Creative Mind Podcast Episode 32: Caitlin VanArsdale on Storyboarding

“I think for a very long time animation has sort of been forced into the whole of this is kid stuff. And if you look at animation as a medium, instead of a genre it opens up the doors to do literally anything. You can make a horror film, you can make an epic, you can make whatever you want.”


In this episode of Creative Mind, Caitlin VanArsdale talks about working as a visual artist, pitching her own ideas to executives, and what newcomers to the world of storyboards should know. We talk about why watching films is so important and why having a certain style is great, as long as you have half a dozen or more styles in your bag of tricks to pull from. We also get deep into where animation is headed as the idea of a “cartoon character” has greatly evolved from just something to entertain children.

For Caitlin VanArsdale, the world of animation is her home. As a storyboard artist by title, Caitlin takes a script and brings it to life for a team of animators, designers, and editors to create a television episode or film from. As a creator, a more apt title, Caitlin is finding the emotion and the meaning behind what a character is doing or going to do in just a few frames.

Character-building

On character, Caitlin says, “I always work the character out. I never start with a concept and that might sound counterintuitive to a lot of people. Think about all of your favorite stories, your favorite shows, your favorite movies – those are going to be really memorable characters and characters that you either relate to or, learn something that you learned once or, something that triggers an emotion in you.”

A look at Caitlin’s credits and it is easy to understand where her thinking lies. She has worked on the Oscar-winning short film Hair Love, the upcoming Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse 2, and done a long stint on Powerpuff Girls. Although a wide range of visual style, at their core these properties are touching on our own personal experiences, fears, and emotions.

“I think for a very long time animation has sort of been forced into the whole of this is kid stuff. And if you look at animation as a medium, instead of a genre it opens up the doors to do literally anything. You can make a horror film, you can make an epic, you can make whatever you want.”

– Caitlin VanArsdale

To see more of Caitlin VanArsdale’s work check out:


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