Alumni Spotlight: Trevor Reece

When we were children, we had crazy dreams of what we wanted to become. Some of us wanted to be rock stars or movie stars or even the president. Whatever our dreams were, we pretty much all aimed to be the top person in that specific career. Our parents told us to “shoot for the stars,” in support of our dreams, knowing that most of us would fall short of our original, uninhibited goals. Trevor Reece, however, just made a giant step in fulfilling a childhood dream of his own.

Trevor Reece, a Sonoma State University alumni and writer for The Press Democrat newspaper’s comics blog “Four Colors,” has just been chosen to create a two-minute animated short for Nickelodeon called "Cupcakery of Doom." His pitch was chosen from over 100 different ideas that were presented at the first ever open-call at Comic-Con in San Diego this past spring. Reece credits a lot of his success to his family. 

“I have a really fun family that likes telling jokes and making each other laugh. That’s always been a thing with us, and I wanted to apply it to my life. I feel very lucky and fortunate that my family has been so supportive,” said Reece.

Reece, who studied history at Sonoma State University, has been drawing versions of the characters in his new short, since he was 5 or 6 years old, and has been working on the idea of “Cupcakery for Doom” since 2011, while writing for the Sonoma State STAR.

“Sonoma State was instrumental in the story of where I am today. I wouldn’t even be drawing if I hadn’t gone to SSU and joined the STAR,” Reece said. “The short that I am doing was a story I originally wrote while still a student at Sonoma in 2011. I spent a few long nights in the 24-Hour Lab editing and creating the storybook version of the story that I ended up using for my pitch to Nick.”

His desire to make people laugh and passion were definitely the elements that made his pitch stand out from the rest.  

“We loved Trevor’s clever angle and adorable characters, but overall, Cupcakery just made us laugh,” said Jenna Boyd, Senior Vice President, Animation Development, Nickelodeon, in the press release for Cupcakery. “Trevor is a life-long Nick fan who told us he actually sent in a story idea to our very own Stick Stickly when he was a kid back in the 90s.”

In the 90s, Reece was inspired by the shows on Nickelodeon.  For about the last 20 years he has been coming up with ideas of comics and cartoons, and now those ideas are going to be showcased for an entire new generation to be inspired by.

“One joke I have made during this experience is that I kind of need to find a new life goal. I have wanted to do this since I was a kid, so it obviously means a lot to have an opportunity like this,” Reece said.

His excitement about the future of  "Cupcakery" is becoming too much for him to control based off of his recent tweets, which read, “I AM GOING TO HAVE A CARTOON!” and “This is beyond ridiculous that this is happening! Thank you @NickelodeonTV.”

Although Reece is making his childhood dreams come true, it was not an overnight success.  Ever since his time at Sonoma State University, he has been creating and working with comics regularly. First he drew comics for the STAR, which is where he credits most of his success. After Sonoma State, he went on to get an internship with The Press Democrat and then he landed his current job creating the comics blog for The Press Democrat. His recent success has been years in the making, but is definitely well deserved.

If Reece’s story does anything, it inspires the students here at Sonoma State. It shows that people’s crazy, outrageous dreams can be achieved with hard work and determination. Doing what you love and what makes you happy is the most important aspect in finding success.  Shoot for the stars and work to become a rock star, a movie star or the president that you’ve always wanted to be. Who knows, maybe your dreams aren’t so crazy after all.