What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Kat Miranda and I’m a freelance story artist/illustrator.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Hmm crazier than animation? I served at the Cheesecake Factory for 3 years and for a short while I also worked for the government. Top secret stuff, you know. (They’re probably monitoring this interview as I type!)
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
While interning at Titmouse in Manhattan, I’ve had the pleasure to work on Venture Bros Season 5! GO TEAM VENTURE! Also a tad on Metal, a tad on Super Jail and a tad on Motor City helping with little things over all!
How did you become interested in animation?
I watched movies such as Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Sword in the Stone and all the other amazing disney features. But I also loved my saturday morning cartoons like Animaniacs, Freakazoid, Hey Arnold, AH! Real Monsters, and you get the gist of it. But it really hit me when I learned that I could make cartoons for a living and how amazing it would be!
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m originally from Los Angeles, CA. I decided to move to the east coast for personal reasons and applied to a bunch of small game and animation studios out here in NYC. Titmouse was the first to call me back. And I accepted!
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Wake up early, eat breakfast, draw/design/paint for 8 hours on freelance, eat lunch/dinner, and then work on my own stuff until 2 or 3am. Repeat the next day.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Figuring out the best way to tell the story of the characters I’m working on for clients, because there are so many views points you could tell from. Its almost as if, the possibilities are endless. I guess thats why I love story so much though!
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Hitting a roadblock, because its blocking my road! Haha. Ok for real, story is tough. You have figure out a way to simplify some storytelling elements without losing all the important juicy stuff. On top of that you need to think of all the different camera angles that best fits the moment of what you’re trying to say. And you’re acting for all the characters! Sometimes my mind just wants to explode. But its all through trial and error.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
I work on my MacBook, on a tablet using Adobe CS5 goodness. I mean if we want to say ancient technology…I’ll include a pen and sketchbook too. haha
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
The most difficult part for me is trying not to get discouraged. Sometimes you feel close to something and you want a chance to prove yourself. But its not how our world works. I recently read the blog of Emma Coats and she had a post that said something like “I know the feeling of ‘if I could just get a chance, I could prove myself’ but this is how it works – ‘you prove yourself to get the chance.’ ” Basically, don’t give up. And give it all you got! I learned from Bobby Chiu (back when I worked for Gallery Nucleus), that “Its not a ‘No’ it just means ‘Not Now’ ” and I do believe that. I believe most things happen for a reason and I’m right where I am meant to be.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I am honored to say I have met a lot of my heroes from my field, from Glen Keane and Andreas Deja to directors like Pete Doctor, Ron and John, Tom Moore, and Henry Selick! Also great story guys like Dave Pimentel and Louie Del Carmen! Last but not least, Bill Perkins! They’re all amazing and have inspired me in so many ways! I could never thank them enough!
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Oh, that is a hard pill to swallow. Hmm, well I lived in my car for a while last year. My dad and I did not see eye to eye for my career choice and how I wanted to go about it. So, I left to follow my dream. I was lucky enough to have a very good friend of mine figure me out, and took me in.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
I’m starting an animation production company with a few very talented friends. Our team is called “Quick Draw Productions” and we’re currently speaking with a client about animating a music video.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
Haha hmm, unusual talents…OH! I have an epic short term and long term memory system going for me. If I visit a place once. I can remember how to get there exactly the same way, and get back home. The second, is, well my friends say it is. I have the capability to instantly make friends. They think I’m crazy, but I love meeting new people! It amazes me with all the people we have in the world, and all the history they have within them. I want to learn about places they’ve been! People they’ve met! Crazy things they’ve done or experienced! I love hearing stories and telling them!
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Do not draw for the sake of drawing. Draw with purpose. Know your stuff. Draw everyday like you can’t live without it. For every minute you don’t, someone out there is and surpassing you. Goodluck! P.S. I’d like to shout out to my crazy talented friends back home in LA, Stu Livingston! Stephanie Ramierez! Carrie Liao! Megan Nicole Dong! Deb and Joe Cohen! Fawn Veerasunthorn and Ryan Green! Chris Whybarra and Breann Johnson! James Lien and Kevin! Please check out their amazing work! I hope to see you guys soon! :3