What is your name and your current occupation?
Hi! My name is Megan Ann Boyd, and I’m a toy designer and illustrator!
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I don’t know if I’d call it crazy, but I worked on a small virtual pet website called NeuroGalaxy for many years. I got to make all sorts of artwork for the website, ranging from pets, monsters and items to world illustrations. There was even a time I would make site merchandise in the form of keychains- it was a great little community!
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I got to collaborate with Rovio and create the toys for the Angry Birds Stella line! I absolutely love Rovio’s animations and characters, so it was an honor to bring them into the world of toys. I’ve got all those little birdies and pigs on display in my work room.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from New Jersey! I was obsessed with cartoons as a kid, who wasn’t? I ended up applying to Ringling College of Art and Design for the Computer Animation major. It was a tough but awesome experience!
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Usually my day starts out around 8 with a big cup of coffee. I’m pretty much staring down my Cintiq all day drawing, with a few breaks for meetings or food. Around 5:30 I head home, eat dinner and draw a bit for myself, but lately I’ve been using that time to re-watch Ugly Americans.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
As a kid, my toys were my most prized possessions- I loved them to death. I still have my old Nala hand puppet from the Lion King. The best part of my job is creating the toys that kids will grow up with.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
We work years in advance of things being released, so I can’t tell you about all the cool stuff I’m working on right now.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis, how has technology changed in the last few years in your field and how has that impacted you in your job?
I work primarily in Photoshop, but for my own animation work I primarily use a combo of Photoshop and After Effects. I’m still pretty new to the field, but technology has brought all sorts of new innovations to product design. 3D printers are magical.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Buying all the merch for the brands I work on is driving me bankrupt.
If you could change the way the business works and is run how would
you do it?
I don’t know! I don’t think I could really pick something out to change. I love how tied together product design and animation is lately, it’s driving up the creativity on both sides. I’m constantly being inspired by the studios.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I saw tons of cool people at CTN- I met Eric Goldberg, Pascal Campion and I caught a glimpse of Glen Keane in the distance.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
My family (Mom, autistic brother, cat and dog) lost our house and had to live in a tiny cottage. Picture everyone living out of something the size of a living room. No cable, spotty internet, and I had no car. I had the worst cabin fever of my life that summer, but as a result powered out over 200 commissions in a few months. Turned into my most productive summer.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
I’ve been working on a project based on a few characters I’ve had since middle school. I’m still deciding on what direction I want to pursue, but I’ve been working on the After Effects rigs and a few animation tests.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
If I stretch my arm out, my elbow can bend the other way so my arm looks like an upside down V.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
So much of this industry relies in your personality and who you are as an artist. Create a brand for yourself, be social online. Networking is everything!