Monday, September 25, 2017

"I Moved to LA to Work in Animation" new 96-page graphic novel

I moved to LA in 2015 to storyboard for animation studios. I get a lot of questions from artists who are interested in making similar career moves themselves. I wanted to make a comic about my experience, half for me and half for anyone looking for information about LA / storyboarding for animation. It took a LOT of my weekends over the past year, but I turned all of my experiences and feelings and things I wanted to tell my younger self into a graphic novel!

The 96-page graphic novel is out now in comic shops, bookstores, Comixology, the BOOM! Studios app, and online retailers! Find our more about the book, as well as links to where you can buy it, HERE.

I recommend supporting a brick-and-mortar comic shop and buying the book from you local comic shop! If you don't normally go to a comic shop, THIS WEBSITE can help you find the closest shops in your zipcode.


Thank you to everyone who sent me your questions when I put the call out earlier this year, and thank you to Molly, Diana, Matt, Paul, Lissa, Erika, and Luis for the proof-reading and encouragement.
Note: Please do not send me your portfolio or your work; I cannot look at it. I wish you all of the best, and I hope that this comic and the resources below will help you, but I cannot mentor you or give you individual feedback. Thank you for understanding.  Good luck!

Let me know in the comments if any links are broken or you think I’m missing something important. If you’re more interested in resources for a career in comics, check out this post.

Different story artists’ advice to check out:
Anthony Holden's comic about gaining life experience before working in a studio:
Toniko Pantoja's tips for Story Portfolios:
Matt Jones’ Dreamworks Feature story test:
Karen J Lloyd’s tips for storyboard tests:
Corey Barnes on the importance of thumbnailing:

Some examples of great Story portfolios:
Kai Lynn Jiang:
Andrea Walker:
Donna Lee:
McKenna Harris:

Studios / job portal links:
Disney Television Animation:
South Park Studios:
Nord-Ouest films:
Moonbot Studios:
ToonBox Entertainment:
Yapiko Animation:
Bent Image Lab:
Chez Soi / Studio Soi in Germany:
Banjo Studio:
Film Roman:
Bardel Entertainment:
Deep Sky Studios:
Man of Action Entertainment:
Monster (aggregate job site):
Indeed (aggregate job site):
Entertainment Careers (aggregate job site):
Creative Heads (aggregate job site):   
AFJV – French aggregate job site with primarily video game art positions, many of which seek English-speaking candidates:
Free online tutorials:
Flooby Nooby: a free, online crash course in storyboarding for animation:
Mark Kennedy’s blog Seven Golden Camels:
Alex Grigg: animating in PS (“phantom limb”)
Cheatin' production blog:

Courses / academic programs:
Concept Design Academy:
California State Summer School for the Arts animation program:
Tron Mai’s story classes (normally at CDA, but do your own search for the latest info)
Rad Sechrist:
Schoolism (I recommend Alex Woo's gesture drawing class!):   
Animation organizations:
Women In Animation:
The Animation Guild:

Los Angeles Animation Festival:
Center Stage Gallery:
Model Drawing Collective Empowering Models/Inspiring Artists life drawing:
Contemporary story artists to follow / study:
Louie del Carmen:
Valerie LaPointe:
A few story art masters:
Storyboard animatics to watch and study:
Lego Movie clips by various artists:
Kiki’s Delivery Service:
Glen Keane thumbnails from Tarzan:
Star Vs The Forces of Evil:
The Visual Story by Bruce Block
Framed Ink by Marcos Mateu Mestre
Storyboards: Motion in Art by Mark Simon
100 Tuesday Tips by Griz and Norm
Art of Storyboard by Don Bluth
Five C’s of Cinematography
Animation Writing and Development: from Script to Pitch
Directing the Story by Francis Glebas
Shot by Shot
Setting Up Your Shots by Jeremy Vineyard
Story by Robert McKee

Other resources:
Glassdoor – employees review the companies they work for and report their real salaries:
Every Frame a Painting:
Chris Oatley's website: 
Disney’s Zootopia documentary, "Imagining Zootopia" has lots of great footage, including the actual story room and what story discussions are like.
Some figure drawing sites if you can't go to sessions in person:


  1. I think the YouTube link to the Zootopia documentary you've posted has been taken down. Sad day...

    But maybe a search for "Imagining Zootopia" will always work?

  2. Nice set of links.

    Some other great FREE animation tutorials are on Aaron Blaise's YouTube Channel and on Toniko Pantoja's YouTube Channel -

    1. Thanks, David! Ah, facepalm, how could I forget Toniko Pantoja's videos? I studied those, they're great.

  3. Do you use Storybiard Pro to draw your drawings on?

  4. This is an amazing list!!! I'm going to take the time to look into as many as I can. Thank you so much for offering it all. I think I might just buy your book!

  5. Is there a way to purchase this as a physical book? Would like to have a copy for our professional library.

    1. Amazing book, by the way :)

    2. Thank you thank you! I'm talking to publishers now, hoping to make a deal for a print version of the comic. :) Fingers crossed!