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Tue Dec 27, 2011, 4:21 PM
I've been meaning to do this for a long time, and boy howdy is it long!!!  It's organized into a few different categories. I'll update as needed.  This may be repetitive to some, illuminating to others, and completely boring and useless to others still.  

Happy New Year!

Animation Job FAQ

Q:  How can I get a job in animation?

The absolute best thing you can do to get into animation as a career is to go to art school.  Not only will you learn how to draw and how to SEE, you will meet people, students and teachers alike, who will give you new perspectives and will likely be the sources of your future jobs.  (My first job came from one of my teachers.)  

There are several schools that have fantastic animation programs that cover all facets of the atr form.  Schools like the one I attended, CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF THE ARTS, will teach you animation (2D and 3D,) character design, storyboarding, background design and other skills required for animation production.  Since I've left school, many, many more schools with full animation programs such as the one at CALARTS have popped up all over the country.  Though CALARTS remains one of the most respected schools in the animation industry.

If you're lucky enough to have an idea of what you would like to specialize in, you can also find schools that have programs that focus on your interest.   Many fantastic character designers and colorists came out of design schools that do not focus on animation, and most background painters and designers come from very traditional art schools.

Q:  I can't afford/am not able to/don't want to go to art school.  Is there anything else I can do to get into animation?

Art school really will give you the best leg up, but if you can't go, there are classes you can definitely take without being in a university full time---- you'll just have to hunt them down. There are lots of books on animation (The Illusion of Life and The Animator's Survival Kit are really, really good ones) that you can learn from. I've worked with people who took studio classes and self taught and eventually got a good art education by interning at production studios. Many of us (myself included) feel we learned more on the job than we did at school, but you need to have some skill to get your foot in the door.

Look for guidance and art education wherever you can, but the biggest, most important thing of all is to draw, draw, draw and never stop drawing. Imagine you have several thousand crappy drawings you have to get out of your system before your any good and try your damnedest to get those crappy drawings out as fast as you can.

Even if you have no interest in drawing realistically, draw from life. Take figure drawing classes and, on your own time, go out to the mall, or the zoo, or a café, or anywhere and draw people, places and animals you see. Learn about 'gesture drawing' and the difference and importance of drawing fast to capture an attitude and a feeling with as few lines as possible, and drawing slow, where you focus on detail and accuracy. What you learn from drawing what you see all around you will subconsciously come into play when you later sit down and try to draw from your head--- or try to draw really cartoony, or try to draw high design. Observing the real world is the best foundation you can have.

Don't be stubborn about your "style." This will keep you from growing. You'll never forget your own style, so if you learn to deviate from it, you'll find later that your own style only gets better and stronger.  Or you can be one of those incredible artists who can create new styles over and over.

Be open to trying new ways of looking at things and changing and DON'T GET DISCOURAGED. You may look at what you have on the paper and want to give up, but every single time you try again, you get better.

Q:  Yeah, yeah, I already went to school and/or I'm already awesome.  What now?

Depending on where you live or where you went to school, you may need to move to cities where the work is---- sorry.  Obviously, Los Angeles and New York have the most opportunities in the United States.  

Inquire with your classmates and teachers about opportunities.  Most folks I know got their starts through friends or teachers.  You can also see about contacting studios.  Lots of them have lists of job openings on their websites and instructions on how to apply.

Most likely, you will need to start low.  If you're talented and lucky, you may get assistant or clean-up jobs, but you may need to start out scanning art, making copies and getting coffee.  But don't worry, getting your foot in the door this way is A BIG DEAL.  Be bold, ask questions, show everyone how reliable and friendly you are and, most importantly DON'T STOP DRAWING!  You need to let people know what you're capable of if you want to start being part of the creative process.  I knew one Production Assistant who would take on the show character design assignments in his own free time.  He'd complete the whole design list.  It was never used in the show but he would show his work to people on the crew to get tips and feedback.  He kept doing it and people noticed as he improved.  Eventually, he improved enough that when a design job opening came up, it was offered to him before inquiries even went out!

