Maritza Louis, a member of the Syilx/ Secwépemc Nations from the Okanagan/ Shuswap regions of BC, Canada, and is a Visual Development Modeler/ Concept Sculptor with over 18 years of experience in Feature Animation, Game, VFX and Cinematics. Her affinity for the visual medium and character development has driven her pursuit of new methods of technical expression within the CG industry. Maritza’s portfolio of work includes contributions to titles like Grand Theft Auto V, Sausage Party, Spiderman: Homecoming, Ghostbusters, and DC League Of Super-Pets.
Maritza celebrated a team win in 2018 with an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film for Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse. The work she completed for the film utilised ground-breaking technology, with multiple animation styles employed in one narrative.
Maritza’s path to success involved overcoming many personal challenges, and she faced both racial and gender discrimination many times during her career. Adding to this, she saw that narratives told through mainstream animation were missing her people’s stories and often excluded characters that looked like her.
As a result of these experiences, Maritza is a strong advocate for mentorship in the industry, particularly from mentors that share similar cultural backgrounds as their mentees. She believes that animation, like all visual media, has the power to influence and change peoples’ attitudes. She is addressing the need for more diversity and inclusion in animation by being the creator of her own projects, while giving back to her indigenous community.
Maritza supports indigenous and BIPOC artists in animation through her volunteer work as a mentor for Rise Up Animation. She is also an active member of Women In Animation and part of the Collective Bunch Society, a Vancouver-based collective of BIPOC professionals for hire in the film and creative industry.
Recently she spoke as a panelist for Reelworld Film Festival / Reelworld Screen Institute: IBPOC Below the Line: Getting In, Moving Up, Discovering Pathways into Creative Support Careers; Thunder InDIGIFest 2021 – the Indigenous Digital Multimedia Festival – presenting on jobs in animation; and Animation & VFX Alliance of BC’s D&I Committee panel series: The Effects of Cultural Displacement.
Maritza is the author of her own narrative and pushes for her own continued learning and for more indigenous representation in animation, while helping those that want to do the same.