Doing what she loves


LYFE speaks to Cartoon Network inventive director Christina Chang about life and the ins and outs of the animation business

FOR International Women’s Day, we interviewed Christina Chang, inventive director for the brand new Cartoon Network present We Baby Bears. Chang, a one-time story intern at Pixar, loves JRPGS (Japanese role-playing video games), tenting, studying books on the Nebula Awards record, and watching anime.

After getting her diploma in effective arts for Computer Animation in Ringling College, Chang began working as a narrative artist and revisionist for We Bare Bears at Cartoon Network Studios earlier than transferring onto her position because the inventive director within the spin-off sequence, We Baby Bears.

When we requested her how she would describe the brand new present, she defined that We Baby Bears is a totally completely different tackle the Bears, and takes place in an alternate universe.

In We Bare Bears, the three bears have their adventures primarily within the Bay Area, however in We Baby Bears, the trio have adventures world wide with an entire new completely different and vivid artwork type.

“I think travelling and exploring is on a lot of people’s minds, especially during the pandemic. The Bears get to zip zap all around the universe and see new places,” defined Chang, stating that the brand new present may be very thrilling and one thing new, which is why it has captivated audiences worldwide.

Although many may assume that cartoons are solely made for youths, the tales created by the story artists are nuanced, and adults take pleasure in them simply as a lot as the youngsters. For instance, adults usually spot Easter eggs or humorous little secret messages that artists put into the animation sequences. Chang confirmed that each she and different members of the staff have included such Easter eggs within the present.

Growing up, Chang remarked that she’s all the time been shy. For introverts, they recharge by spending time alone, and equally, Chang discovered comfort in animation. “[It] was a way I felt like I could convey excitement and stories.”

Besides animation, she was significantly contemplating going into ornithology, which is the scientific research of birds. As an individual who has all the time appreciated animals and creating animal characters, Chang acknowledged that she drew a number of Neopets fan artwork when she was youthful, and that was an enormous a part of her childhood.

She defined that designing the animal characters for work additionally reminded her of her youthful days when she would do character design commissions throughout her DeviantArt days, so going into the sequence was only a pure development for her inventive self.

After working as a narrative artist for 4 years, Chang defined that the largest distinction between being a inventive director and an illustrator is the variety of conferences and the individuals she meets and works with.

As a inventive director, design selections must be always communicated so all the opposite artists may be on the identical web page.

Meanwhile, Chang recalled that it was fairly the other when she was an illustrator. “Being an illustrator is more independent, which I miss.”

As her roles modified within the firm, she additionally talked in regards to the challenges she confronted within the business. “There are the usual challenges of trying to be heard in a room, gender pay gap, etc…”

On her social media, Chang usually advocates for higher working situations for different storyboard artists, and speaks up for the injustices artists face.

Even so, she defined that there’s a excessive demand for them within the animation business. She says that the business is faster-paced now and groups are smaller. With smaller groups, she mentioned that artists these days can study far more by asking extra questions and observing how the staff works.

Working in a staff, Chang urged that artists must be observant about how their position impacts others because it’s an enormous staff venture.

In the long run, she mentioned that she would love to return to her roots, which is storyboarding.

As somebody who’s working within the fields of their ardour, she additionally attracts rather a lot for enjoyable, as seen in her social media, the place she would put up enjoyable and cute sketches about her each day life anecdotes.

When requested about how she balances work and play, Chang mentioned: “It’s amazing to get to do what I’ve always enjoyed, but burnout is real, and sometimes hard to acknowledge. What’s helped is keeping to a schedule.”

Chang explains that she tries to step away from work by 6pm basically and spend time open air for days when she feels uninspired. And for days the place she simply doesn’t really feel prefer it, she received’t stress herself to attract.

Listening to Chang, it might appear that if being within the animation business is your dream, it is best to go for it. One piece of recommendation that she has for a lady seeking to work within the animation business is: “Don’t be afraid to speak up! Ask for equal wages and equal treatment. It’s 2022!”

We Baby Bears is the spin-off of the hit sequence, We Bare Bears, the place Grizz (Connor Andrade), Panda (Amari McCoy) and Ice Bear (Max Mitchell) travels in a magical field to improbable new worlds trying to find a spot to name residence, however as their youthful child selves. Along the best way, they meet new buddies, study a couple of classes and uncover that “home” can imply wherever they’re, so long as they’re collectively.

Catch We Baby Bears on Cartoon Network (Astro Ch 615) at 10:30am on weekends or stream it on HBO GO. Executive produced by Daniel Chong and Manny Hernandez, We Baby Bears additionally options an otherworldly record of visitor stars together with Anjali Bhimani, Rhys Darby, Janeane Garofalo, Young M.A., Jason Mantzoukas, Stephen Oyoung, Willow Smith and Bernardo Velasco.

$!In We Baby Bears, the bears travel in a magical box to fantastic new worlds searching for a place to call home.

In We Baby Bears, the bears journey in a magical field to improbable new worlds trying to find a spot to name residence.

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