Q: I have an awesome idea for a cartoon.  How do I get a pitch?

I hate to break it to you, but I only know one way to do this, and it's the way I did it:

Go to art school.  Get a job in animation.  Work really hard for many, many years.  Get promoted.  Do decent work and make a name for yourself.  Then people will take pitches from you.  Then maybe after you've pitched a whole lot of them, someone will pick one up.

Other approaches are:

Make a comic book that tons of people love and buy, then pitch it to studios.  Make a children's book that tons of people love and buy, then pitch it to studios.  Make a toy that tons of people love and buy, then pitch it to studios.  Make an internet short that tons of people love and watch, then pitch it to studios.  Become a rock, tv or movie star, then pitch to studios.

Q: I'm interested in voice acting.  How do I get an audition?

This I know less about since I am not a voice actor.  But I do know you can't get an audition without an agent.  And I don't know how you get an agent, unfortunately, but I can tell you what I like to see from actors.

It's not just about having crazy, cartoony voices, it's also about being able to ACT.  Since I don't know any professional voice actors who have not had some sort of formal training as actors, I suggest taking some formal acting classes.  And I can only imagine that you can get advice from teachers and fellow students about how to land jobs and find agents.


FYI:  My ability to answer questions about the show is limited for several reasons.  I can't answer questions about things that have not aired.  And since April of 2011, I no longer work on the show, so I don't know a lot of what is coming.  I can offer my opinions or thoughts about character backstories, world dynamics and the like, but if it's not in the show, it should not be considered canon.

Q: How old are the ponies?

The ponies' ages were left intentionally undefined.  I like to think of them as having  maturity levels anywhere between 12 and 18, (but remember that maturity is different than age.  You can be a 10-year-old with the maturity of a 15-year-old, and you can be a 35-year-old with the maturity of a 15-year-old.)  For story telling purposes, they needed to be able to live independent of parents, but innocent enough for the type of lessons they learn at the end of the episodes.   Since horses are full grown around 5-ish, I guess I sort of justified it in my head that they could be childlike young adults.  I know this answer is frustrating for some people, but it happens often in cartoons.  How old is Bugs Bunny?  Mickey Mouse?  Sponge Bob?  I don't know either.

Q:  Is Equestria a planet or a country?

I imagined it as a country, but beyond that it is left intentionally undefined.

Q: Is it Derpy Hooves or Ditzy Doo?

It sounds like it's finally landed on Derpy Hooves, but you should ask the current show runners.

Q: Will we see more of {any given character}?

I can't answer this one---- you will have to wait and see!

Q: Is "Octavia" Pinkie Pie's sister?

It was never planned that they would be sisters.  The color similarities, I believe, were a coincidence.  I would say no, they're not sisters, but I don't know if the current show runners have other ideas.

Q:  Where are Applejack's parents?

To put it bluntly, we just never figured it out.  I just liked the feeling of them living with their Granny, but keeping the family dynamic tight and small.  To be honest, I would like to simply say that they passed away somehow, but it's just it would have likely been deemed too sad for a kids' show and I don't think it would have ever been approved.  There was brief discussion of them being traveling salesponies or explorers, but since we never needed the information in an episode, nothing was ever made official.  So it will have to remain a mystery until someone decides to define it.

Q: Exactly what is your role in Season 2?

On Season 1, I was involved in every aspect of every episode.  I gave direction and/or called notes and/or personally handled revisions from story conception, through scripts, through design, record, storyboarding, animation and through to musical score.  On Season 2, as "Consulting Producer" I was involved in story conception and scripts only (with the exception of "The Return of Harmony," which I saw through record and storyboards.)  I saw roughly the first half of the season through to final script, and the second half I only helped with concepts and attended the story meetings.  My part in the show ended in April 2011 and I am no longer involved in the show.

More technical MLP:FiM FAQ

Q: Can I get your permission to draw the characters from MLP:FiM?

Though I developed the Friendship is Magic and imagined the characters, I do not own them.  If you feel you need permission to use the characters in any form, you need to contact Hasbro.

