We had the good fortune of connecting with Austin Faber and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Austin, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
Ideally, I’d like to be a show-runner for a major animation studio and have the opportunity to tell my original stories, but even that’s more of my penultimate goal.
What I really want is to travel and mentor young people in areas that don’t have visibility or tend to go unrepresented in animation – the projects in parts of the US, certain countries in Africa, the middle east, etc. After I work my way up the ladder a bit, I’d want to put my credibility to good use and help integrate different people into the arts industry here in LA.
Making a TV show for a major studio would be a dream come true, but providing mentorship, especially to those who feel unseen, brings me the most joy. I’m still early in my career, but I eventually hope to do both.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I tend to be more of a laid back artist, so I try not to overthink my art a lot and draw on instinct. I’ve been told I have a unique thumbprint when it comes to the look of my art, but generally I think my artistic range is what sets me apart.
Even before art school, I’ve always had wide interests in what I liked visually – ranging from cartoony cartoons like Cow ’n Chicken and Courage the Cowardly Dog, to more subtle styles like Ranma 1/2 and Spirited Away.
Because of this, I never really found one single “comfort zone,” and I developed the ability to comfortably adjust between many different visual styles, which (really) helps in my current line of work.
That being said, I never had much “talent” for the visual arts, so getting my skill level up to par to even apply to art schools was very difficult. Because I liked so many different things, it was difficult for me to focus, so I feel like I wound up improving a lot slower.
But with consistency, trial and error, and hours upon hours of practice and discipline, I finally got to the point where I could work as a professional. It was bitter work, and I almost thought about quitting a few times, but it was well worth the effort.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is a fun question because I’ve had friends visit from out of town and we’ve had the strangest trips haha.
My first instinct is to take them to Las Fuentes in Reseda. It’s some of the best Mexican food you’ll ever have and it’s extremely well priced. Then perhaps later in the evening we’d go for sushi at Katsu-Ya in Northridge, or Pine Tree KBBQ in Reseda.
For the rest of the week, I’d take my friend to the Topanga outlook, Little Tokyo, The Village, Santa Monica Pier, the Glendale Galleria, and perhaps visit some animation studios in Burbank.
There’s tons to do downtown as well, but I feel like the Valley can be just as fun if you know where to look.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There’s a long list of people I have to thank for my story, but one of the first people that comes to mind is my old college professor/advisor Stefanie Frith (@stefaniefrith). She was the student newspaper advisor at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, where she took a chance on me and welcomed me onboard to do comics for the school paper (The Roundup).
She may not have realized it then, but being a part of The Roundup crew gave me my first real sense of community, and served as a catalyst for my future artistic endeavors yet to come. But more than that, she was constantly present, supportive, and dedicated to our growth as young professionals. I 100% would not be where I am today without my experience at the Roundup, so shoutout to her and the rest of the Pierce College Media Arts Department!
Taylor Arthur (main photo and the identical two where I’m leaning and seated)