Featured Artist: Amanda Sitareh B.

Q: Where did you go to school?
University of the Arts in Philadelphia!

Q: When do you first realize that you wanted to work animation?
I love to draw, and I have done so all my life. From middle school to high school, I
participated in a community film group called Young Audiences in
Plainsboro, NJ. Generally, both were hobbies I indulged in the most and had
the most fun creating for–And that’s why I did further studies in college for
animation since it combined both sensibilities.
Also, I adore the worlds made in games. As complicated as they were from
Final Fantasy, ICO, Shin Megami Tensei, Dark Souls, etc.– they were ideas
I thought about a ton when going through my animation career as far as
world building and design.

Q: Who is your biggest inspiration?
Yoshitaka Amano. Hidetaka Miyazaki.

Q: What is your favorite animated movie/show?
I am gonna say 3.. Revolutionary Girl Utena, Paprika, and Vampire Hunter
D: Bloodlust!! [..I seriously watch them waaaay too much.]

Q: What would you say to those who are not getting hired by a studio or
having trouble finding a job?
Investing in your peers and people that support you aren’t just networking–
They’re an important relationship, a community that will help you grow and
improve your craft with feedback! Staying in touch is the only way I was able
to exercise my work ethic and put myself out there as an artist! And honestly
it taught me how to enjoy my career.

Q: What are some stories of your path to art and animation?
At a convention while waiting in line for a panel, a person had asked to look
at my sketchbook and commented rather positively towards it.
I had gotten a question saying “what did you do draw so well?”
Out of nervousness and not knowing how to really answer—I said—“I watch
a lot of Yu-Gi-Oh.”
I was thinking more on the lines of how much they push perspective in the
show— but I definitely got this look of shame and they turned around HAAA!

Q: What’s it like working in Austin? And how is the creative community here?
It’s my first time living in a city that is growing so fast!! For the short time I’ve
been here, there have just been constant additions of more international book and hobby stores, more variety of food, just general places of interest have grown exponentially. I live close to work but it’s 15 minutes away from downtown and in the backyard of some fantastic springs and parks in a seriously hilly and beautiful area. I really enjoy it.

Q: What is the best part about your job and working on the show?
I absolutely did not think I was gonna get a job like this out of school. Very
much inspired off of game art and just overall, the drawing style of the show
had been my preference since before college. That and having a really
supportive group of peers at work and generally caring/inspired atmosphere
about the project makes it for me. Seeing the people close to me be proud of
my work on the show is my absolute favorite thing. Plus, it’s reeeeal good
fun to be on a edgy vampire series.

Q: What do you love most about Castlevania?
They’re DAMN pretty and extra and As difficult the design are—I really enjoy
drawing them. Also, Because there is some wiggle room in the script here
and there, a good amount of creative freedom ends up in the end product
which is rather satisfying.
Q: Who is your favorite character?
……I’m not gonna choose. I really like a lot of them for different reasons
each. I don’t even dislike Godbrand that much.

Q: Most challenging part of working on Castlevania?
Probably budgeting time. We’re a small studio, so every artist’s work is quite
weighted with a great amount of responsibility. Thankfully the studio is
growing. There is more help through the process as the months go by. I’ll
probably be able to focus on putting more time into making sure my boards
are clean and clear for our collaborators overseas in the future…which is all I
want ahaha.

Q: Any cool little known facts about the production (funny stories/cool
animation tricks/etc)?
The team mantra for doing probably 80% of anything related to Castlevania
in studio— is making sure everything is attractive. That everyone looks hot. That Alucard looks like buttery vampire prince for the majority of the time. Good priorities.

Q: If you could be any anime character who would it be and why?
…Yugi Muto because he’s the king of games and has goth clown adventures
with his really cool friends.

About the Author
Hailing from "Parts Unknown" Virginia, Ryan scoured the United Stated searching for a place to call home. After a short stint in the "Entertainment Capital of the World" Ryan wandered into Austin with nothing but a Gameboy Color, his Star Wars Blu-Ray Collection, and too much hair product. Now a Production Coordinator at Powerhouse Animation, Ryan works all across the board on studio projects. A word of caution though, there are rumors that if you look in the mirror and say his name three times he will appear behind you and beg you to watch the Prequels with him.