Connect
To Top

Meet Diana Ling

Today we’d like to introduce you to Diana Ling.

Diana, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles–every chapter of my life featured a different part of LA. I always loved drawing and design so in 2012, I graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts with a B.A. in Animation and Digital Arts. My career trajectory after college was definitely rough—the longest and most noteworthy job I had in the first half-year out of school was a 3-day stint as a 2D animation at Buck Design. After struggling for a while, I decided to enroll at Art Center College of Design to level up my drawing skills. I studied there for 3.5 terms and then left in the middle to try advertising storyboards.

In the beginning of 2016, I got my first job in animation as a storyboard revisionist on WB’s DC SuperHero Girls—unfortunately, I was not mentally well and suffering from terrible insomnia, so I had difficulty concentrating and after two months was laid off. I was quickly able to get another referral from an old USC professor for a job at Hasbro’s Transformers: RID. I stayed there for about a year as a revisionist, then moved onto WB’s Young Justice: Outsiders, also as a revisionist.

After being in the storyboard department for about two years, I realized that I really didn’t want to be a storyboard artist and wanted to do visual development for feature animation. So I left in the middle of Young Justice and solely worked on my vis dev portfolio for a few months. I was lucky enough to be approached by Wild Canary for (finally!) my first design position on Disney Junior’s The Rocketeer. I ended up staying there for a whole year until the season ended, and then…my friend and fellow artist Jason Scheier approached me about being a visual development artist at Alcon Entertainment for an upcoming movie called Darkmouth—my dream job, and where I’ve been for the past six months!

Has it been a smooth road?
As I mentioned above, my journey was definitely not smooth. Between 2012 when I graduated USC to the end of 2015, the longest job I had lasted only three days. I became incredibly disillusioned after USC, which culminated into a year-long battle with depression in 2015. I realized that no one was holding me back except my own doubts and fears. I was afraid of the competition, was greatly affected by social media, and worried a lot about the uncertainty of success in pursuing an art career. I worked really hard to change my mindset and was constantly taking classes outside of work to improve my skills. I learned to hustle, write good emails, talk to recruiters, etc.–really forced myself to get out of my comfort zone. I wanted to succeed badly and felt that I could do it if I could just get out of my own way and have a little patience.

Now, I’m no longer afraid of the uncertainty of being an artist. When I look back on my journey, I am actually surprised at how quickly I was able to achieve my goals. I’ve only been in the industry for four years now.

Please tell us more about your art.
As a visual development artist, I specialize in creating illustrations and assets that determine the overall look of a TV show or movie. I am multifaceted and can do both characters and environments. I think I pride myself the most on my speed–I can get most things done fairly quickly and well. I am also a good listener–I take notes well and don’t get offended easily by criticism. I can keep my ego separate from my work.

In terms of my actual work, I still feel that I am trying to find my voice.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
As I mentioned earlier, I am a LA native and every part of the city represents a different chapter of my life. A lot of locations here feel nostalgic to me. I enjoy the weather the most but hate the traffic.

Contact Info:

Suggest a story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Check out the VoyageLA Podcast:
Episode 1 with Content Partner Lisa Taitelman, Founder of Hiking & Wellness company Find Your Trail.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in