Steve Lambe, grew up in St. Lawrence on the Burin Peninsula doodling on the backs of his text books in high school and letting his imagination run wild.After graduating, like many other Newfoundland and Labrador students, he went on to Memorial University and started pursing a teaching degree. After all, it made quite perfect sense to follow in both of his parents' footsteps and enter the field of education.
Three years into his educational journey, however, he got word about a college in New Brunswick offering a design course and all of a sudden the passion exuberated from doodling in the backs of text books came alive again.
Fast forward a few years, several design jobs, a wife who hails from Little Bay Islands and a new baby later, and Steve Lambe is walking down the red carpet at the Daytime Emmy Awards in Los Angelas, California to deliver his speech and accept his award.
But obviously things didn't go as smoothly as that for the young artist. Steve bounced from job to job across the country and south of the border, working for various projects and television shows as a cartoonist and animator including a few years in Chicago where he had the opportunity to meet people who worked for studios like Warner Brothers.
It was there, one day, he finally got the call everyone hopes for - a job opening in California.
"Your goal is always to get to California, because that's where a lot of the best shows are produced," Steve says. When the opportunity arose, he says he jumped at the chance, and packed up to make the move west to Hollywood.
In time there, Steve once again had his hands in several projects for several different companies.
"Most of the work in California was for Nickelodeon," he said. The network which focuses much of its resources on animated series is among the leaders in the industry for producing products of the highest calibre possible.
During Mr. Lambe's time with the company, he worked on a series called "Fan boy and Chum Chum," in which he had a large hand in designing and developing the main characters. The series is created by Eric Robles and directed by Brian Sheesley and Jim Schumann. It premiered on November 6, 2009 on Nickelodeon and now appears in about 40 countries.
It was for "Fan boy and Chum Chum" his work was submitted to be considered for an Emmy Award.
"Every year work is submitted, but honestly, you never expect to hear anything from it," he said. With hundreds, if not thousands of works to be considered, the quality of submissions is incredibly high - only those that can be world recognized are attributed the honour of winning the golden statue.
After completing some more work on "Fan Boy and Chum Chum" and then moving on to a new series set for release later this fall from Nickelodeon based on the 2008 Dreamworks motion picture called "Kung Fu Panda", Steve and his family moved back to Canada to Ottawa so Steve could now work in the animation industry of his home country. All the while thinking very little about the submissions to the folks in charge of Emmy - until one day when an e-mail arrived that he didn't even believe at first.
"I got an e-mail from a guy who works on the show in California saying 'hey congratulations on the Emmy,'" he said. "At first I figured it was a joke and these guys were pulling a fast one on the Canadian guy - but I came to realize they were serious. I won."
The series, which was nominated for four Emmy's this year, walked away with three statues including Steve Lambe's award for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation."
"It's really a testament to the high quality of the show," said Steve.
As for what's next, as mentioned, Steve has now moved back to Canada and wants to work in the design industry north of the border. While he says there are some large differences in how things operate here from how they work in places like California, he says there's still something about working at 'home' that he enjoys.
"I would really like to develop something that's inspired by home and growing up here in Newfoundland," he says. "I've worked with artists who have used their life and background as inspiration for the work and I've thought 'wouldn't it be great if I could do that.'"
With ideas like that, who knows - there may be another Emmy in his future yet.