Featured Friday: Taylor Harton

Posted by on Friday, September 17th, 2021


Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to work in animation?

I had always loved animated movies and shows growing up but never thought about having a career in animation. It wasn’t until high school, after my friend got me to watch How to Train your Dragon for the first time, that I really saw the medium in a different light, as something I could one day be a part of. The official turning point for me was when Rise of the Guardians came out and I saw the beautiful opening scene. It clicked then that I wanted to pursue animation and create visuals like that.

Q: Who is your biggest inspiration?

My family and friends. They all help through the tough days and keep me going. Also all of the beautiful artwork that I see day in and day out inspires me to work on my own art.

Q: What is your favorite animated movie/show?

It’s so hard to choose. I can’t choose just one. Avatar the Last Airbender and the original Justice League cartoon are my favorite shows. Your Name and How to Train your Dragon are some of my favorite movies.

Q: What would you say to those who are not getting hired by a studio or having trouble
finding a job?

I can’t speak too much for someone wanting to get into the art side. But I think in general: keep learning, keep working at it and hone your skills, but also don’t be afraid to pivot. I say this from personal experience, sometimes new opportunities from a different area you don’t expect present themselves.

For people looking to get into project management, having direct industry experience is a plus but not a requirement. I recommend not only showing us that you have working knowledge of the software we use but also that you have developed the soft skills that can be learned from a variety of non-industry jobs. For example, handling the day-to-day intercommunication between departments, time management and problem solving.

○  Regardless of admin or artist, tailoring your resume/portfolio to the position you are applying for definitely helps. Showcase your strengths and explain how your experience would be a great fit for the specific position.

Q: What are some stories of your path to art and animation?

When I first went to UT Austin, I wanted to be an art major. I got rejected from the program…twice. I always believe things happen for a reason and I don’t like being told I’m not capable of doing something. The good thing about it was it took the blinders off and made me really look into other majors and what they had to offer. I found the Radio-TV-Film major at UT that offered animation courses. Being rejected really became a blessing in disguise because through RTF I learned more about the entertainment industry as a whole and focused my coursework in animation. Starting as a PA at Powerhouse gave me the opportunity to experience and learn more about the producing and admin side of animation. The position played to my strengths and allowed me to work in the animation industry. The best of both worlds.

Q: What type of equipment/software do you work on?

For admin, we work most of the same programs artists do to an extent. Most often in Photoshop, Clip Studio Paint, Storyboard Pro, Premiere and After Effects depending on the stage of production. Daily organization is done through google drive, docs and spreadsheets.

Q: Any educational advice/sources you’d like to share? Books, websites, blogs, videos…

I am an avid user of YouTube and Google to find solutions to problems and to learn how to do new things in programs. Admin are usually the problem solvers so finding quick answers and knowing how to search for it, is key.

For learning new programs and more in depth instruction, I recommend sites like Skill Share.

Q: What is the best part about your job and working at Powerhouse?

Being a part of the admin team means that I get to be a part of a production every step of the way, through every up and down, and it is truly rewarding to see everyone’s hard work go from concept to final product. I love becoming so dedicated to a project that you know every aspect of it like the back of your hand.

One of the things I love about working at Powerhouse is that everyone treats you like you have worked there forever from Day 1. Your crew becomes your secondary family and they have also become some of my best friends.

Q: What is your favorite Powerhouse Project that you’ve worked on?

My current project Skull Island! The writing and characters are so enjoyable, I already love them and I can’t wait for everyone to see it!

Q: Most challenging part of working at Powerhouse?

Currently, not getting to be in the studio with everyone. I miss the energy of the office and seeing everyone everyday.

The most challenging thing about my job specifically is that there are things that can and will change daily/weekly that affect your production plans and you just have to roll with the punches and adapt. It makes you have to think creatively about how to handle certain situations.

Q: Any cool little known facts about production (funny stories/cool animation tricks/etc)?

For every show, it has become traditional to create a meme video at the end of production. My admin team and I actively save everything that is shared in chats, just waiting for the day we bring it all together. It becomes a magnificent compilation of funny doodles, memes and messages that the crew have created over the course of the production. It is my favorite part of the premiere night.

Q: If you could be any anime/cartoon character who would it be and why?

I am Aoi Miyamori from Shirobako and she is me. I relate to her character so much as a PA becoming a Coordinator. I unintentionally dressed as her for work one day (before I really started watching the show) and knew I had come full circle. It’s just who I am now.


Social Media Handles: Twitter – @TaylorHarton26  Instagram: @taylorharton26 , @artbythehart