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Interview

Cindy Yang p3

Cindy Yang talks about her 3:50 minute animation Noon, a slice of life in Taiwan, and describes studying animation at CalArts…

READERSVOICE.COM: Noon was a very beautiful film. I especially liked the movement of the cat, and how people and other things move. And I liked the details of life in
Taiwan. Do you spend a lot of time observing how people and things move, like the street vendors cooking, and people standing in the train, and do you still walk around sketching people?

CINDY YANG: First of all thank you for liking it! It was my first time trying to portray people in Taiwan – I know there’s a lot to be improved. But I do watch people A LOT. Their way of
interacting with each other, how they do things, and their appearances always interests me. As I mentioned in the second question, I really like to see unique characters. And for sure I’m still sketching people around when I have time, and I’m actually attending an event called Rendez-Vous Carnet de Voyage that exhibits travel sketches. I’m really looking forward to this event and can’t wait to draw with all the talented sketchers!

RV: You made Noon while you were at the Taipei National University of the Arts. What are some things you learned there?

CY: I learned the basic rules of animation, rules of storytelling, camera moves and all other stuff. But because we were the first session of the department – the guinea pig of the
whole department, the program didn’t really prepared us professionally enough to go into the industry. One important thing I learned there is you have to find time to learn on your own to practise over and over again, and it really matters if you want to improve your skills.

RV: How did you come to study at CalArts and what was that like?

CY: In my 3rd year in TNUA, I got to do the exchange program that I applied for. I was in Art University Bournemouth animation department in the UK for a semester. I met a student
who had transferred from CalArts there and got to know more about this school. At that time I really wanted to learn more about animation, and CalArts is known for its professional connections with the talents and, of course, its history with Disney animation. I figured if I really want to learn, I should learn from the best. I prepared all the materials and applied that year, and luckily got the acceptance letter when I went back to Taiwan. I didn’t have enough funds at the time, so I asked for a deferment from school. They were kind to accept this application and that’s why I’m here. I’m super grateful for this experience and for sure I learned a lot. I also made some talented friends over the years. The courses are intense sometimes, but it’s a worthy experience if you’re aiming to go into this industry.

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– copyright Simon Sandall.