Q: Can I interview you about MLP:FiM?

Maybe.  Interviews inquiries need to be made to Hasbro, if they ok it, I probably will, too.

Q:  When will MLP:FiM come out on DVD?  Can you air MLP:FiM on {this channel}?

That is a question for Hasbro.  I am not involved in the distribution of the show.

Q:  Can you make a toy out of {any given character}?
Another question for Hasbro.  I am not involved with any aspect of the toy making process.

Q: What do you think of bronies?
I like them.  I am astounded, surprised and thrilled they exist.

Q:  What do you think of Rule 34 applied to ponies?

It's not my thing, but I know that it comes with the territory of having your work on TV, so I'm used to it.  I admit I avoid looking at it, and would rather not have it pointed out to me----- so please don't!

Q:  Have you read "Cupcakes"?

No.  And I'm not going to (see next question…)

Q:  Will you read and/or critique my fanfic?

I'm sorry, but I don't read fanfics.  Professionally, we are discouraged from it as any unintended similarities to actual episodes can lead to legal problems.  But really, I simply don't have the time.  However, I know that if the internet were around when I was very young, I would have been a pretty rabid fanfic writer myself.  So more power to you all!

Q: Can you put my pony OC in the show.

Even if I was still working on the show, I'd have to say no.  From what I understand, there's a lot of expensive legal stuff involved in that sort of thing, and so many people ask, it's just impossible.

Q: I have a great idea for an episode.  Will you make it?

Please see above.


Q: Did you create the Powerpuff Girls and/or Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends?

No.  My husband, Craig McCracken did.  

Q: Well, what the heck did you do then?

I was a writer/storyboard artist on PPG.  I had a bigger role on Foster's.  I was Co-Developer/Supervising Producer/Story Supervisor/Writer/Storyboard Artist.  I also co-directed the voice records and directed animation on a handful of episodes as well as a bit of character design here and there.  Mostly when we needed animals.

Q:  Do you do commissions?

Nope.  Sorry.  No time.

Q:  Is your last name pronounced F-ah-st or F-ow-st?

F-ow-st.  Like, "how now brown fowst."

Q:  Will you do a tutorial on how you draw?

Sorry---- I don't have time, and I don't really know how I would, anyway.  I'm just making stuff up as I go.  Plus, I'm still learning.

Q:  Why don't you post more art?

Until I get permission from the people/studios I am working for, I legally cannot share the work I am doing professionally.  And since my professional work takes up all my time, I have no recent personal work to share, much to my dismay.  Sorry!


Join the Solar Sisterhood!!

Check out the MILKY WAY AND THE GALAXY GIRLS web site!!

Add a Comment:
Izcalli2006 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
If I may, Miss. Faust to ask, in what way could a Mexican fan ask for both his Husband and you some autograph from both since, when you attended the ComiCon in San Diego years ago I never had the support of those who knew and were going to know them.

Hopefully (although this Journal is old) could know your answer, greetings from Cuautitlán Izcalli.
KanGiveHugs Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2016
What are some ideas you had for MLP that didn't get episodes?
PhoenixFieryn Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Your link... is gone D:
DaviDark-TheGunter Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"Q:  Is your last name pronounced F-ah-st or F-ow-st?

F-ow-st.  Like, "how now brown fowst.""

