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Meet Anya Butler of Meppity in Santa Clarita

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anya Butler.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Anya. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’m a 19 years old artist born and raised in the UK now pursuing my dreams of working in Animation in LA. At 13 years old, I discovered a show called Gravity Falls and instantly fell in love. Watching that show made me realize my life goal is to tell stories through art. Ever since, I have been practicing and honing my skills to achieve this – along the way, I garnered a social media following on YouTube and Instagram (133k and 36k respectively) where I share my art and advice to fellow young artists. Knowing I already inspire and entertain people is deeply encouraging.

In 2018, I attended CSSSA for animation, a four weeks intensive where I got to meet so many incredible peers. This was the first time I got to connect with people who shared my interests. After high school, I was accepted into my dream college: California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) of which I have completed my first year. Again, I have met so many outstanding people who are just as passionate as I, further encouraging me to continue making art.

Has it been a smooth road?
It wasn’t always smooth sailing for sure. After deciding to pursue a career in art and entertainment, my parents tried very hard to discourage me. They admired my determination but were certain my passion was just a phase. They kept insisting I focus on a “real job” like law or medicine until finally I wore them down and convinced them this was the right path for me. I was incredibly fortunate to make this decision so early because it gave my parents time to finally lend their support once college apps came about.

Unusually, I am not my biggest critic but my parents are. It comes from a place of love but also concern as I think somewhere deep in their hearts, they believe I’ll eventually become a doctor or something. It makes creating fairly exhausting but ultimately has helped shape who I am today. Seeking the financial and emotional support of family can be incredibly difficult, especially for those of us aiming for less traditional careers but don’t let that stop you!

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Online I am known as “Meppity” and on YouTube, I share my work as well as provide advice to fellow young artists. Currently, I do not have a specialty within the animation industry but this provides me the opportunity to explore without being tethered to any style or job.

My work is most known for its whimsical and playful nature, often bathed in warm colors. In particular, I have found success in character design and bringing inanimate objects to life. I also make music! Though I’m not a professional, I enjoy creating audio to enhance my visuals.

I am proud to say, in January 2020 I hit 100,000 subscribers! It was a fantastic feeling and though I don’t care for numbers, I am elated at what they represent. To know that I have been able to help out and create content for thousands of people enjoy means a lot. After all, someday I’d like to have a kids’ TV show but I want it in order to bring joy to others. To have already succeeded when I was 18 is something I’ll always be happy about.

Aside from my YouTube channel, I’m also proud to have already work with the LEGO group and the BBC.

I believe I stand out for attaching myself, Anya Butler, to my artwork. I’d like to believe people come for art but stay for my personal insights and advice. I think it’s important to have a social media presence these days and adding a little of myself into my work makes it easier for people to feel connected and stick around.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is the home for all things entertainment. This was the place where I met other animation lovers for the first time and is also the place for some of the biggest studios. I had no doubts when traveling across the pond that I was making the right decision to move to LA. Coming from rural England, it was quite a shock to the system but one I got used to and have made the most of. Since coming here, I have met some of my greatest inspirations as well as developed connections that will stay with me throughout my career.

One of the biggest struggles is the cost of living. As students bathing in mountains of debt whilst trying to get our feet in the door of an industry that doesn’t pay very highly, it can be physically and emotionally taxing. Coming to the city of dreams is a huge risk and the odds of success must be weighed before making the decision. Fortunately, going to university and physically being in LA is no longer a necessity to be successful in animation but once you become more established, there’s no better place to be.

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Image Credit:

Catherine Gong

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