Featured Friday: Deanna Trudeau

She is a world class animator and a diehard Reylo stan. What else can you ask for?
  • Q: Where did you go to school?
  • I went to the School of Visual Arts in New York City for animation.
  • Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to work in animation?
  • I’ve been drawing basically since I could hold a pencil, and I’ve always been inspired by animated movies, especially 2D Disney movies. The decision to seriously pursue animation happened when I was a freshman in high school and I saw the movie Treasure Planet in theaters. It pretty much set my lifelong love of animation on fire, and I walked out of there with focused determination to be a 2D animator.
  • Q: Who is your biggest inspiration?
  • My standard answer has always been ye olde titans of Disney animation, like the Nine Old Men, Glen Keane, Mark Henn, Sergio Pablos, Andreas Deja, and so many more. They definitely have left their mark, but my day-to-day inspiration has become all the people I’ve met at Powerhouse. Everyone is just amazing here, I’m so lucky they let me hang around. I work in the Boutique Department at Powerhouse, and even though Boutique might not get the spotlight often, I’m stunned and grateful on a regular basis by the people I work with. We make a great team, we all support and encourage each other, and I’m so proud of all the work we do.
  • Q: What is your favorite animated movie/show?
  • What a tough question! Surely I don’t have to pick just one. I love The Little Mermaid, Treasure Planet, Avatar: The Last Air Bender/Legend of Korra, and there’s always a heaping helping of nostalgic love for Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! (There’s quite a cult following for Yu-Gi-Oh! at PHA). Recently I watched Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood for the first time—finally—so obviously I’m totally in love with those now too.
  • Q: What would you say to those who are not getting hired by a studio or having trouble finding a job?
  • There’s been so many good answers for this question by featured artists before me. The only advice I can add is to not lose your joy for making your art. Having trouble finding a job in the industry can be a massive discouragement, and I know from my own experience that it’s tempting to try to create art based on what you think studios or Twitter wants to see. While it’s a good thing to push yourself and explore, don’t chase something that doesn’t make you happy. Don’t lose your voice. Draw what you love; when you love your art, other people will love it too.
  • Q: What are some stories of your path to art and animation? 
  • When I was a senior in college, Mark Henn came to the Times Square Disney Store to do a signing for the release of the Animators’ Collection line of dolls. I leaped at the opportunity to get a signature from one of my favorite animators, and did a small drawing to give him with a note to tell him he was one of my heroes. When I finally got to him in line, though, I was so nervous that I rattled out my sappy spiel, gave him the note, grabbed my signed doll, and sped away before he could say anything. Instead of me creating a Deanna-shaped hole in the Disney Store wall, though, a store attendant caught me and asked me to come back, at which point Mark Henn gave me his business card. I absolutely treasure that card, but I never had the courage to correspond with him. I hope he’s kept my note somewhere, at least, and every once in a while snickers at the fangirl who ran away from him.
  • Q: What’s it like working in Austin? And how is the creative community here?
  • Austin is a one of a kind city. I’m such a hermit, I don’t even take full advantage of all the music and art that happens in this town, but there is so much life here. And great food.
  • Q: What is the best part about your job and working at Powerhouse?
  • The people. I’ve made some really close friends through working here, and it’s a privilege to be able to collaborate with not only talented artists, but genuinely wonderful people.
  • Q: What is your favorite Powerhouse Project that you worked on?
  • When I got the chance to animate for Castlevania, especially season 2. I also enjoyed working on Battle Chasers: Nightwar, Banner Saga, Agents of Mayhem, and Spidersaurs.
  • Q: Most challenging part of working at Powerhouse?
  • Working in the Boutique Department, we get different projects of all kinds. Each project requires a different look in terms of character design, timing, and animation style, so it’s a great challenge to meet the requirements every time.
  • Q: Any cool little known facts about production (funny stories/cool animation tricks/etc)?
  • One of the animators in the Boutique Department roughed an incidental character into the background of one of his scenes which made it all the way to final character design, only to be left on the cutting room floor. By that time the whole department was a fan of this incidental, though, and ever since we have tried to sneak his likeness into scenes spanning several projects.
  • Q: If you could be any anime character who would it be and why?
  • I’d have to say Usagi Tsukino. She’s an imperfect hero, a crybaby, a little air-headed, and a little incapable at times, but when it counts, her friendship, heart of gold, and compassion saves the day the only way she can.
Talent. Pure Talent.
Yes. It is real. Bask it all it’s glory.
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.