
What advice do you have for creative minds that are seeking their big break? Is there such a thing as a 'big break' in today's world of globalization?
Try your best to create your own luck! Make stuff. Tell stories. Share your work. Everyone's entry into the industry is different so don't compare yourself to others. It doesn't matter where you are from, where you go to school, etc. just work on being the best artist you can and your big break will happen, eventually. Try everything and never give up.
You host a respectable presence on social media including Instagram where your mom is featured among your social adventures. What has your mom taught you about life, work and love?
I'm a total mama's boy! My parents are great and have always supported me in my ambitions! I'm not sure where I would be right now if they weren't such great parents. The major lesson my mom has taught me about life is the power of love. I've been on this earth for 27 consecutive years and every single day my mom has shown me pure love. When I grew up and left the house, I quickly realized how much of a blessing that is. That love has empowered me to create and share my voice in all aspects of life. More specifically, my mom also raised us on a healthy diet, she has been teaching my sisters and I the value of taking care of your body. Drawing, as much as I do, used to be no problem but as I get older I can feel it slowly starting to take a toll. Luckily, I already had the foundations of self-care instill. So transitioning into a healthier way of living and working was easier.
While growing up, which cartoons and role models were you a fan of? Are there any characters or personalities that you find to be timeless and funny?
I watched a lot of SpongeBob and the Simpsons growing up. Those shows are classics because those characters are so strong. We know Homer, Bart and Spongebob as if they were our best friends. Those are the kind of characters audiences want to see. I strive to create characters that you want to invite into your home every day to have out with and laugh with. I looked up to Genndy Taratovsky, the creator of Dexter's Lab, Samurai Jack and the Hotel Transylvania movies. He's one of the greatest filmmakers of all time and doesn't get the credit he deserves.
"The Weeklings" is also a collaboration with other artists. What are the qualities you seek in talents wanting to collaborate with you?
I like to work with people that like to work with people. The animation is one of the most collaborative art forms. Learning the Art of Collaboration is essential. You can't be afraid to speak up, pitch ideas, add on to something someone else created and work as a team!
Please share with audiences how they can support your work.
Youtube: The Weeklings