Shawna Mills – Creating Violator Union

Shawna MillsThe first time I interviewed Shawna Mills was back in October 2011, where we talked about her work with Titmouse, her feature in Black Comix, and how she used to hate animation, that is before she developed one of the freshest styles this side of moving line work (my words, not hers). This time around, Shawna has created a crowd-funding campaign for her personal comic book creation, something many artistic years in the making: Violator Union.

VU is a tale of four reckless criminals and their dog who fight, murder, and steal, becoming a prime target for the government as they try to find their way to a rumored paradise. I promise you that VU is one of the most eccentric, and truly creative properties you’ll currently have the chance to lay your eyes on. So likewise, the stage for the characters has to be just as crazy. VU can be summed up in one question: What if the power to destroy or change the world was given to irrational criminals?

“I knew I didn’t want good guy protagonists,” Shawna says when I asked her about VU’s tagline. “I didn’t want aliens or magical super mutants. I wanted villains.” The choice to use a group of villains as the main characters in the story may not be entirely unique, but it’s definitely rare and a well thought out choice for the creative direction she is taking with VU.

“The characters sort of come from my own desires and multiple personas,” Shawna goes on to explain. “My mind is not a bad or violent place, but IViolator Union wish to find justice and humanity in places, so I create the world those things can come true in.”

I found it interesting that humanity and justice were Shawna’s choice of words to describe the development of VU’s universe, because at first glance the Violators don’t even sound like they know what those terms mean. But like any well-developed characters, there’s always something under the surface. Shawna admits that underneath it all, the Violators are just “lost souls.”

“Well, I feel that, like you and I, they are works in progress,” Shawna says when I asked her to clarify. “But unlike you and I, they lack empathy and morale. They want to have something that makes them human, but find it difficult realizing it. And like so many lost souls in our real world, they turn to escaping in violent, criminal, and cold ways. They don’t naturally know how to find their way to paradise.”

So, let’s run this down: cold-hearted criminals (check), being chased by the government (check), trying to find paradise (check). Also, super powers (check). Also, they have a dog (double-check). How can you NOT love that idea? You know you do.

But execution is everything, and Shawna is determined to put out a quality product as evidenced by some of the preview pages she has already released through her campaign. Vivid and wild, the pages are everything you would expect from Shawna’s bold and creative style, matching the energy of the animation perfectly. I asked her whether she envisioned the comic book or the animation first, and her answer was simple:

Violator Union Comic Page Sample“I didn’t envision either one coming first. I do what feels great.”

She reflects on old Violator Union pages she created back in the days as she continues, “I looked at them and laughed at how much I’ve grown as an artist and writer,” Shawna says, her excitement showing through despite the humor she finds in her old work. “I want to do it all right now. Everything! The only inconvenience is that I am one person.”

She admits that there has been stress in juggling the creation of Violator Union with her other obligations. “I hide the stress behind sarcasm and a nonchalant smile. If you’ve ever met me and I’m all smiles with half moon eyes, you are in the company of a stressed out Mills,” she says. “But a friend has shown me a bit of a new release. Dance. I dance while at work. And back massages.” At this point I can only imagine she’s sitting on a throne with an evil smile as only the sexiest of men gather at her feet. “I’m really happy about that. Mama needs her back massaged daily.”

While the process has not been without its ups and downs (and apparently dubious amounts of back massages), Shawna is keen on making Violator Union a name to remember. She’s ready to take over, starting with the comic book and perhaps a full animation on the horizon.

“I want this to be my first of many properties. I want merchandise, games, comics, endorsements, cereals and food snacks. I want cameos in music videos and anything I can think of. I have been working hard on creating content and that won’t stop.”

The potential marketability of Violator Union is definitely there, and it’s something that’s not easily forgotten once you see it. But according to Violator UnionShawna, it’s actually some of you guys out there in the artistic community who influenced her decision to finally bring VU to the world.

“I’ve been on VU since my second year of high school. When i started making a move on it being out there, it was more of a thing that was inspired by the online art community,” Shawna says. “Deviant Art. The beautiful and supportive artists there had been watching my illustrations and I grew the characters openly. People became interested, and I started dreaming bigger.”

And now, she’s on her way to really bringing VU to life. The journey has been fruitful in more ways than one. “Two years ago, I wasn’t in this place. Personally, I’ve grown more serious and no-nonsense about everything. I’ve become way more of a woman if I may say so myself. Still much to grow on, but I see my progress. Becoming more confident. I’m proud of myself. I should also mention that I’ve been meeting some really outstanding people and I feel like they are a part of my own growth.”

