We had the good fortune of connecting with Karen & Bill Drastal and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karen & Bill, what inspires you?
We’re both inspired by other artists. We love hearing their stories, seeing their work, and discovering what motivates them. Our favorite thing about attending conventions is checking out artist alley and talking to the artists there. They inspire us with their enthusiasm and blow us away with their creativity. Finding new projects to follow and talking to the artists is so fun. Talking to such imaginative, unique, passionate people reconnects us with why we want to be in this fantastic industry. We leave feeling more excited than ever to create and make things.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Like many artists, our professional stories are unique. We have lived and traveled up and down California, following our careers. First working in animation for casual games, then we transitioned over to storyboarding and animating for TV and now launching our studio. It has been a lot of hard work and dedication but worth every late night and challenge we had to overcome. Things haven’t always gone smoothly, and we have to readjust our goals often, but we are both dedicated to animation and our art and roll with each change in direction we’ve had to take. Overall our sites have always been set on our ultimate goal, to make fun, friendly, relatable animated content. There have been ups and downs, triumphs and challenges we have had to work through, but we knew we’d keep moving forward no matter what. We were inspired to start our studio while working as freelance artists and found how fun it was to build a team and see an entire project come together. So we took a look at our experience in the many different studios where we have both worked. We thought about how they ran those teams and productions and analyzed what worked and didn’t. We then came up with a clear vision of what we wanted for our studio. We want to build our studio with a solid foundation and keep going from there. To take on and create productions where everyone can tell their unique stories. That is our focus. There are so many talented artists out there. We hope to build a team that encourages creativity and an environment of encouragement and fun. Our ultimate goal is to make a studio that plays to the team’s strengths to guide us while keeping a clear vision of the studio that we want to be.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Depending on the time of year, we would first take them to a convention. Our favorite in the area is Wondercon, but we have fun at all of them. Lightbox Expo is a popular one for animation as well. We attend cons every year and have a blast. The panels are fun and informative, there are films being showcased and fun new animations to watch, and our favorite activity is to persuse artist alley. Afterward, we would take a day to go down to The Last Bookstore. We could spend hours there! There are many books, art features, and an art gallery. There is always something new to see there.
Then we would take them to do some fun movie site seeing and take them to the Warner Bros tour. That’s always a fun time to show people from out of town. Geek out about movies and TV shows and have a laid-back day.
Then we would take them to do some outdoor fun. Take a leisurely hike around the Hollywood reservoir and see some historic Hollywood. Then have a picnic at Lake Hollywood Park to enjoy the sign and watch the dogs play.
We love museums and history, especially with ties to animation and the entertainment industry. Lastly, we would take our friends to Griffith Park to see Travel Town and the Walt Disney Barn. Those are great museums with a lot of history to them.
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?
We want to shout out to Anthony Hand and Lost Wig Productions, the creator of “Maxxie LaWow: Drag Super-shero” It has been such an honor working with him on this fantastic production. We have grown so much while working on this movie. Anthony has been much more than just a client but a partner and friend. He is an inspiration and an overall wonderful person. We can’t thank him enough for working with us on this film. https://www.maxxie.com/