Advice from the Future

KATE BRUSK

’12, Entertainment Arts (Animation)
Storyboard Artist, Nickelodeon

What I do:

I take a script for an episode and draw it all out in storyboards to create the visual base for an episode. I choose shots, define acting and, basically, play Director. I also get to sneak in chickens and add jokes.

How I got started:

I’ve always loved to draw! And I knew I wanted to tell stories, because they can have such an important impact on people. Working in animation was sort of a natural conclusion.

Advice to my past self:

Stop trying to draw it perfect. It really doesn’t need to be. 

“Chase what inspires and impacts you. Draw yourself down rabbit holes and build a library of inspiration that will inform your work and help you stand out as someone with a voice.” –Kate Brusk

ZACH SMITH

’10, Entertainment Arts (Animation)
Storyboard Artist on SpongeBob 3 Paramount/Nickelodeon

What I do:

I draw storyboards for TV and feature animation, and I create shows, comics and development ideas in the TV animation industry.

How I got started:

I interned on The Mr. Men Show (Cartoon Network) between my third and fourth year at CCS. After graduation, I returned to the animation studio where I had interned (Renegade Animation in Glendale, CA). I started as a Prop Designer and Animator, then shifted into character design, but over time I realized that I fit better as a storyboard artist.

What drew me to my current field:

I’ve always been obsessed with cartoons and being funny (or at least attempting to be funny). In college, I made three films and enjoyed the process a lot. Once I left school I just continued creating and developing my own ideas on the side, while working as a storyboard artist during the day. I really like pitching, creating and developing my ideas with studios. I’ve had three pilots (none of which have been greenlit), but I find working in the story department informs my development work and vice versa.

BERNADETTE LITTLE

’15, Illustration (Minor: Product Design)
Designer, Adidas

What I do:

I work on the global brand design team, which can be thought of as Adidas’ internal advertising team.

How I got started:

I hopped around through a few internships — two at Adidas — and one apprenticeship at Reebok.

“Diversify your skill set. Have something that you really love doing, but make sure you have a few different skills in your back pocket. If you’re an illustrator, learn to animate or code or even 3D model. And learn to network:  it’ll be one of your most important assets.” –Bernadette Little

JAY SHUSTER

’93, Industrial Design
Production Designer, PIXAR Animation Studios

What I do:

I produce characters and environments for feature animation.

What drew me to my current field:

I stood in line to see Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977, and that was the moment I decided design in film was what I wanted to do.

Advice to my past self:

Take more time outside of work to get inspired.

KELLYE PERDUE

’16, Illustration
Storyboard Artist, Cartoon Network

What I do:

I typically work in a two-person team storyboarding (and sometimes writing) episodes for children’s TV shows, including Infinity Train, Craig of  the Creek, Marvel’s Spider-Man and Ben 10 (reboot).

How I got started:

One of my good friends and fellow CCS alum, Jenn Strickland, recommended me for my first storyboard freelance gig, Ben 10, right after graduation, and I’m really grateful because that was my first animation job. About a year and half later, in September 2017, after consistently posting my work online and a bunch of other things that happened, I got contacted by the Infinity Train crew to join their production as a storyboard artist.  I accepted, moved to Los Angeles from Detroit, and have been working at Cartoon Network ever since!

“I really enjoy storytelling and I really enjoy drawing, so I think storyboarding is a nice mash-up of the two because it challenges your storytelling sensibilities and your draftsmanship at the same time. It wasn’t easy, though! It took a lot of trial and error, patience and perseverance, which applies to most art jobs.”

–Kellye Perdue