Shawna is humble, and her potential is boundless. Already receiving recognition from artists like LeSean Thomas (of Boondocks, The Legend of Korra, and Cannon Busters fame), she is well on her way to achieving all the goals she has been striving for. If you guys support any crowd funding campaign in your life, it should be this one. I’m not trying to sound like a PSA or a campaign billboard for a presidential candidate, but I don’t think you need me to ask you to support this KickStarter to see the potential in its creation. The evidence is there for you to check out for yourself. If you can, help spread the word, and make sure you follow Shawna at the links below.

Until next time!

-Kia

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Violator Union Promo

KickStarter:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lazymills/violator-union-graphic-novel?ref=activity

Facebook:  

https://www.facebook.com/ViolatorUnion?fref=ts

Web:

http://lazymills.com/

The legal stuff: Violator Union and all respective characters are © Shawna Mills.  This article was written by Takeia Dunlop exclusively for Spraypaintandinkpens.com. You can link to this article as much as you want, as long as you don’t claim it as your own.

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Meet Sean Tate

I’ve heard someone say before that if you can’t remember how you met a friend, you’re destined to be friends with them for life. I have no idea how that makes any logical sense, but I do know that I can barely remember how I met Sean Tate, and yet we’re still good friends to this day. We both attended the Art Institute in Philadelphia and got to know each other somewhere between watching random Youtube videos in the computer labs and debating about how Philly Hip Hop will always be inferior to New York Hip Hop.

Oops. I was never supposed to let those words leave my lips. It’s ok, though. I’m just joking. Kind of.

But that topic of conversation was all in fun and even after I came back home to New York, we stayed in touch and would make a point to hang out anytime I was in Philly. He encouraged me to be a little more public with the fact that I could rap, even when I wanted to keep it a big secret (and to some extent, I still do), and he introduced me to the best cheese steaks in the city – Max’s Steaks in North Philly. Matter of fact, that should be the new standard of friendship. If you can’t remember how you met a friend, but he treats you to a cheese steak from Max’s, you’re destined to be friends for life.

Yep. My friendship can be bought. With cheese steaks.

Sean showed me where he grew up in North Philly, a neighborhood that didn’t exactly have the best reputation, but that influenced him greatly as an artist all the same. “I find myself incorporating many of my life experiences in North Philly into my ideas, like character personalities, environments, and events,” he says. But the real trigger to Sean’s appetite for pursuing a career in animation was a popular Super Nintendo video game featuring work by another of his greatest influences: Akira Toriyama, the mastermind behind Dragon Ball. In case that incredibly corny hint didn’t jog your memory, or in case you’re just unfamiliar, the game was Chrono Trigger, an RPG developed by SquareSoft back in 1995. “Its pretty ironic but it wasn’t until I played a game called Chrono Trigger in middle school that I decided to do animation!” Sean says. “That game was so dope that I wanted it to be an animated movie or series, and I began coming up with cartoons similar to it.”

Oh Snap! is © Sean Tate

Drawing much of his inspiration from Japanese animation as well as creators such as Lesean Thomas, Aaron McGruder, and Don Bluth, Sean has developed a style of illustration that is immediately recognizable as his own. Even if you subtract all of Sean’s biggest influences, what you’re left with is a guy with a Wacom tablet and a colossal imagination. His web comic entitled Oh Snap!, produced under Ground Up Studios, features a sword-wielding pirate in slippers named Jazz and her band of thieves as they sail the world trying to sell hair care products. In some really weird way, it works. “Oh Snap! was originally designed to be an animated series, but the idea was so dope that we wanted to see how it would come out as a comic first,” Sean explains. “There are a number of concepts behind Jazz’s design. She is kind of made to resemble African and Japanese culture, 80’s pop America, and the hood! I wanted to take a ghetto-natured character and put her in a Final Fantasy-like universe. So that’s why the world and ideas behind Oh Snap! are so bizarre.” Sean pokes fun at the people he was around and things that he experienced growing up in North Philly, but as long as I’ve known him he has also been heavily influenced by Hip Hop, African culture, and black history.

4 is 4 is © Sean Tate

I saw many of those influences when I came to Philly and Sean showed me his concepts for his latest series entitled 4 is 4. “It’s planned to come out the middle of next year. It’s another one of my fantasy series based on ancient African culture with a little bit of Hip-hop influence in it,” Sean says. But it looks like the premise for this one is going to be kept under wraps until we’re a little closer to it’s release.

