We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristal Babich and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristal, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
How much time and effort goes into every piece of animation. When you look at your favorite, or your kid’s favorite, animated shows or movies, every single object, background, character, moment, action, color, emotion on that screen has been designed by someone. Someone has spent hours, days, weeks, going through iterations on the best possible option of all those things to bring these beautiful moments to you on film or tv.
A well made piece of animation is extremely purposeful in every choice, and that takes an insane amount of time and thats why they’re so memorable.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I always approach my work from a place of love. I genuinely love drawing and character and story so much, that even when it gets hard under deadlines or difficult assignments, I’m happy and satisfied.
When choosing the projects I involve myself with, I approach them in the same way. You give up a lot of your time and self into the work you produce for other people, and I want to only give that to projects and directors that deserve it. Time is extremely valuable and theres a limited amount of it, so I try to be as picky about projects as I can be. That, plus a good dose of luck, has helped me be involved in a lot of projects I’m proud of.
I got into animation way later in life, since as a good kid with immigrant parents, I was encouraged to pursue a steady career over my passion for art. I was really miserable during that part of my life, but after a big health event, I decided to go for my dream because life was too short to be worrying about the what if’s. It caused a lot of friction with my family at first, but my success finally assuaged their fears.
I want people to be more supportive of those around them. If you have family or friends who are artists and creators, try your best to encourage them and give helpful feedback. If given the time and nurturing, those people will make amazing things.
And if you’re an artist, focus more on the things you can actually control. You can control the amount of time and effort and love you put into your work. Try your best to ignore the non-constructive critiques. They aren’t worth your valuable time.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m kind of an introverted homebody to be honest. But when my best friend and I hang out we love going to cafes to draw in our sketchbooks and gossip. We’ll go to places like Bricks and Scones on Larchmont or Tavern on San Vicente BLVD on the westside for brunch. Just quiet little coffee shops with good food.
Theres also some cool weekly/monthly art meetups. I like taking people to the draw meets up at Golden Road Brewery in Glendale, and Republic of Pie in NoHo. The vibe at those places are super fun and chill.
For some low key group hangout going to Game Haus, the board game cafe, is perfect and a great deal for hours of fun.
I always keep an eye out for what exhibitions are happening at the local museums like the LACMA and Getty.
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 will always have so much love for my partner Alex. He was the only one that encouraged me to follow my dreams when I was at a low point in my life and has continued to be an incredible and supportive partner through all of my failures and successes.
Everything I’ve learned in my industry I credit to all the more experienced artists around me. There were so many that were kind and generous enough to give me their time and knowledge. I actually did a series of art pieces I titled “Animation Uncles” to celebrate some of them. I also want to give a special shout out to Trisha Gum and Jorge Gutierrez, who each gave me a chance on projects that completely changed the course of my career.