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Meet Janice Chun

Today we’d like to introduce you to Janice Chun.

Hi Janice, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
After graduating from art school (RISD), I started out as a freelance animator and full-time VFX artist. I worked as a beauty rotoscope artist on films like Avenger’s Infinity War, Mission Impossible Fallout, and Ant-Man and the Wasp. It was very different from what I studied in but a great learning experience and I enjoyed having health insurance and benefits (haha). But my real passion lies in cartoons so after a year, I transitioned to TV Animation and worked at South Park. From there, I jumped over to Cartoon Network and have since been working as a storyboard artist and writer at CNS, WB, and Netflix. Some of the shows I’ve worked on are Close Enough, We Baby Bears, and Animaniacs. Currently, I’m still storyboarding back at Cartoon Network and am a part of the Sesame Workshop Writers’ Room.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It hasn’t always been a smooth road. As an Asian-American woman, there was definitely some pressure in some of the work environments I’ve been in. Pay gap is a big one and it does get exhausting navigating bosses who might have certain stereotypes about my race and gender. Thankfully, I’ve never had to stay too long on those crews and I have a great network of friends and family that ground me in those situations. I’m also very thankful to now be in a place in my career where I can be selective on the shows and people I work for.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Professionally, I’m a storyboard artist and writer but in my spare time, I love making independent films and music videos. I’m mostly known for the shows I’ve worked on like South Park and Close Enough but what I’m really proud of is some of the side passion projects I’ve been a part of. Getting to direct and animate for “Wiyuld” by Evann McIntosh was a lot of fun. Animating for Neko Case, Flamingosis and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee were also some of my favorite projects. I’m still pretty proud of a couple of my independent films and am always honored when they’re selected for film festivals and featured as a Vimeo Staff Pick.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
Community is so important. I’m very blessed and thankful to have consistent work since my job allows me to work from home. But I’m even more grateful for my friends and family for keeping me sane and supporting me. Covid has hit a lot of us badly but at the same time, I’ve seen a lot of healing and support that really gave me hope. I think life can be very isolating (even before Covid) so I’m thankful for the relationship that I have.

A random tip I’ve learned during Covid is that if you don’t want to cry while you’re cutting onions, you can use pool goggles to avoid it. (This fun fact is brought to you by a student in my storyboarding class, haha)

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