Featured Artist: Danny Araya

  • Q: Where did you go to school?
  • Art of Institute of Washington, which I think just got shut down or something
  • Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to work in animation?
  • As far back as I can remember, but I always bounced around between wanting to animate, write, paint, make comics, work in video games, etc. I just knew I wanted to do something creative in those entertainment spaces.
  • Q: Who is your biggest inspiration?
  • Bruce Timm’s DC animated stuff, Roger Deakins, Yoh Yoshinari, Yutaka Nakamura, the entire writing/DP team of Breaking Bad and BCS, Edgar Wright, and J.C Leyendecker have had the biggest impact on the way I think about makin stuff
  • Q: What is your favorite animated movie/show?
  • Venture Brothers, Spiderverse, Cowboy Bebop, 
  • Q: What would you say to those who are not getting hired by a studio or having trouble finding a job? 
  • It’s a little tough to answer this question because there wasn’t really a whole lot that made me feel better during those few years after school when I was trying to find a job… and I really don’t want to start barfing up “hard work” platitudes to people who are seriously struggling.  I guess I’d say that feeling frustrated is completely normal and okay. Try not to wallow in that frustration and do your best not to get cynical or bitter. Keep improving and keep applying and reapplying. People notice when applicants improve, even if it feels to you like nobody’s paying attention. 
  • Q: What are some stories of your path to art and animation? 
  • Shit was hard.
  • Q: What’s it like working in Austin? And how is the creative community here?
  • Austin is extremely laid back, which I love.  The more I move into my 30’s, the more hermit-like I become so I don’t even know what the art community around here is like.  
  • Q: What is the best part about your job and working at Powerhouse?
  • Everyone is ridiculously easy to get along with and there’s a refreshing absence of ego.  There’s also an abundance of bananas-quality anime-inspired art and animation so it’s pretty difficult to get complacent and I always feel inspired to push my boundaries. 
  • Q: What is your favorite Powerhouse Project that you’ve worked on?
  • I joined Powerhouse towards the tail end of production on season 1 of Castlevania, and frankly, there are VERY few opportunities to work on a project that looks like this within the U.S.  Castlevania was a really challenging project, my first storyboarding job, and the first time I felt like I was working on the kind of 90’s anime I love(d) so it’ll always be a favorite. That said, I’m just now getting into the groove of things on Masters of the Universe so my answer might change the next time you ask me. 
  • Q: Most challenging part of working at Powerhouse?
  • Not developing an inferiority complex in the face of all this skill and talent. 
  • Q: Any cool little known facts about production (funny stories/cool animation tricks/etc)?
  • Danny put spoilers here, but just take our word for it that it was a funny story. (it was about horses)
  • Q: If you could be any anime character who would it be and why?
  • Ein from Cowboy Bebop. He is the dopest.
There is nothing that Danny can’t do.

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.