Featured Artist: Julie Olson

  • Q: Where did you go to school?
  • I attended Cal State Fullerton to study animation. I also took online courses from places like Oatley Academy to brush up on skills. 
  • Q: When do you first realize that you wanted to work animation?
  • I always drew as a child, but I have to thank my father for sitting down and watching Batman the Animated Series every Saturday morning with me. I remember asking him why he liked watching it. By the end of the episode, Batman laid down a pair of roses in front the abandoned theater where his parents had died. There was a small silence and my father told me, “That’s why. Moments like that.” It was one of the first times I had ever understood the power of story, and since then, I’ve wanted to be a part of that. 
  • Q: Who is your biggest inspiration?
  • I’m going to take a step into Cheese-ville but I don’t care. I take the biggest inspiration from people that manage to turn their failures into successes. Drawing is both physically and emotionally taxing. We are often the number one reason we feel not good enough. Real Tip: You will never be ‘good enough’, because ‘good enough’ is a constant state of motion not a destination. You’ve got to remember that all those little ‘failures’ just make you one drawing better. Wait… what was the question again?
  • Q: What is your favorite animated movie/show?
  • I watch too many of them to pick one. Why is this the hardest question? Uh…. looking around my desk I like….. Berserk. Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Akira Kurosawa films. I mean… I’ve got decades of stuff in this noggin, rolling around everywhere. 
  • Q: What would you say to those who are not getting hired by a studio or having trouble finding a job?
  • Find where your passions and skills meet. I spent a lot of time struggling with where to focus my portfolio until I took an honest, hard look at my abilities and asked “which skills are my strongest in my work?”I then asked, “what do I love?” And the job that lined up in the animation pipeline via those two answers was (for me) storyboarding. From there I was able to pour my blood, sweat, and tears into working on growing those skills. Always be learning, and always ask where you can take your art next.
  • Q: What are some stories of your path to art and animation? 
  • So. Many. Years. Of fanart. But seriously, I look back at all the silly, personal projects and it blows my mind how much I use the skills I learned doing those seemingly ‘non-professional’ pieces in my day-to-day at work. Always be learning but ALSO enjoy your fun-loving doodles!
  • Q: What’s it like working in Austin? And how is the creative community here?
  • It’s nice to meet so many different artists from around the country and even out of country. The Austin community is full of so many different backgrounds that it is impossible to not get inspired. The weather is crazy though. 
  • Q: What is the best part about your job and working on the show?
  • Working at Powerhouse specifically,  I can best describe the working environment as ‘nurturing.’  Everyone is willing to offer advice to help you grow, and you get opportunities to try on different production hats throughout the project. I find that helping with post-production helps me make my pre-production more accurate, and it’s been an awesome learning experience. 
  • Q: What do you love most about working on Seis Manos?
  • Martial arts? Check. Inspired by some of my favorite movies? Check check. Entertaining characters that are fleshed out. Triple check. 
  • Q: Who is your favorite character?
  • I love all the ‘Manos’. They each have such distinct personalities… but if I’m going to be honest, Silencio.
  • Q: Most challenging part of working on Seis Manos?
  • The volume of work. Seis Manos is very action-packed and a lot went into making it just the right length and scope. Thankfully the team is awesome and we’ve been helping each other throughout the process. 
  • Q: Any cool little known facts about the production (funny stories/cool animation tricks/etc)?
  • Each episode had a fight choreography meeting, which basically meant seeing Brad die in various gruesome ways at the hands of Sifu Thomas.
  • Q: If you could be any anime character who would it be and why?
  • All Might. The power to inspire people with just a smile? Heck I need that. Plus… I mean…. LOOK (Ryan please don’t leave me hanging and link the gif) (I didn’t forget)
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.