We had the good fortune of connecting with Sophie Crowley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sophie, why did you pursue a creative career?
To be honest, I can’t imagine not pursuing a creative career. If it wasn’t animation, it would be sculpture or another artistic field. Growing up, I was surrounded by imaginative people who taught me the importance of fueling your imagination through reading, music, writing, architecture, films, art. light and shadows.
In animation, I’ve worked with artists who always a little bit intimidate, impress and inspire me, so my own work grows in reflection with theirs. Animation is really powerful — when you watch a live action movie, there’s something specific and slightly limited about the actor playing the part, but in animation there is a certain abstraction to the characters that allows you to engage with them on several levels. That’s one of the great things that drew me to animation.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I design and paint props/backgrounds for animation. I also create a lot of character designs and special posing. I have worked on a lot of graphic shows and my style has been influenced by that. With graphic shows, designers take on a more illustrative approach. Work is definitely a big part of my life, but nothing is more fulfilling than personal expression, so during my free time I try to do sculpture or other personal art.
My journey in animation hasn’t been easy, there has has been a steep learning curve. I am constantly learning how to manage my time, especially as a freelancer. Artistically, I also have a lot to learn. But when I do I learn something new, I get that fresh feeling. It’s quite often that I run into a situation where I have to learn how to do something new and do so very quickly. Work is exciting because I get to explore a variety of different styles, getting to work on a variety of projects. I’m always eager to take on new visual puzzles, developing a style language that’s tailored to the director’s vision. I feel very privileged to be able to do this every day at work.
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.
I grew up in Los Angeles, so I have truly experienced so many wonderful parts of this city. Even so, there is still so much to explore. This city is enormous!
If a friend was visiting I would definitely take them to Point Dume in Malibu. There is something so unreal about the beauty of the cliffs and vast beach. I grew up in Venice by the beach, but I think Point Dume is one of the most scenic beach spots.
I would also take my friend to my current neighborhood in the Beverly Fairfax Historic District. There is a lot of history in this area, and you can see it in the architecture of the homes. Additionally, there is a lot of spirit around Fairfax and people are so full of life. It is especially vibrant every Sunday at the Fairfax Flee market, so I would definitely take my friend there. 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 dedicate my shoutout to Mai Phung! She is an art director at Cartoon Network and gave me my first full-time job. Mai is where she is now because she is a consistent hard-worker and voices her opinions. She inspires me and I know that I can always go to her for advice.
I would also like to give a shoutout to my family for giving me the tools and support to become an artist.