I'm sorry but after reading that first pronunciation I can't help but imagine Sonic the hedgehog but with your face instead of his
TimGoneMad Featured By Owner Edited Apr 25, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Q:  Where are Applejack's parents?
I think I have a possible explanation. As a young stallion, her father was in the military, but he left the service when he married Granny Smith's daughter, eventually resulting in Big MacIntosh, Applejack, and Applebloom. (Seeing as Equestria is such an idyllic utopia most of the time, it must be easy for soldiers to get bored.) He worked on the farm with the rest of the family until a few months before Twilight Sparkle came to town. At the time, something went wrong in a neighboring country, and Equestria's military jumped at the call to help. Applejack's father chose to return to service. Naturally, he had to move to military housing, and he took his wife and Applebloom with him. Applebloom was not happy about the arrangement. Living in a new town, she became lonely and depressed. Soon enough, Applebloom and her parents got an invitation to the next family reunion, which included an offer to let Applebloom stay at Sweet Apple Acres for good. Applebloom accepted the offer with extreme delight. Her parents were hesitant to let their youngest foal go at such a tender age, but clearly she is much happier living in Ponyville. They still keep in touch by mail, and Applebloom gets constant reminders that she can always go back if she ever changes her mind. I highly doubt that she will.
MrCubeCraft Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2015
Eh, people need to realize that cloppers are okay. I can't say it's normal, but hey, none of us are normal. It's essentially the vocal cloppers that put a bad name for us, if they enjoy their porn in peace, I would be fine, but if they decide to yell it out and give ammunition to the trolls, then it causes problems. The same applies to yiffers, and hardcore anime fans. It's just something you have to accept within every fandom, and don't judge them simply because they don't look at pornography about humans exclusively.
MrConnected Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2014  Student General Artist
Why don't you work on MLP: FIM anymore?
Showlover Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
maybe she has to work on other stuff
MrConnected Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2014  Student General Artist
That makes sense
persiancat111 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I hate seeing teh pony porn
Crystaltehpony Featured By Owner Edited Dec 21, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
I hate it, too. It is the sad part of some bronies.
Smertikk Featured By Owner May 11, 2014

Hi Lauren, I'm from Russia and I have a question for you (in English I'm not very good), not really related to your blog. I am doing a report on Your creative activity, how it all began and up to what You are doing now. Wikipedia about it, nothing is written. Please, leave feedback for me on e-mail - This is very important, thanks in advance:)

AskButtonMash Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014  Student
This is cool
AntiVillain1 Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014
How many people have asked you about their OCs/ideas, anyway?
NathanTheMoldy Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
Possibly over 500 from years past
DivineDesserts Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2014
Is Pinkie Pie adopted by the rock family or why she's the only pink one?
newflutterpie Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Somebody figured out that Igneous's (Pinkie's father) has grayed-out pinks (and I think purples) in his mane and tail.
DivineDesserts Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2016
Hmm, thought he was brown with gray mane.
newflutterpie Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, but the gray is still grayed-out colors, not just plain gray.
DivineDesserts Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2016
Okay, I guess maybe from grandparents then.
Emeraldy-Dust Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love Miss Faust . What? I'm not joking  
SpyderKat Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I thought your name was pronounced "Lauren FOST" xD
persiancat111 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
ForeverFluffyAdopts Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Me too XD
SpyderKat Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
pfft xD
Mora0711 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the link! I'll be studying it as I continue to develop my style.
Furman77 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014
First and foremost, You were already awesome with power puff girls. Loved the show, still do. You just made yourself 20% cooler.
Secondly, Queen Chrysalis: will there be more of her? Because I've noticed that the show has a nasty[not that bad but noticeable] habit of dropping characters- like for example in the show[not movie] Cadence, Shining Armor, Sombra. And for the Movie[first one, because I know there's something cooking in that lovely head of yours that will spring into another lovely movie just like "Equestria Girls"] Sunset Shimmer and Flash Sentry- and plot[not r34 plot, I'm staying well away from that subject with you. I mean story plot] in show that could spring into lovely arcs I'm sure.
I'm simply wondering if forgotten or 'Ignored' story arcs will be.... Ressurected, if you will, and reintroduce fan favorites, and other wonderful things.
Thirdly, Season Four: you brought back Discord, which is lovely, since he is a very comic Draconequus, but it begs the question: Will he be in the later episodes or will he be forgotten until season finale?
Next, If any of the questions about the story plot you want to leave unanswered, just say. Because I don't want the surprise of later episodes be ruined by one silly fanboy[me]. So if you want, leave those questions alone if they ruin later episodes.
Finally, is Pinkie Pie's voice actor taking a break? Because I notice that Pinkie is being rather quite, and in earlier episodes that was very, shall I say, rare occurance for her to be silent. She was earlier always loud and about being Pinkie, but now she's quiet. It's not irritating or annoying, just confusing and noticeable. So I'm merely wondering is her voice actor retiring or taking a break, or is she going to be, dare I say, 'Killed off'? Not murdered but placed in a setting away from Princess Twilight Sparkle and the Elements... That's what I'm asking.
Thank you for your time, and continue being awesome. Keep up the good work Faust.
Rhisis112 Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014
By this post I can assume that you actually didn't read this part

"My part in the show ended in April 2011 and I am no longer involved in the show."

