If you’re like we are, you’re already a big fan of Niki Yang from her Random! Cartoons shorts, “Two Witch Sisters” and “Victor the Delivery Dog”. Since March, this Seoul-born artist has been busy storyboarding for Fanboy and Chum Chum. She took a break from her drawing responsibilities to answer a few questions for the blog.
Frederator: What was your favorite cartoon growing up as a kid?
Niki: Miyazaki’s early work such as Conan, the Boy in Future, Anne of Green Gables, A Dog of Flanders, Little Nemo, Tezuka’s Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion and some more animations which I lost in translation…
Channel Frederator: Tell us about your schooling.
Niki: Believe it or not, I was in art school and film school for 11 years and I also trained to be a classical violinest in my early years. It sounds like a joke but these experiences made me who I am now. 7 years of strict academic art school in Korea gave me great craftsmanship, 4 years of CalArts animation school opened my eyes as a filmmaker and 7 years of violin training gave me a bohemian spirit!!
Frederator: You were a storyboard artist on Family Guy. What’s the biggest difference between boarding on that show and Fanboy and Chum Chum?
Niki: For Fanboy and Chum Chum, a die-hard, cartoony show, we still stick to the script but we have room to breathe. I often put my own physical jokes (including fart jokes with surrealistic touch added on) and my acting ranges from a serious Sean Penn style of acting to a cartoony Bugs Bunny style of acting. Yeah, we are talking about freedom! Our brain has to work out various aspects of filmmaking from composition, comedic timing, different shots and of course acting.
Frederator: Where do you get your creative inspiration?
Niki: People, by just observing them… and occasionally from my dogs.
Frederator: What is one thing you’ve learned along the road to get to where you are?
Niki: Believe in yourself either people think you are the next hot thing or total loser, just focus on who you are and what you want. And don’t forget to HAVE FUN with what you do! That’s where true creativity comes from.
Frederator: If you could meet any artist, living or not, who would it be?
Niki: Stanley Kubrick, Yuri Norstein, Quay Brothers, Jim Jarmusch, David Linch, Henri Matisse, Ben Shahn, John Hubley, David Hockney, William Steig, Robert Altman, Ridley Scott, Andre Tarkovsky, Richard Williams, Gene Wilder and Charlie Chaplin, so many!!!
Dorothy, from Niki’s Witch-Diculous series pitch
Channel Frederator: Your super power of choice?
Niki: I would like to have a “Botox” power. So no mater how old and saggy you are, as soon as you received the tiniest touch from me, you would be as youthful as you wished!!!
Thanks, Niki. That Botox power will make you a very wealthy woman here in L.A.
(Thanks to Angie Polk for the interview work.)
– Eric (Homan)