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Following Tragedy, Dancer Ursula Echeverria Boldly Embraced a New Career and Found Her Calling

Ursula Echeverria’s artistic journey involves a captivating narrative that straddles two different realms, graceful ballet performed onstage and the vibrant world of visual development. Her story is one of resilience, reinvention, and unwavering dedication to her craft.

Ursula’s connection with the world of art began at a remarkably young age. She was only eight years old when she took her first steps into the world of ballet, ultimately graduating from The National School of Dance of Guatemala. This marked the beginning of her professional journey as a ballet dancer.

Ursula graced the stage for five years as a corps ballet dancer with The National Ballet of Guatemala, captivating audiences with her extraordinary performances. It was during this period that tragedy struck, in the form of an injury that forced her to put her ballet career on hold.

Unable to walk for three months, Ursula embraced a life-altering decision: to fully devote herself to an artistic career in animation. Armed with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Graphic Design, the field closest to animation that was available in Guatemala, she juggled work and study in pursuit of her dream. Local jobs were poorly paid, and international opportunities remained elusive.

The injury that temporarily halted her ballet career became the catalyst for a courageous leap into animation. Ursula’s transition from ballet to animation was marked by determination and a commitment to growth.

To further her education and enter the animation industry, Ursula pursued studies at the prestigious California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in the United States, a bold move that required relocating her family to California in 2016.


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During her time at CalArts, Ursula’s commitment to her craft was unwavering. She embraced a wide range of educational opportunities, learning from renowned figures in the animation industry through on-site, online, national, and international courses.

In addition to her artistic pursuits, Ursula has is devoted to community service, serving as a scout for 20 years and contributing to the self-improvement of Guatemalan children through her work in the scouting movement.

Ursula’s career in animation has flourished, with roles as an Independent filmmaker specializing in storyboarding and location design. Her talents have been utilized by various organizations, including Awesome & Modest, Dolo Publications, School Kids Yoga, Perfect Combo Productions, and Tiny Viking Productions.

Ursula’s journey extends beyond borders; she embarked on a summer internship at Anima Estudios in Mexico, gaining international experience in the world of art and visual development.

Her educational journey includes earning a BFA in Character Animation from CalArts in 2020, supplemented by independent art courses from institutions such as CGMA, Schoolism, and CalArts.

Ursula’s dedication to her craft has been recognized through scholarships and honors, including the prestigious Cum Laude Graduation Honor from Universidad Galileo in Guatemala.

Her work in visual development stands out, reflecting a deep understanding of the art of storytelling through character design and backgrounds. She specializes in storyboarding, location design, and animation.

Ursula’s journey from ballet to visual development exemplifies the courage to embrace change and pursue one’s true calling. Her background in ballet has undoubtedly influenced her work as a visual development artist, infusing her creations with grace and fluidity.

Her transition from the world of dance to animation is a testament to the intersection of passion and profession. Ursula’s journey inspires others to follow their passions, dare to tread uncharted paths, and embrace change as a catalyst for personal and artistic growth.

In Ursula Echeverria’s story there is a remarkable fusion of artistry, perseverance, and the pursuit of one’s true calling. Her influence in the world of animation continues to shine brightly, inspiring people to follow their creative passions with unwavering dedication. Ursula's influence in the world of animation shines brighter with each stroke of her creative genius.



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The views, information, and opinions published in this magazine or our blog are the sole responsibility of our contributors or interview subjects. Heart of Hollywood Magazine is not liable for any statements made, or information provided, by its contributors or sources.

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