We had the good fortune of connecting with Cindy Phung and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cindy, what makes you happy? Why?
A lot of things make me happy! When I get an idea for a story and begin making art for it and when I am spending time with my friends and family are when I am the happiest. I love creating stories and finding them in my imagination, inspirations, and every-day life. It’s the most exciting when I get that spark from something I observed or found interesting. For days, it’s a lot of fun going down a rabbit hole trying to figure out a story until I am able to make something solid. I also love creating characters for my stories because they are the gears to moving the narrative. It’s a blast being able to just sit down and explore what a character’s personality may be like. Kind of like meeting a new friend and learning everything about them! I get most of my inspirations in my storytelling and art through my own experiences. The memories where I have laughed until I cried, made new and exciting adventures, and learned more about myself have mostly transpired when I was with the people I care about. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today and I am happy being able to share those feelings and emotions from my life through my storyboards and art.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am most proud of how much I have improved in storyboarding. During college, I only knew that I wanted to be in the animation industry, but wasn’t sure what role I would fit into. I finally discovered my passion for storyboarding when I started to notice how much I enjoy creating stories visually for animation post-college . The moment I realized this, I began taking storyboarding classes. On the first day, I recognized that I had a lot of work to do if I wanted to improve. Seeing my fellow classmates’ work definitely helped me grasp where my level was at in terms of being a good storyboard artist. I continued to keep learning from my teachers and classmates, take on more classes, and attended multiple animation webinars to get to where I am today. I am still and always will be looking to improve my work. Along the road to becoming a better storyboard artist, I have learned a lot about myself and my abilities. I learned about my own preferences on how I can be organized and my drive to focus on and prioritize my passion, which is to tell stories. Because of all the experience I’ve gained through learning about how to tell a story better visually, networking and making new friends, and having the urge to share my art and stories, I have discovered that I could get to what I want if I set my mind to it. My sister has always taught me to stay focused on the goal and I truly live by that. Without everything that I have mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t be feeling as close to achieving my dream of telling stories through animation as I do now.
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.
My favorite spots to visit around my area would definitely be the boba shops!! I have always loved hanging out with friends, people watching, and making some cafe-sketches while sipping on some boba. There are also a lot of delicious Asian cuisines and restaurants around my area to try and explore. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to give a shoutout to my family, all the teachers I encountered that guided me through my art journey, the friends I made throughout my life, and all the incredible animation organizations that I have been a part of. Some of the best organizations that have helped me improve my work are Women in Animation and Rise Up Animation. During this time where we have to quarantine, the mentors, teachers, and friends that I met and spoke to online have especially aided me to my road to success to try to break into the animation industry.