Q&A with Joel Bradley, Forty Under 40 Winner 2021; Head of production, Atomic Cartoons, Age 36
Who or what is responsible for your work ethic?
My family. Everyone in my family has an amazing work ethic and works hard in everything they do. Growing up it was instilled in me to always give it your all — whether that’s in sports, dishwashing or school. I was taught that trying your best matters.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I am a sucker for the Bestie Bowl at Vancouver’s Juice Truck.
What is the best book you would recommend?
Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. This book resonated with me on the human experience. It really demonstrated the value of getting out of your comfort zone — and choosing experiences over comfort.
Now that you are (or are close to) entering your forties, what goals have you set for yourself?
Honestly, I have not been much of a longterm goal setter. My goals have always been to continue to learn and grow, be present in the hard moments and celebrate the good ones.
What was your childhood career dream?
I wanted to play in the National Basketball Association.
Name your happiest place.
Snuggling on the couch with my daughter and wife and watching animation (preferably work created by Atomic Cartoons).
What was your toughest business or professional decision?
I started a T-shirt printing company with a friend a few years ago. It was a great experience on running my own business — and learning new skills. However, I needed to shift to a more stable career and it was a hard choice to move on.
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Travel more… There is a pandemic coming.
What is your best habit?
You wouldn’t believe how often I get a new toothbrush.
Tell us one improbable fact about yourself.
I’m a terrible typer. It wasn’t a skill I fully picked up, and I find this embarrassing as it isn’t 1995.
Best piece of advice ever received?
To listen first.
Biggest learning (about life or business) during the pandemic?
The importance of communication. I also feel the pandemic has really brought to the forefront how important it is to be kind to one another, personally and professionally.
What career highlight are you most proud of?
Working in cartoons is very rewarding. I am proud of so many of our shows, and the teams behind them. I love the experience of watching the families of team members watching the work for the first time — there is always so much excitement in the room