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simon otto animating how to train your dragon

by Roman Balzan

Chief Marketing Officer at Alpian

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How does a dedicated investment of time, effort, ink and imagination turn a dream into an Oscar-winning reality?

Born in Switzerland, Simon Otto dreamt of becoming an animator from a young age. His laser focus on his passion led him to pursue an art degree at F&F Zurich, followed by animation training at the Gobelins Animation School in Paris, an internship at Walt Disney Feature Animation and finally his first job at DreamWorks Animation in Los Angeles in 1997.
He went on to work as an animator on popular works such as The Prince of Egypt and was nominated for an Oscar for his work as Head of Character Animation on DreamWork’s How to Train Your Dragon trilogy.
We spoke to him about investing in your dreams, taking risks, which role money should play in a fulfilled life, and more.


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About the author

Roman holds a Master’s degree in economics from the University of St. Gallen HSG. He is an experienced brand- & marketing strategist and defines himself as a “crazy-creative-thinker”. He started his career at the ‘IFJ Institute for Young Entrepreneurs / Venturelab.ch‘ as Senior Project Manager before co-founding Suxedoo.ch. He later joined Google as Programs Lead for the Employer Brand Marketing in EMEA. In 2018 he was recruited by Lime, the US-based scooter giant, supporting the launch of the company’s first European market, Switzerland, after which he led Lime’s EMEA Marketing & Brand efforts before joining Alpian.

Roman loves hiking so much that in 2009 he walked 2300km on the Camino de Santiago with his dog Nelson. He walked all the way from St. Gallen to Santiago de Compostela in Western Spain.

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