This week, our guest is the filmmaker, blogger and podcaster, Monique Henry-Hudson. Currently based in Queens, New York, where she has lived all her life, Monique's creative path to animation and storytelling began after a school trip to the Museum of Moving Image.
Here, she was inspired to one day make her own cartoons and later went on to study at New York's School of Visual Arts. But on graduation, Monique says she struggled to find the right opportunities, working in production management instead. It was during a stint at Blue Sky Studios, where she worked closely with story artists, directors, producers and writers on films such as Ice Age: Collision Course and Spies in Disguise that she found her true calling… even her "name in lights" on those production credits. A dream come true, no doubt.
Since Monique's time at Blue Sky, she has gone on to create a travelling animation panel series, Diverse Toons with her friend Jade Seaberry to highlight the importance of diversity in the animation industry. And she's behind her own podcast, SimplyRobotix, to help share some wisdom and insight into the world of animation. Today, Monique is working for Netflix Animation.
Here, we chat about Monique growing up in Queens, finding opportunities to get into animation and discovering unexpected paths. We talk about the power of networking and making valuable connections. And we delve into recent movie releases (Disney/Pixar's Soul and Onward) and how the industry is evolving after the events of last summer – not to mention how we, as an audience, are demanding more from creators and why there are lots of things to be excited about, particularly from Netflix.