Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Lazo.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Katie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am a professional storyboard artist and illustrator working in animation. My earliest memories include my grandma teaching me and my sister Becca how to paint and sitting on my dad’s lap watching The Simpsons. I have always wanted to be a visual artist in any way. And as I have followed my heart and intuition, it has been clear that animation is the most fulfilling medium for me.
Growing up, I drew in a ton of sketchbooks. I also created stories with my friends about a variety of different characters. Any creative opportunity I was given, I explored it. My mom was very supportive and enrolled me in extracurricular painting classes as a child. I was actively participating in school art competitions, drawing classes, and posting on online art forums. I am inspired creatively by my love of telling stories about people and connecting with people through art.
I graduated from Art Center College of Design in 2017 and earned my BFA in Illustration, with an emphasis on Entertainment Arts. In college, I quickly learned that storyboarding was a professional career that had everything I wanted. I tell stories about many kinds of characters, I get to express my self through sequential drawings, and work in a team with other dedicated artists! It’s my dream come true.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been easy! When I was in high school, my younger brother Tony was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer that affected his sinus cavity. I spent a lot of my days after school visiting him in the hospital. There was a point where an odd fungal infection afflicted Tony, and my family wasn’t sure if he would make it. I remember sitting in his hospital bed and watching cartoons with him. Even though we couldn’t do much, our family still found a way to spend time together. He is now six years in remission, cancer-free! I treasure my family’s support and have realized that life is valuable.
After graduating from college, it took me about three years to land my first full-time job. I worked several kinds of jobs from coffee shop barista to retail and manual labor in warehouses. There were times I doubted myself, and I wondered if I made a mistake, which deeply troubled me since I have dedicated my entire life to art!
Oddly enough, the beginning of the pandemic was when I got my first big break. I was scrambling to find work since my hours at my part-time job were getting cut. And then, my friend Megan Ho referred me to ShadowMachine to storyboard for a show she previously worked at, Final Space.
Looking back, it is evident to me that all of the difficult experiences I have gone through have contributed to my self-development and my art. I am inspired and motivated by my past experiences and all the memories I have yet to make.
That’s so heartwarming to hear about your brother’s recovery. You are very lucky to have such a wonderful and loving family. So, switching gears a bit, we’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am currently working at Titmouse as a storyboard artist on a series called Fairfax.
Although I am new to the industry, I have enjoyed storyboarding on adult series such as Final Space and Rick and Morty Adult Swim IDs. I love that I can go from drawing a heartfelt moment between a couple one day to drawing a hilarious psychedelic mind trip the next. My favorite part is getting to express the character’s emotions throughout the scenes!
Every now and then, I also get asked to produce illustrations for sticker designs, zines, and TV show promotions. I love having opportunities to draw cartoony and stylized characters.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I want to continue to tell stories in any way possible! Whether it be storyboarding, drawing, directing, writing, comics, or speaking to art students about my experiences.
My future dream is to mentor young artists and bring up the next generation of creatives. I wouldn’t be where I am without my family and teachers’ support, and I want to pay it forward.
For now, I’ll keep soaking up what the universe has to teach me.
- Website: https://www.katielazo.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org