About Nalena Kumar

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, I work on illustration, licensing, and animation projects in my San Diego-based studio.

Finding harmony between digital and handmade processes is where I find gratification. Understanding that every idea calls for a particular medium is important to me. I love incorporating new media and ways to push this in both personal and client work.

Flora, fauna, and surf culture are themes to which I continue to draw inspiration from. I like to explore them, unafraid to use both dark and light. 

As an animation director, I create bespoke animated content for brands and agencies. Guiding each project through from initial script, storyboard, post-production, and final animated video.

I am a first-generation American born to immigrant parents. My father was born in Puducherry, South India and my mother was born in Kiev, Ukraine. 

Growing up geographically in between, in Oregon, I was immersed in both Indian and Ukrainian culture at home. This has given me a unique perspective on culture, language, and outlooks on life. Though differences aren’t always easy for others to understand. I am proud to take inspiration from my roots and pleasure in teaching others about the world I see, know, and love. 

My world only continues to expand as I travel frequently. Visiting family in both India and across the globe, and exploring places that are unknown or unfamiliar.

BFA in Character Animation from CalArts, 2010

Sun Bum | Shadow Machine | Robot Chicken | Red Bull | Disney Consumer Products | Aetna | AIG | Capital One | Shilo | Yu+Co | Intel | ParkerWhite | Mode Adjust | MiresBall | Weber Shandwick | Emota | Masar Johnston | CG Creative