Meet the Minds: 1st Year Student Leona Tates


"I don’t know what my artistic superpower is, but that is why I’m here at Exceptional Minds to help me find it." 

- Leona Tates, Rising Second Year Student

Right before Covid-19, we had a chance to sit down with a number of students and artists at Exceptional Minds to talk about their backgrounds and their hopes and dreams. This first interview is with full-time Exceptional Minds student Leona who thus far has a strong interest in animation and shares a few of her Disney and Cartoon Network favorites.

Hi, my name is Leona Tates and I am a first-year student at Exceptional Minds. 

EM: What were you doing before Exceptional Minds?

LT: Before I came to Exceptional Minds, I was a volunteer at the Hunter House Victorian Museum. 

EM: What has surprised you the most about Exceptional Minds? 

LT: My biggest surprise about Exceptional Minds was, meeting industry professionals and having them as my teachers. 

EM: Since starting at Exceptional Minds...

LT: Since I have been here, I was recognized for the student showcase. I won "Best of" for Intro to Animation and Intro to Photoshop. 

EM: What’s your favorite thing about Exceptional Minds? 

LT: The best thing about Exceptional Minds is the people. They’re amazing artists, they’re fun people to be around, and they are very understanding.

EM: Do you have an animation role model?

LT: My role model in animation is Craig McCracken. He is the creator of The Powerpuff Girls, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, and Wander Over Yonder. 



Exceptional Minds is a professional training academy and working studio for young adults on the autism spectrum. We are a 501(3)(c) nonprofit organization based out of Los Angeles, CA that specializes in training young adults with autism spectrum disorder for meaningful careers in post-production and digital animation. Subscribe to our Newsletter here.

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