The Nickelodeon Animation Podcast is a phenomenal resource for anyone who would like to learn more about the animation industry. Each episode features known figures of the industry, whether it be directors, producers, storyboard artists, animators, voice actors, and everything in between. This podcast is a gem for anyone who is even slightly interested in animation, and in my genuine opinion, I highly recommend that you all check it out! The inspiration for this article came from Episode 18 of the podcast featuring Lauren Faust.
Lauren Faust is an incredible woman. She worked on the Powerpuff Girls, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, and was responsible for developing My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Her involvement in modern television animation is lengthy, and to top off her incredible success, she is also a fantastic role model.
Faust approaches her line of work with a feminist mindset. As a female writer, director, and storyboard artist, she has experienced what it feels like to be the minority within the animation industry and wider entertainment sector as a whole. As such, she works to inspire many young girls to defy odds and expectations within their line of work, whether involved in animation or not, and to avoid giving in to the supposed restrictions that are set upon them on the basis of gender:
“[Girls] need to know that they can do these bigger things, they need to know that they can be tough and strong. . . her feelings are important too; her goals, her dreams, and her needs.” — Lauren Faust, Nickelodeon Animation Podcast
Faust wrote about her perspective on the animation industry in a blog post. She has done a phenomenal job at defying odds within the industry and centering her career around developing lovable and well-rounded female characters:
“I have been a lifelong feminist, and as an artist working in the animation industry for more than 16 years I have striven to do right by women and girls in the animated projects I have been part of. I try to bring sincerity and depth to the female characters I’ve animated and have fought in development and story meetings to make female characters more than just the typical girlfriend, Mom or sex symbol. I’ve even fought to see that there was more than just one girl character in whatever project I was working on. Sometimes I swayed my coworkers (often it was easy, to their credit) and sometimes I lost. My goal, as an artist and as a storyteller, was to one day have a show of my own for and about girls.” — Lauren Faust, Ms. Blog Magazine
Aside from being an active feminist, which Powerpuff Girls and My Little Pony truly showcases, she also encourages everyone to follow their dreams, and she does so realistically. The best advice someone has given in terms of their career goals can be summed up in these few lines:
“Live below your means. Don’t live in the awesome apartment, live in the crappy apartment. Don’t buy the awesome car, buy a crappy car. Especially while you’re young because nobody judges you for that. And make sure that you can save. If you got a lot of savings, if you got six-months worth of savings in your account, you can be picky about your jobs. If you get offered something kind of crappy, on a project that kind of lousy, or working for somebody you think is a jerk, you don’t have to take it because you can pay your bills; you can wait for that awesome job.” — Lauren Faust, Nickelodeon Animation Podcast
Words of wisdom from the queen of television animation herself. And although this specific podcast really spoke to me, there is a long list of others ones that might have a major impact on you.