She is in no way involved with seasons 3 and 4, so she can't tell you anything about season 3  or 4. I highly doubt Pinkie VA (same VA for fluttershy) is retiring, or leaving. Whether Andrea Libman was sick and could voice her roles properly or had a stand in VA for those episode is unknown.
AngelicDemonSlayer Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013
Here's an interesting question. A moon is used as an incrimate of time, but how long is a moon?
DaviDark-TheGunter Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think with moon they mean a month, like how the moon goes through all those phases in one month
Katana-Nova-Cat Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
That seems to be the most likely explanation, more or less. They probably mean a lunar month, which is a little bit shorter than a normal calendar month.

Any time-related inconsistencies that result from 'moon = lunar month' are probably just the writers losing track of previously-established canon, which can happen easily when a show goes on for a long time with a lot of different writers working on it.
AngelicDemonSlayer Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2016
Maybe, that is one theory, but is neither confirmed nor denied. 
Birdybird2013 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well in Warriors, a moon was only about a month... So I am guessing a moon in MLP would be a month also?
AngelicDemonSlayer Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014
again possible. but that would put the mane 6 roughly 9-11 and ponies like big mac, shining armor, and cadance at about 15-17. plus shimmer left when the portal open and did not return til it opened again, that's only 2 and a half years. not enough time to be the princess three times and working on her fourth crown. could be close but more like likely a little longer. however no one except those on the production know for sure, which is why I asked it here, hoping Lauren could enlighten us.
Birdybird2013 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hmm true
Furman77 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014
Exact same as a day. Except it's The FiM universe[ie animators] way of using time.... And it sounds way cooler than using days.
Wouldn't you agree?
AngelicDemonSlayer Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014
Okay I'm confused. The portal to canterlot high opens every 30 moons. 30 day is too short of time. Plus the apple the apple family reunion is every 100 moons. The last one AJ was a baby. We've run through more than 100 days in the series. A year to 3 years is more like it. If that were true the crusaders would already be adults. So a moon equally a day doesn't fit. 
Furman77 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014
... Than my headcanon has gone out the window.
Does google provide a plausible theory or is this the one headcanon we the viewers will never understand?
AngelicDemonSlayer Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014
That's all well and good. However if there is one thing I know, everything is a rumor or fan theory unless you hear it from someone on the production. We can theorize all day and still be wrong. It's best to ask the source. 
Furman77 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014
Eeyup, but there's always the odd chance someone else's theory matches the truth from production. But again, everything depends on the headcanon.
AngelicDemonSlayer Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014
Furman77 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
(also written as "head canon" but it's really one word.)

An idea, belief, or aspect of a story that is not mentioned in the media itself, but is accepted by either the reader themselves or the fandom in general. If it is confirmed by the author of the story, it becomes canon.
In Homestuck , a popular webcomic , many suspect the headcanon that the trolls are carnivores, because of their natural homicidal tendencies.
(1 Reply)
sctt12 Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2013
What Exactly inspired you to get into animation Ms.Faust?
xXMaishaXx Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Do you have a favorite pony in general?
SakuraFly101 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I wish I was actually able to talk to Lauren... It's really important
VioBreeze Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013
You said you wouldn't put any oc's in the show. But in one episode, I saw my friends oc.
DaviDark-TheGunter Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Looking at the picture of her Oc, I can tell which pony it is, and yes it is an oc, but it's not her Oc, she has a different hairstyle and the shade of the colors are different
Invader-Zil Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Maybe her oc look the same like the pony on the show thats happen all the time ! can you send me the link to the episode and a pic of your friends oc ???
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