Featured Friday: Suzanne Sharp

Yes. Yes she does slay.

Q: Where did you go to school?
A: I got my bachelor’s in architecture at the University of Virginia.

Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to work in animation?
A: That’s tough to say! I’ve loved drawing for as long as I can remember. Working in animation and doing art for a living was always a fun pipe dream for me, so those weren’t things I felt I could really go after when it came time for college. I learned to adjust those expectations when I got a job here!

Q: Who is your biggest inspiration?
A: That’s hard too– I don’t know if I can owe that to one person since I’m constantly surrounded by wonderful creators, who I’ll see one gorgeous piece from and it just sticks with me. There are a lot of those by now.

Q: What is your favorite animated movie/show?
A: Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, definitely. That movie spared no detail from character design to movement to architecture– it’s this incredible blend of sci-fi and unapologetic lavishness and just absolutely goth as hell, the bar against which I judge all other things goth as hell. Plus I’m happy to report that D is both sad *and* hot so there are literally no downsides to watching this if you haven’t for some reason. Like I said, I’ve been drawing since forever, but the first time I saw that movie was the moment I remember thinking, I want to draw like THAT. Maybe the VHD team collectively is my biggest inspiration! Honorable mention to whoever uploaded that super low-res version to Youtube for me to find, thanks for my life and I hope you’re having a good day.

Q: What would you say to those who are not getting hired by a studio or having trouble finding a job?
A: There are tons of artists out there with more portfolio-building and networking experience than me, but the small piece of advice I can actually give is to not worry so much about what art you think you should be making and start making exactly what you want to see in the world. No matter if you think it’s too niche or weird or if you’re not sure anyone is going to go for it, your skills will shine through much clearer when you’re using them to create something you really love and are emotionally invested in. Reeling it back because you’re worried about something won’t do anything but water down your work, so it can be kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy. It sounds cliche, but have fun with your art! While you’re hunting it’s equally important that you don’t compare your success to the success of others. It can be difficult not to and many times I’ve felt inadequate because oh my god everyone in the world is making such good art so fast and doing all these things, but the people you’re looking up to have likely already fought the same battle you’re in currently and still struggle with those feelings of inadequacy. And of course you’d think that’s silly, why would they ever need to feel like that when they’re so awesome, so practice turning that energy back on yourself because you deserve to recognize how far you’ve come and your dedication to keep going.

Q: What are some stories of your path to art and animation?
A: It’s funny now but was pretty terrifying, I’d been a big fan of Castlevania since it aired and was having a fun time drawing a bunch of Alucards, and saw that Sam had followed me on twitter so I was joking to my best friend about how cool it would be to draw vampires all day. A few minutes later I got a DM and suddenly that was a thing I had to think about now.

Q: Any cool little known facts about production (funny stories/cool animation tricks/etc)?
A: During a meeting, our lead character artist asked to run a hotness pass on some incidental characters  before send-off and that’s why I like working here.

Q: What’s it like working in Austin? And how is the creative community here?
A: ahaha it’s easy for me to hermit up instead of getting out to a lot of events, but there always seems to be things going on which has really made me feel at home. I’ve never lived in a city as large as Austin before and it’s been wonderful. Lots of amazing food. Lots of bats. Every season is too hot except for winter but we also just had a 78-degree high a couple days ago, so.

Q: What is the best part about your job and working at Powerhouse?
A: I get to work on one of my favorite shows which will never not be wild to me, and to get to do it alongside such incredible people– everyone is so warm and encouraging and genuinely want to see each other succeed. I’ve never really been in an office environment where I’ve clicked almost immediately with coworkers as friends whom I also look up to as great artists, and I just feel very lucky to be a part of it. And I get to draw hot people and swords. I get to draw Alucard’s luscious golden locks which is kind of a life achievement. 

Q: What is your favorite Powerhouse Project that you’ve worked on?
A: I’ve only been on Castlevania so I have to say Castlevania.

Q: Most challenging part of working at Powerhouse?
A: Sometimes it’s time constraints because we’re a small team, but that also means I get to hop around to different areas of production which can be both fun and challenging in itself.

Q: If you could be any anime character who would it be and why?
A: Cool, I get to talk about Vampire Hunter D again. I’m saying D because even though his life generally sucks he can quit at any time. He’s super rich. He can run away to a fishing village and live off his vampire hunting retirement fund.

*Gasp* Now hold your breath.
Wait there’s more…
I know…we can’t believe it either. *Exhale*
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