In the meant time, Sean is producing work with Ground Up Studios, a small Philadelphia based multimedia company specializing in 2D and 3D animation, VFX, Illustration, Comic Books, Graphic Design, and Concept Design. “Henry Wilson, one of Ground Up’s staff, was the one who pulled me in,” Sean says on how he became a part of the Ground Up crew. “I met Henry back when I was a student at the Art Institute. They had a comic book club, which Henry was a part of. He is someone who I respect and look up to as an artist, mentor, and friend.” Ground Up Studios will be the production team behind Sean’s Oh Snap! animated shorts to be released next year.

Zuniko is © Sean Tate

I guess if you could break down Sean’s experience with animation and comics into a randomly invented analogy, comics would be the vacation spot, but animation is what he calls home. “I enjoy doing animation more than comics. Although animation requires a series of frames for one scene, from my experience of producing comics, I learned that there are a lot of things that goes into a comic to make those still images look good,” Sean says.

However, his experiences in producing work as a freelance animator have not always been easy. “One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced was producing an enormous project within a short deadline,” Sean says. He worked on an animated commercial for Pastry Pop Stars, a division of Vanessa and Angela Simmons’ Pastry shoe line for children. “It was kind of crazy because I pretty much produced that project as a one man army!” Sean says of the experience. “In fact, Kia, don’t be surprised if I contact you for some animation work in the future!” he laughs.

To which I give a firm no thanks! 

Nu and Star are © Ground Up Studios

But Sean has clearly proven that he can handle the pressure of producing animation as a one man battalion or as part of a creative team. I definitely wouldn’t mind collaborating with him on a project in the future. For right now, though, he has his own goals of seeing his creator-owned properties produced for television. If there’s one thing I’m certain of, it’s that you will see Sean’s work in some form, whether it’s behind the scenes bringing his concepts to life, or right in your face on the big screen. After interviewing him and gaining more insight into his life as an artist, there was only one possible question left:

When can you treat me to another cheese steak?

Thanks for reading as always. Until next time!

-Kia

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Sean Tate is a freelance animator and illustrator who is currently an integral part of the Ground Up Studios team. He is open for commissions and freelance work for animation, concept design, logos, and more. You can contact Sean with the info below:

Web: http://groundupstudios.com/

DeviantArt: http://groundupstudios.deviantart.com/gallery/8395284

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500509534

Sean’s email: Seanime4@gmail.com

Studio email: groundupstudios1@gmail.com

Introducing Matt Johnson

It was cold, gloomy and rainy one day last week and I was blasting away dozens of Lambant hordes in Gears of War 3. As I watched them explode in a messy array of yellow, glowing goo, I thought to myself, “Life is weird for so many reasons.” Case in point: my articles never start off with anything having to do with the artist I’m going to talk about. I mean, really? Gears of War 3? What does that have to do with Matt Johnson? Trust me, I’m getting there.

But yeah, as I was saying…life is weird. Of all the artists I’ve interviewed and written articles about, I only know two personally. The others are voices over the phone, text messages, back and forth emails, or Facebook posts accompanied by photos to put a face to the abundance of conversational text that has become the means by which I get to know those people. Believe me, that’s not to minimize the relationship I’ve developed with the people I’ve written about, however big or small. I say that to say, despite the fact that I probably will never meet half of the people I write about face to face, what’s weird is that I don’t feel like I need to. Somehow, I’ve gotten to know all of those people in some way through their art before I ever placed a phone call or wrote an email to them.

The point of what I’m saying is that Matt Johnson lives all the way in Fresno, California, while I’m typing this from the bedroom of my apartment in a brisk, snow-dusted area of the Bronx, and yet he’s no different. The first time I talked to Matt on the phone, a long long time ago, I answered with something to the extent of, “Hey Matt! It’s nice to finally talk to you,” and he retorted with, “Hahaha! You said tawk instead of talk. You are SO east coast!” I nodded in approval from the opposite end of the phone, thinking, “I like this guy.” And now, years later, here I am writing about him. Right. Like I said – weird.

