Today we’d like to introduce you to Katya Bowser.
Katya, before we jump into specific questions about your art, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved to draw. I also was very into animation! I was obsessed with all of the 90’s Disney movies, Ariel was my girl, and I watched all of the animated shows I could. As I got older, I never grew out of it. I continued to love every bit of it. But, I never really considered art or animation as a career. I was constantly drawing, but I guess it just didn’t click that I could do that for a job. It wasn’t until one summer after the 10th grade in high school, I went to a church camp. For some reason, I had decided that I was going to keep an art journal that week to reflect on things that I would learn. So I drew all week. Then one day the main speaker for the week was supposed to deliver his usual announcements for the day and he brought out a box with him and spoke candidly for a moment. He spoke about how he wasn’t sure why, but he felt like he needed to get on a soapbox quickly and talk about how some of us are creatively talented in various ways. And if that’s you, then God is calling you to do something with that. It was at that moment I realized, oh snap, he’s talking about me. I need to be an artist. This is what I was meant to do! So I went home and told my parents what happened and how I needed to look into art school and how I wanted to work in animation because its everything that I love! After graduating high school I attended Ringling College of Art and Design and majored in Computer Animation. I graduated in 2012 and a few months after that made the move to Burbank with my husband and began my job search.
At school, I had learned about myself that I loved to tell stories and storyboarding is what rang most true to me. I had my first job at Disneytoons Studio for a few weeks. Then I freelanced for about five years on various projects. I did boards for Epipheo Studios, a few other advertisements and short films. I also dabbled some in children’s book illustration. I worked on many self published children’s books. In that time I had my book, “Dex T-Rex” published through Stan Lee’s Kids Universe (and was able to meet him a few times!) A couple years later I had my wonderful daughter. Then, I began working at Nickelodeon as a Storyboard Revisionist on Shimmer and Shine. From there I went to Wild Canary Animation to work as a revisionist on Disney Jr’s The Rocketeer. I was then moved up to Storyboard Artist and I continue as a board artist at the studio today! I have boarded for The Rocketeer, Puppy Dog Pals and Chicken Squad.
Has it been a smooth road?
It was not easy! It took me about five years after graduating college to land my first full-time position in one of the studios here. I had to work hard at revising my portfolio constantly. I faced a lot of rejection. I suffered from gut wrenching portfolio reviews. I tested for a lot of shows and was rejected more. I was so close for so long. My husband and I were doing what we could to keep trying and make ends meet. Many times we were ready to pack up and go back home to Florida, but we were encouraged in many ways through friends, church, etc. to keep trying. Going through that much rejection over such a long period of time was difficult. Thankfully it all turned out ok!
We’d love to hear more about your art.
I’m a storyboard artist and I have worked mostly doing boards for tv shows. I love the process of visually interpreting a script to see how an episode can come together. I enjoy working on all kinds of genres, but I think I have to most fun with humor and heart. I love being able to focus on how a character might act, what are little moments and expressions that can add humor to the scene. I also really love working through character emotional arcs. Using acting and cinematography to show how a character is processing their emotions is my sweet spot. I enjoy working on those things, and I hope that it shows in my work!
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles, especially Burbank, is great if you want to pursue animation. A lot of work is here. A lot of people are here. I think being able to be here and build genuine relationships with people who are like you and love animation can be good for anyone on this journey. But because of social media, it is possible to get that animation community wherever you are! If you can make it out here, then great you should do it! But if it’s not within your means to come here then don’t! There are other ways and other companies that do great in other places too. I think the hardest thing about coming out here is the cost of living. It almost sent us home many times! If you can find a away to come out here and have a livable income, then it’s a good option to be here.
- Website: http://katyabowser.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @katyabowserart
- Facebook: @katyabowserart
- Twitter: @katyabowserart
Production boards shown are by Katya Bowser for Nickelodeon’s Shimmer and Shine and Disney Jr’s Rocketeer