James Heelis - Calarts fund

Hi! My name is Thomas James Heelis, but you can call me James! Thank you for visiting my go fund me page! 

Ever since I could pick up a pencil, I have been drawing and sketching, finding inspiration from the world around me. As I grew older and became more involved with activism, I realised that art and animation in particular was a fantastic way to spread a more positive, ideal vision of the world. Growing up and being that awkward art kid, I surrounded myself with other awkward and creative friends, many of which who I later found had Asperger and autism spectrum disorders. Being diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome myself, I feel that I am able to relate to those who are better able to express themselves through their art and creativity. I am currently producing a film that discusses tourette’s and asperger syndrome. Given that these conditions are misunderstood and misrepresented by the media and society in general, I feel there must be a voice to discuss these issues from our perspective. We are all human beings, and every person deserves a chance to give back to the world in their own unique way.



I have been accepted to my dream school, The California institute of the Arts, also known as Calarts.  Like most art schools, Calarts tuition is rather expensive (around 50,000 a year!!!), but I believe that my experiences there will allow me to grow my skills as an artist and produce films that discuss issues that matter. I am dedicated to my craft and my work has been recognized through the recipience of the Lillian Disney scholarship, and NBC Universal Tony Coehlo scholarship. There is no substitute for the man-hours, intense labor and personal sacrifices required to create animated films. I believe that art and animation are the best ways to connect to people on an emotional and personal level andwith your financial support, I will have the incredible opportunity to produce these works, and to follow my dreams as an animator.
Regardless of whether I attend Calarts or not, I still plan on producing animated films because I believe these stories are worth telling; With that said, your fianncial support will allow me to fund my education, connect with other talented animators and passionate film-makers, and make these personal and heartfelt films a reality.

Once again, my name is James, and my dream is to be an animator. Thank you for stopping by! Your support is greatly appreciated. Peace.


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Thomas James Heelis 
Orem, UT
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