Warchyld is © Matt Johnson

What’s not weird, at least to any person with an ounce of creative juice in their body, is the all too familiar way that Matt fell in love with animation and comics and realized that he wanted to pursue those art forms as a career. Like most kids at three years old Matt was all about cartoons, especially anything by Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, or the old Popeye cartoons by the Fleischer Brothers. “I would annoy the heck out of my family by taking up the ‘TV time’ to use our VHS to watch those cartoons frame by frame,” Matt recalls of his younger days. “When I wasn’t doing that, I was stuck in our upstairs room sneaking my dad’s Heavy Metal mags into my paws. The artwork blew me away!” I don’t think Heavy Metal was instilling any hard core morals and values in children back then, but Matt admits that it was worth the trouble he would get into with his mother.

I mean, hey, it had to count for something right? Currently, Matt is an animator at Synermatix Studios in Fresno, is the head of his own multimedia studio, Myndfury, has done work for Warner Brothers as a 3D animator on their web series, Chadam, and is hard at work on his own comic book property, Thrash: Rise of Shidou. Hear that moms? You should be thanking Heavy Metal.

That’s not to say that the journey has been easy or without it’s lessons, however. Matt has seen both sides of the spectrum when it comes to being an integral part of the creative business. “It was very stressful at points when the producers and directors are literally over your shoulder watching you animate,” Matt says of his time working with Warner Bros. “I’m telling you, that’s the time when you had BETTER deliver! The industry is cut throat and people are replaced on a whim. Luckily I did a decent enough job to where I stayed.” Matt enjoys working with a team, but admits that it doesn’t leave much room for creative flair, whereas going solo leaves loads of creative freedom, but doesn’t pay as immediately as studio work. “The price of freedom is steep,” he says.

It definitely goes without saying that the price of creative freedom isn’t cheap, but that’s not stopping Matt from building his own multimedia studio to make sure his creative freedoms go to good use. Even the name, Myndfury, was chosen to be purposely ambiguous as a creative business tactic. “Some people think they have to be direct with names, but it’s always served me better when you get the customer asking questions about you and your products. Questions mean that they’re interested,” Matt says.

He is not shy about his passion and confidence in Myndfury either, and rightfully so. While the studio specializes in multimedia design, it’s actually a big cover for Matt’s diabolical scheme to take over the world: making comics. The money that is generated by producing cutting edge work for a variety of clients goes right back into producing any creator-owned comic book that comes out of Myndfury. “I like being indy. It puts more of myself and my views out there and I want to give other artists that same opportunity – to put themselves out there!” Matt says of his business approach. So the plan is to take over the world, one comic book at a time, starting with his creator-owned property, Thrash: Rise of Shidou.

The book is centered around a masked man and his quest for vengeance as he systematically tries to topple the great kingdom of Suikon. However, the further down the path of vengeance he goes, the more he comes to realize that the kingdom did not become great on its own. Dark magic, nightmarish creatures, and even powerful Gods aided in its rise to power. This book will be an epic Japanese tale of the often blurred line between justice and vengeance, as well as the monsters both produce.

Thrash: Rise of Shidou is © Matt Johnson

“It’s been an adventure to say the least!” Matt says of creating Thrash solo, taking on the dual responsibilities of writer and artist. “I try to be very systematic when making Thrash. I use a very ‘Marvel Style’ plot. Usually it’s drawn from the writer’s description, and sent back to the writer for dialogue. Since I’m both writer and penciller, I can shape and mold the story how I see fit; quicken the pace and allow the story to breathe as necessary.” Matt admits that the coloring process is the part of creating his own comic that he loathes the most. “I was so weak in it during high school and parts of college. Taking some tips from my good friend Kyle Chaney, I found a good process to get the pages how I want them.”

And speaking of Kyle Chaney, one of my former interviewees, Matt is currently working with him and artist, Scott Blake, on creating a mini-comic entitled Crossover Crisis which will feature flagship characters created by all three artists and will debut within the Thrash comic book series. Both are expected to be done by the end of the year. He is also currently collaborating with fellow artist and friend, Black Ant, on a number of projects including Ant’s very own entitled B.P.M. Matt hopes to jump back into creating motion comics as well, resurrecting another property entitled Gun Guardian that was created alongside artist Stephen Stewart. “I owe him for doing the dope character designs. Yeah bro! This is a call out! I would love to collab with fellow artists on the next one I do.” Matt says enthusiastically.

Thrash: Rise of Shidou is © Matt Johnson

He has worked with so many different people in so many different lanes and in so many different mediums that I wondered which experience has been the most rewarding for Matt.

