What is your name and your current occupation?
Stu Livingston — I work as a storyboard artist in animation – I also write and draw comics.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I had a lot of customer-service-type jobs before breaking in, but the most unusual was the summer I spent working at Meadows Field Airport, back in Bakersfield, CA where I grew up. The crew and I were responsible for checking-in passengers, loading and unloading luggage, as well as taxiing in and out the airplanes. Somehow, I became the guy at the front with the orange batons leading in and out the planes each day. You have to learn all the signals (turn left, go straight, slow down, stop, engine 1 is on fire…), it’s crazy…there’s definitely nothing like having an airplane in your face once or twice a day haha. I was also a court sketch-artist for a major murder trial that took place in Bakersfield back in 1994. They had finally tracked down the key-witness to the crime in 2006, so they scouted out artists at CSUN, where I studied, and I was the one they picked. Interesting story, actually — I helped land, park and service the very plane that brought that witness to Bakersfield, then a few months later I was drawing his picture in court. Probably the most ridiculously unlikely coincidence of my whole life – I can barely believe it happened.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
With storyboarding, I’ve had the great pleasure to work on Futurama, a show I’ve loved and watched since its debut. Due to the large cast and the great variety of stories from script to script, each episode of Futuramacomes with its own unique challenges. As I’m winding down on an episode, it’s a good feeling to have knowing the next one will most likely be totally different. With comics, I’ve had the great, great fortune to contribute to the Flight series, which I’ve been a huge fan of since college. It’s led to some unbelievable opportunities to meet and work with some of my favorite artists! Most recently, I contributed a story to Explorer: The Mystery Boxes, a new comics anthology from Kazu Kibuishi (who also created Flight). What made that experience memorable compared to some of the other stories I’ve done was the chance to work with a really hands-on editor who helped challenge, discipline, and guide us until we each came up with stories that we were all really proud of. Suffice to say I learned a LOT from that experience, I’ll never forget it.
How did you become interested in animation?
I made the choice to become an artist very early on – around age 6 or 7 maybe? It was a shockingly easy choice to make and one I, thankfully, never lost sight of. Cartoons, animation and drawing were always Continue…