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What gets you out of bed in the morning? What drives you?
That’s a funny question because getting me out of bed is REALLY difficult (laughs). I’m trying to do better at being a morning person. I’m driven by the ability to create things. I aspire to work for the benefit of other people. Seeing amazing websites, doing amazing things and making cool stuff that may change someone’s perspective or inspire compassion in others… that’s what drives me.
How is CRASH+SUES different?
We all have to work together to accomplish the wide scope of work we have. Any given day I could be wearing multiple hats, but it’s just what we do and I love it. One day I will be art directing an animation, another day I’m a PA on a shoot or designing a website. It keeps me on my toes. There’s just so much variety.
If you could give one piece of advice to your previous self, what would it be?
I have two different things. One, don’t rush to grow up. At least for me, a lot of my creativity comes from my inner child. If I’m too busy trying to grow up and be an adult, I lose a lot of that. If I can be silly and fun, that’s probably the best thing for me. Two, don’t get hung up on other people’s criticism. It’s important to get feedback, but try not to compare yourself to other people and think that you need to be something you’re not. It’s really easy to say but really hard to do.
One bonus piece of advice: Get out of your comfort zone. Travel. Read books. It’s really important as an artist to just get yourself out there and stimulate your senses.
Favorite TV Show?
Steven Universe is probably my favorite show on TV right now. It has so many life lessons and wholesome moments in it. It’s got a lot of emotional depth to it. Brooklyn 99 is definitely up there too—it’s a comedy with very endearing characters.
What made you get into animation?
I always knew animation is what I wanted to do but didn’t think it was a viable career option for the midwest—little did I know how great the animation and video culture is here. In high school, my older friends told me about their graphic design degrees and how they loved it. I thought it sounded like a good fit, so I ended up going to the University of Minnesota for graphic design. I enjoyed it, but I always kept coming back to drawing. I took an animation class my senior year—that’s when I thought to myself, “This is what I was made to do.” I love having my illustration and design background. It opens a lot of doors for me in the animation world.