“I went to a local high school to do some motivational speaking and I showed the students my work. I told them my background and I thought that was it,” he says. “However recently, a student told me on Facebook that his teacher asked him to do an essay on someone that inspired him and greatly influenced his life. He decided to do his essay on me. I was floored.” Matt reflects on that experience, and adds, “It’s an extremely overwhelming experience when somebody says your work inspires them to do better. Mainly because I consider myself as pretty average, and nowhere near being the next Jim Lee.”

Well, you know what they say. Jim Lee wasn’t made in a day. I think it’s nice and pretty humbling to live in New York and still have the chance to meet someone who grew up in Fresno without much who truly believes that he can take over the world one comic book at a time. The weirdest thing is, that simple belief is responsible for the successes of many Jim Lee’s the world over. It always starts with simply believing that you can.

Thanks for reading, guys. Until next time.

-Kia

 

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Matt Johnson is a 2D/3D animator and independent comic book artist from Fresno, California who is currently the head of his own multimedia studio, Myndfury. Myndfury is currently offering services in 2D and 3D animation, 3D modeling, comic book production, character design, and more. For more information, you can email Matt Johnson at myndfurydesigns@yahoo.com or follow Myndfury on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Myndfury.

Shawna Mills

Shawna Mills aka Lazy Mills

Chaos to Calm..a lesson in opposites

Have you met Shawna Mills? No? Well, you should. I haven’t even met her, and I know that I should. 

Scratch that. I met her at this past weekend’s New York Comic Con. Don’t be jealous.

…But back to my story. I can tell you how I came across Shawna’s work, back before I had any earthly clue who she was. I was on the phone with a friend and the conversation went something like this:

Friend: “Have you seen that girl Shawna Mill’s work? She’s awesome. Her name is Lazy Mills on Deviant Art, I think. You should check her out.”

Me: (in the middle of stuffing my face with some sort of high calorie snack and chasing said snack with a glass of wine) “Ok.”

This was a while ago, and once I saw Shawna’s work I eventually moved on to get lost in the sea of artistic addiction that is Deviant Art (seriously, I think DA is sprinkled with lucrative amounts of crack). But I never forgot Shawna’s vivid and eccentric style and her ability to use exaggerated characters and poses and bright graffiti-inspired visuals to create animations that are nothing short of engaging. She was one of the artists that I wanted to write about when I started this blog, so of course the first order of business was to find out how she got the nickname Lazy Mills.

“It started out when an old college friend told me to join an art community (DA) and I couldn’t come up with a screen name I could memorize,” Shawna says as she laughs. “I was known for being sorta lazy and unmotivated. I really put little effort into what I did. Fell asleep in classes I should have gotten A’s in. I lacked energy or the motivation for gaining energy. I was a lazy person. So the name came naturally and I remembered it easily.” And thus, Lazy Mills was born. To see her work, however, you would never know it. Want to know another interesting yet ironic fact? Shawna actually used to hate animation when she first learned how to do it in high school. Again, to see her work, you would never know it. “ My first animation was really good for a first. But I lacked the interest,” she admits. It wasn’t until college, where Shawna started making Photoshop animations for fun, that she came back to the medium, this time to stay.

Underneath the layers of quirky animation and exceptional characters, Shawna’s style is expressive and lively with bright colors reminiscent of the graffiti you can find in any of New York’s boroughs. I found that her influence growing up in NYC is as deep as the people walking the streets. “Street performers, Graffiti, the A-holes, the fashion. It all has it’s place in my development,” Shawna says. “It’s a great place to find yourself. Be real with yourself. And I only focused on my art, so my heart was put on paper and freely so. The diversity and odd happenings of NYC made it feel safe to be controversial as well.”

© Shawna Mills

While I wouldn’t call it controversial, Shawna’s style is certainly atypical of American animation…and for the better. Her work reminded me of the energy and style of some of Gainax’s productions like FLCL and Gurren Lagaan, so naturally I had to ask if she pulled any influence from the popular Japanese studio. “I am inspired by those productions. I don’t know the names of the artists themselves. I’ve said that once before – I NEVER pay attention to artists. I could really care more,” she laughs. “I don’t like being insulting, but I see only what inspires me. The works come first. I got a lot from FLCL, the Gorillaz, DeadLeaves. The rest of my inspirations came largely from people of DA and people I knew personally.” As for the eccentricity and life in her animations – well, that’s all Shawna. She is the exact opposite of her Lazy Mills moniker on paper, bursting with energy through her animations. “I’m Lazy and I do lack stamina, but once in a while I surprise friends when I burst out like a cartoon with my bad jokes and punching arms and junk,” she says. “So yeah, I am very animated. Not too openly to everyone however. Chaos to calm. It’s me, for sure.”

