What is your name and your current occupation?
Kaya Dzankich, Color Stylist at Fox Television Animation.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I’ve worked since age 14 at a diverse array of jobs. At 18 I worked at a pizza joint and was held up at gunpoint. At 20 I was a lube tech at Jiffy Lube. Throughout my 20s I worked at our local, independent record store and got the finest education in music I could have ever asked for.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
The Cleveland Show.
How did you become interested in animation?
From as far back as I can remember I’ve loved animation and always knew I wanted to have a career in art. It was always a goal of mine even when the path lead in other directions.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from Oregon and originally got a degree in Graphic Design. I worked in that field for many years, which inadvertently lead to my new path (and true passion) in animation. I had to start completely over, working my way up the ladder from assistant, to PA, to color stylist. Once I reached my goal of working in color, making the transition from graphic designer was smooth because of my knowledge of Photoshop and my art education.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Everyday I get to bring line art to life with color!
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
All the pretty colors! It’s nice to have a little bit of creative freedom in a world otherwise confined by the strict rules of model sheets and mouth charts.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
I’m very grateful for my job so it’s hard for me to answer this question. For all of us in the biz, sitting in a chair and staring at a computer screen all day can’t be good in the long term, but eh what can you do? I’m sure it’s worth it.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
The schedules show no remorse and you have to keep on truckin’. It’s very challenging, but it keeps us on our toes.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
Mac-based Adobe Photoshop.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Not yet… unless you can count the people I work with everyday. I’m not just blowing hot air. I’m serious! I work with some pretty amazing people. Our supervising directors blow my mind. They have a lot on their plates and I don’t know how they keep it all straight.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Losing my sister to cystic fibrosis in 1999. She was 19 and was the strongest, most amazing person I’ll ever know. She is in my heart, everyday.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
I love painting with with acrylics or watercolor. I’m currently working on a series of paintings and hope to get a gallery show.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I have double jointed elbows and can do some pretty gross contortions with them.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Find out as much as you can about the business and what positions are out there. Pick one goal and go for it. DO NOT give up. Keep your eye on the prize. Everybody has been rejected at some point and it will happen to you. Don’t let it discourage you. This is a sink or swim industry and only the strong survive. Move forward, keep learning and don’t give up! You can do it!