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Meet Lizzy Hogenson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lizzy Hogenson.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Lizzy. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It’s a rather wandering path that has led me to my current creative pursuits. I started my professional career on Wall Street. You learn a lot really quickly in that environment, but that same speed also often leads to burnout. After a few years, I started thinking about what makes for a good life and what I really wanted to achieve—and not just what I felt I should be doing.

I started the transition to more creative work through USC’s Cinema and Media Studies master’s degree. I have always loved stop motion but was too intimidated to try it. My second semester, I took a risk and signed up for a stop motion class in the animation school. I wasn’t very good, but I loved it. I spent the next year and a half at USC practicing as much as I possibly could, and have been working with it since graduating.

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’s been incredibly challenging. Doing something you’re passionate about, but is also so personal can be very draining. A lot of times it means long hours for a delayed reward. You really need to be your own biggest fan. It’s also difficult starting over, working your way from the bottom, when you’ve already climbed a few rungs of the corporate ladder.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I do fabricating and stop motion related services. My own projects tend to focus around medical humanities issues and non-fiction narratives. But, really, I like to create anything colorful and a little wild using traditional animation and fabrication techniques. I’m all about maintaining an element of spontaneity and even a bit of an unfinished quality to my work. I want you to feel like you can touch what’s behind the screen. My stop motion short, Dani, has been doing well in the festival circuit. It always feels good when you have a labor of love get some recognition.

What were you like growing up?
Quiet. I think I barely said ten words in a class all the way through elementary and middle school. I would just doodle in class all day. I had a very active imagination. Something snapped, though, in high school, and I became very outgoing and academically engaged. Perhaps I wasn’t bored anymore.

I’ve always loved film and art, and, like many people, I think I had a special relationship with a lot of piece of media which were influential in shaping my personality and world view. I was absolutely obsessed with The Wizard of Oz when I was about 4-5 years old. Much to the embarrassment of my parents, at social functions, I used to like to exclaim Auntie Em’s line, “I’ve been dying to tell you what I thought of you, and now… well, being a Christian woman, I can’t say it!” I also begged my parents to let me see The Addams Family (1991) movie in theaters even though I was 5 years old at the time. In a surprisingly out of character move, they let go with an aunt. I think the tone and humor of the film have really shaped my general outlook.

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Lizzy Hogenson

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