Shawna’s ability to push her chaos to calm personality into her work has turned out well for her in the animation arena, though that doesn’t mean it’s always been a walk in the park.

© Shawna Mills

Working for companies such as Titmouse Inc. and Marroni Electronic Entertainment, where succeeding in a team oriented environment is crucial, was very different from freelancing for Shawna. “I am not used to the lack of direct communication. I got the feeling I wasn’t getting all of what I needed to know at times when ever I worked with a team. I’m a hands on person. I need to know what I’m failing at. Flat out. So I can focus on fixing it. I got that a lot better with freelance,” she says. But Shawna admits that keeping organized could be overwhelming when it came to freelance clients, so working with a team was something she always wanted, even though the lack of communication could be intimidating at times. “I’ve joined MEE and I’m the 2D artist for a 3D game. I like a team. I like being hands on in just the right amount and still being informed of the rest without dealing with the rest.”

So based on the quality of work that she produces, I thought that Shawna and animation were skipping through grassy meadows together holding hands. Then this statement came:

“I really needed to stop animating. Right before I got on MEE, I was ready to go into acting or gardening or…. pickpocketing…. ANYTHING else but animation.”

But you two are so perfect together, I thought.

“I loved that my animations were liked,” she continues, “but the truth is, I’ve always wanted to do concept work.” She lets out a smile. “And at MEE I’ll be doing just that. It’s the path I was hoping for.” But don’t let this throw you. Shawna admits that she can never escape animation, and she’s still keeping her services open for any future opportunities.

© Shawna Mills

And this girl has an undoubtedly bright future ahead of her along with a growing list of accomplishments. Having recently been featured in Black Comix, a book highlighting African-American independent artists and comic book creators, Shawna remains humble and even a little surprised by the experience. “I went to the release, and It was so cool for me. I thank everyone for including me in on it. When I am approached by such amazing people, I get shy.” She laughs then adds, “But it’s always an honor when I’m talked well about by such accomplished people.”

As skilled as she is, Shawna still considers herself a duckling of the game. “I would love to work under Sandford Greene and Lesean Thomas. I say under because I’m a student before I’m on a level. These people are fascinating to me. I want to know what they know and work as well as they do,” she says. Her list also expands to include people that she knows personally, including Courtland Ellis of multimedia studio, The Fictory, who mentioned that Shawna is one of his biggest influences.

I know I’m supposed to be objective as a writer, but, seriously, who wouldn’t want to see that? Just tell me which stars need aligning to make that happen. Anyway…

I asked Shawna if she had any parting advice for anyone that is looking to break into the animation field. After interviewing her, I know that any answer other than the one she gave just wouldn’t be her.

“Oh advice. I’m no good at giving real world advice. I do know the codes I lived by and what helped me. One: do what ever you want.

© Shawna Mills

Seriously. The world can suck, but if you have a pen and pad, you can go and do anything. When they say it’s silly of you, do it bigger and louder so it’s so ridiculous that it’s genius. You should have a good amount of stubbornness and openness. It’s important. Your ideas and innovations go a long way, I believe. And if you can, do a lot yourself. Wait for no one if you can. Don’t sit still if you see something you can do to make something great. Over all, stop seeing what you can’t do. Only see what you can do, or you’ll be stuck.”

She laughs and adds, “Yeah, my type of advice giving is much more fit for being a life coach than I thought. “

I’ve learned that Shawna is a girl that excels when it comes to opposites. She gives pretty good advice for someone who says she’s not good at giving it, and has some of the best work I’ve seen coming from an admittedly lazy animator in…well…ever.

Still, Shawna is an excellent example of how far humility and passion can take you. In an industry that is defined by the typical, I’m confident that she will continue to break molds simply because she creates what’s in her heart to create, and what she produces certainly strays from the ordinary.

When they say it’s silly of you, do it bigger and louder so it’s so ridiculous that it’s genius. Lesson learned.

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Shawna Mills is a 2D animator and concept designer from New York, NY. She is currently 2D Art Director for Marroni Electronic Entertainment and is working on an official sketch book entitled N.A.P. (Not A Pro). She is also accepting freelance work for both animation and concept design. Shawna can be reached with the info below:

Email: Shawnami2@yahoo.com

Web: Lazymills.com

Animations: http://vimeo.com/user533039/videos