Brief Animation Biography
visual development artist. She is the founder of Studio
Technique, an artistic training studio specialized in the
training and artistic development of animation industry
artists. Samantha is a former animator for Walt Disney
Animation, and has directed for Ubisoft cinematics. She is an
award winner at the Toronto International Film Festival for her
animated short film “La Fuga Grande”.
What part of Canada are you from
What inspired you to create
long as I can remember. My parents said that when I was
little, before I was three, I would watch Disney films and ask
them to pause the screen so that I could redraw the
|Sun Wukong Concept|
How would you describe your animation
aim for clarity. I tend to work very rough but doing feature 2D
work, you need to eventually tie down the drawings with a level
of control so that the character doesn’t lose
credibility. I also love beautiful movement, I like fluid
animation with textured timing, so I aim for that as well in my
work. I try not to compromise character performance for
aesthetic of movement, but I do my best to achieve
Can you share a piece of art work or script
segment that no one has seen before?
Here is a 2D clip from Steamboat Willie Redux
for Disney which was screened at D23 in 2013! This is the first
time I’ve shared my scene online, and I’m happy to share it
What role do you play in the creation of
I consider myself a 2D feature
visual development work, character design, storyboards, and
direct in CG cinematics.
What is one project that you are proud to
have been involved in?
That’s hard. I am so proud of most of
the projects I’ve been a part of because I have always had the
opportunity to work with incredible artists whom I’ve learned
so much from. I owe so much to so many people that I’ve
worked with, for me the most rewarding part of the process is
the day to day of learning and being an artist.
What project(s) are you working on
and and am also overwhelmingly occupied with my figure drawing
for animation book, Movement &
What visual short forms do you use when
figuring out the mechanics of reference material?
Mostly internal lines, trying to work out what is directing the
forms. I don’t let myself get distracted with the shapes
of the forms, I try to focus on what direction they are moving
in, weight distribution, how the weight affects the placement
of the masses, and how the body mechanics work. A lot of
the time I understand the reference because of my background in
dance. That training has given me insight into how the
body works and how to emulate poses, so its much easier to
understand an action because of that.
|Life Drawing Sketches|
How would you describe a major phrase of an
I think a great image is a combination of many
techniques that are chosen by the artist with the effect of an
intent in mind. I believe techniques help us build an amazing drawing, but
it’s the life and story of it in the end that are what really
Do you use thumbnails before you starting
animating? If so, how does that help your animation
Absolutely. I wont start a scene until
I’ve thumbnailed it out. It allows me to see my scene
objectively. To me a scene is like a drawing, but also
has a time element. I want to see it as a whole,
understand the highs and lows, the texture between sharp and
fluid timing, well staged poses, and where it builds to or
recedes from. Thumbnailing allows me to create a blueprint of
my scene, and keeps me on track. When you work frame by
frame it can become easy to get lost in your scene, so I prefer
to go in feeling confident about it and making sure that my
thumbnails are solid. I also try to work out poses in my
thumbnails, to explore every idea and hopefully arrive at the
best one. Thumbnailing covers a lot of problem solving
groundwork for every aspect of my animation process.
Who is one of your favourite Canadian
What is one of your favourite animation
Who is an up-and-coming or relatively
unknown Canadian animator that everyone should check
I don’t know how to answer this one, as there
is so much talent here that I can’t isolate it to one
person. I am so inspired by many of my Canadian
colleagues, they may not have the advertising opportunities,
publicity and networks that many American artists are privy to,
but there is brilliant talent here.
Are you involved with any animation
organizations in Canada?
Not particularly. I have collaborated with Toons on
Tap, they are fantastic. I was also invited to do a
masterclass at TAAFI, with Toons on Tap providing
a great model, which was a really amazing experience too.
Have your films won any animation
I won an award at the Toronto International
Film Festival for my short film La Fuga
What are some of your animation
I’ve been published in Chatelaine Magazine,
Wired, The Montreal Gazette, another local
newspaper and a newspaper in Stockholm. I’ve also been
privileged to be featured in an Astral media artist
documentary, and have been able to do some wonderful online
interviews and podcasts with great hosts who are passionate and
wonderful people to have the chance to talk to. I think
the biggest thing that I am so grateful for is having created
an artistic training studio.
I’ve also been so fortunate to work with
and learn from animators that inspired me when I was young, its
amazing to be able to meet and work with artists you’ve admired
for so long. Obviously being at Disney as a 2D animator
was something that I am eternally grateful for as
Something I’ll always remember is how I had
the opportunity to meet and talk about drawing with Chuck Jones
when I was just starting to learn animation. Some of the
advice he gave me on drawing has always stayed in my
Have you written any books or blog posts
about Animation or Canadian Animation?
called Movement & Form. I’m currently in the midst of the
Is there a question I should have asked
that I didn’t? Feel free to add it in.
I think these were great questions! 🙂
Were you were interviewed about your work
in animation on other sites online?
To keep up to date on Samantha’s work,
check out the links below