We’re proud to share with you an exclusive interview with Julia Vickerman, story artist on the PowerPuff Girls reboot and creator of a pilot for Cartoon Network which recently hit youtube: Twelve Forever.
– Could you share with us something you are proud of?
JV: What I am most proud of at the moment is the short ‘Twelve Forever’ that I made with Cartoon Network.
– Do you have any formal training in animation? Is formal training necessary these days, or is it enough to just be dedicated and create a great portfolio?
JV: I went to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and studied comic art and animation. It was a necessary step for me personally, in terms of learning about animation and storytelling, but I definitely don’t think everyone needs formal training from an expensive school. Some of the most important aspects of school are structure, motivation and deadlines. Some people don’t have the time and self-motivation to create short films unless they are assignments for school — but then ago, some people do! I think the most important thing is to make a lot of work and learn from trial and error. You don’t need school, but it is extremely helpful.
– Whose work (both past and present) do you really admire and why?
JV: This is a huge question! I admire the work of thousands of people. I admire Jim Henson, Jean Giraud, John Waters, Eiji Tsuburaya, Esther Pearl Watson, Todd Oldham, Amy Sedaris, Jen Stark, Wayne White. I just watched The Secret of Kells (2009) for the first time last night and it was astoundingly gorgeous.
– What’s your work space setup like?
JV: My work space is an office at Cartoon Network, where I’m currently working on Powerpuff Girls. Usually my workspaces are a lot more colorful and exciting but this one is comparably sterile. I need to put more work into it still. Here’s a photo of a shelf beside me that I enjoy. You can see a little painting I did of sunscreen and Pringles on the wall.
– What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
JV: The best advice I’ve ever received is to stop letting fear control your work. It’s something I still have to remind myself of on a daily basis. It’s hard to let go of the fear of how people will respond to your ideas. But at the end of the day, f*k em. Come to think of it, maybe “f*k em” is the best piece of advice I’ve ever received.