Featured Friday: Cindy Crowell

Posted by on Friday, October 29th, 2021


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

○ I was raised on Disney and Looney Tunes reruns in the 70s, and I was the kid who always got in trouble for drawing flipbooks in the margins of my textbooks. I didn’t realize animation was a job you could actually DO until I was a general fine arts major in college, and saw an animation course listed. It was just there for the film students to make credits for their movies; I was the only one doing character stuff. The instructor told me about the animation program at Sheridan, and I got accepted!

● Q: Who is your biggest inspiration?

○ I was a huge fan of Chuck Jones back in The Day, and got to see him speak.

● Q: What is your favorite animated movie/show?

○ For movies, anything Miyazaki/ Studio Ghibli, and recently I quite enjoyed the Hilda series.

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

○ I’m hardly qualified to comment on this, having been at the same studio for 20+ years.

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

○ I’ve been drawing since I could hold a crayon in my grubby fist, and have made detours into many other mediums including woodcarving, tattooing, stained glass, quilting and costuming.

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

○ Wacom tablet and Photoshop/Harmony, primarily. As old school as one can still get away with. I miss pencil and paper every day.

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

○ Nothing that hasn’t been mentioned, I’m sure. I collect a lot of character designs on Pinterest.

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

○ Being around the amazing level of talent at the studio is a huge inspiration. Working on popular high profile series is a fun bragging right too!

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

○ As an elder Goth, I’m torn between sexy namedrop Castlevania and the videos for the metal band A Sound of Thunder.

● Q: Most challenging part of working at Powerhouse?

○ Keeping up with the ever changing technology and software programs, but that’s anywhere.

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

○ Not at Powerhouse, but I am now obliged to tell The Tale of the Landfill. I was working at Heart of Texas Productions in the mid 90s, and we were on a deadline for Space Jam. We were subcontracted by Warner Brothers, who shipped us their (paper) key animation drawings to inbetween. One of our animators was pulling long hours on a big scene that had many levels. He ran out of shelves for them in his animation desk, and started putting them on all the flat surfaces in his cubicle- chairs, filing cabinets, a piece of cardboard on top of a wastebasket…. You can see where this is going. That night the cleaning crew came in and did exactly what anyone would assume no human would do. The next morning when he realized the drawings were missing, he went to go look for them in the dumpster out back. ….of course, that was the morning the garbage truck came before we got to the office. After some panicked calls to waste management, a couple of our guys decided to drive out to the landfill. When they got there, they were told the truck dumped its contents in an area of several hundred square yards….up to 6 feet deep. After not very long of poking around in rotten food and diapers, they realized it was a lost cause. FORTUNATELY, a few of our best animators were able to crank out a reasonable re-creation of the lost drawings by freeze-framing the primitive VHS line test, and WB was none the wiser.

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

○ Probably the deer forest spirit from Princess Mononoke, as that’s the vibe of my latest costume I’m working on.

Artists Link: http://quiltocalypse.blogspot.com/

Social Media Handles: https://www.facebook.com/CynthiaCrowell/