We had the good fortune of connecting with Sunshine Hurtienne and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sunshine, what inspires you?
I’ve always made it my goal to help people smile through good and bad times. Sometimes, seeing something cute and dorky can really brighten your day. It’s why I’m inspired by art and short stories that are simply down-to-earth, cute, and heartwarming.

Pascal Campion, Michelle Lam, and Sarah Vettori are some of my favorite story artists. Their comics share small moments from their daily life drawn and told in a way that makes your heart feel light and warm.

Another person who I admire is Eva Stalinski for her illustrations and printmaking. From frowning veggies to silly cow characters, her work carries a charming and comedic feel to it that whenever I wear one of her sweaters, it’s hard not to smile when I look in the mirror.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
During my senior year of high school, I became involved with K9 Studios, an animation program geared towards helping high school students prepare for a career in the animation industry. I was mentored by alumni of the program, including Pixar animator Austin Madison and Nickelodeon story artist Renee Faundo. The program also garnered the attention and later mentorship of Disney Feature Animation director Stephen Anderson.

K9 Studios provided us the tools to complete “UFO,” a fully colored animated short. My team had the opportunity to present our film to Stephen Anderson and Mark Henn at Walt Disney Animation Studios and members from Women in Animation at DreamWorks. This short also won the 2018-19 Student Production Awards for Best Animation/Graphics/Special Effects for the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter
of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

“UFO” allowed me to dip my toes into a variety of animation positions. Through this short film, I gained experience in layout, background, prop design, animation, color styling, editing, and most notably, storyboarding. Although I enjoyed each step of the process, storyboarding became the aspect of filmmaking I was most excited about.

I completed my general education in community college in one year and transferred to CSUF in Fall 2019 to learn about visual storytelling. Though the pandemic was an unexpected change from in-person to online education, I didn’t let it stop me from experiencing college the way I wanted to. I joined Pencil Mileage Club as an advertiser for the 2020-21 school year, and I learned how to work with a small team to ensure the club was a link for people to share and express their love for illustration and animation.

I met my girlfriend, YueTong, right before the pandemic and moved in with her. Our relationship flourished in a way I could have never expected. I am constantly inspired by all the small moments I share with her that I often joke I visualize our life in four-panel comics. It’s easy to express my love wholeheartedly to everyone without fear. Those comics are some of my favorite works I’ve ever created.

Now that I’ve graduated, I am looking forward to furthering my skills in storyboarding and working in a studio. Currently, I want to keep drawing silly comics of my daily life and hope to bring smiles to life from it.

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.
If we’re talking brunch, I will take my bestie to one of my favorite cafes in Fullerton, Green Bliss – the Curried Chickpea panini is immaculate. If we wanted to work or study, I’d recommend Smoking Tiger right across the street, where they serve one of the best banana milk espresso drinks I’ve ever had.

I love running and walking, so an early evening walk around Craig Regional Park is a must. The setting sun is beautiful against the trees, and the rolling green hills make it perfect for a spontaneous picnic to read or draw.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Renee Faundo

Website: www.sunshinehurtienne.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/storybysunshine/

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/sunshinehurtienne/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.