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Katie Rice, animator from Spumco, lists favorite books – Page 2

Katie Rice talks about drawing people…

READERSVOICE.COM: How do you go about analyzing a person for their facial expressions and body movements? What do you look for?

KATIE RICE: I guess when I am watching someone I want to draw, I look for things that are unique to that person. I like drawing people with funny or cute imperfections over people who are physically beautiful.
It’s harder and more fun to try and draw someone’s crooked teeth and bad posture, but still make the drawing somewhat appealing.

RV: What improvements have you noticed in your drawing in recent years and what do you hope to improve further?

KR: I definitely want to improve the variety of my drawings.When I draw men or animals or backgrounds, I’m usually too embarrassed to show anyone because I’m so out of practice.I hope to improve my discipline!
I think I have improved in the last few years, at least when it comes to observation.
After drawing so many faces, it’s easier now to notice what features make a person unique than it was 2 years ago.

RV: On your website in your portfolio you have a lot of ink and colored drawings of girls.
I was wondering what the steps were in creating these, and what materials you used – whether you used a fine brush for the black lines or a nib maybe, and whether you did the lines last.

KR: To be honest I’ll use almost anything! I usually doodle with cheap black marker pens, which are waterproof and easy to handle. If I like the drawing but see a lot of mistakes, I’ll just put a piece of paper over it and draw it again.
Sometimes I’ll use Copic or Prismacolor markers to color it in. I use pretty much use the same process for my neater looking drawings, only I’m a lot more careful.

RV: Do you make cartoons at home, and what are some projects you’ve been working on?

KR: I haven’t made any animated cartoons by myself, but I’ve worked on cartoons with other people and tried to do my own comics before.
My main project right now is trying to get better so that making cartoons and comics on my own and with other people will be easier!

RV: If so, how long did it take to make some of your cartoons?
KR: Unfortunately none of them are finished yet!

RV: What are the steps in making these cartoons and what materials do you need? Lightboards? A computer program, and if so which one?

KR: Lightboards are great for layouts and animation, although lots of people have learned to draw and animate directly into the computer, using programs like Flash. I am working on learning how to do that, but so far it’s been hard! I guess it just takes getting used to.
I can see how it is a smart process to learn, because you can eliminate scanning drawings in one by one, and you can fix your mistakes much easier.
Some people can even ink straight on the computer!

RV: Can you tell about how when you were a kid (13) you got your father to drive you to John Kricfalusi’s house in Los Angeles, and how that led to a job at Spumco?

KR: Ha, well that’s pretty much the whole story…I was with some friends who were also fans of John’s cartoons, and my dad was pretty understanding about my obsession. We just looked him up in the phone book and showed up that evening.
He drew me a picture of Ren and Stimpy which I still have today!
After that he wrote me lots of emails, telling me which books were the best for learning important drawing skills and recommending cartoons and movies to watch.
We kept in touch on and off until I was old enough to work there as an inker.

RV: What might be a typical day’s work at Spumco when you were inking, or when you moved on to character design and layout work?

KR: When I was inking I was pretty shy and didn’t talk to anyone very much. But by the time I started doing layout on the New Ren and Stimpy episodes, I had gotten to know the crew pretty well, and it was really fun. Scary and challenging, but still fun. Everyone who worked on that cartoon is a hero to me!

RV: What were some of the cartoons and videos you have worked on at Spumco?

KR: I started as an inker on “Weekend Pussy Hunt,” did layout and a little bit of character design on “Ren and Stimpy, Adult Party Cartoon,” and right now I’m working on a video for Weird Al. The crew for the video is really small, so I get to do a lot of different jobs!
I designed some of the characters, did layout, animated a little bit, and inked some of it also. If I’m lucky maybe John will let me do color models, too.

RV: What are some of the main lessons you learned working at Spumco or from John Kricfalusi himself?

KR: Wow, there are too many to list! Almost every artist there has his share of drawing theories and lessons, especially John K. and Eddie Fitzgerald.
I hope I can absorb them all one day, ha! I suppose the most important lesson I’ve learned is to understand the importance of real drawing skills, like construction, perspective, design, composition, etc. I’ve learned by watching the artists I look up to most that the best combination for great cartoon drawings is a strong knowledge of these skills, and the ability to capture your own personality and life into the drawing.

-continued next page.