Emily, the Brave

Emily the Hilarious, Emily the Wise, Emily the Vlog Star, Emily the Brave.

Taylor Brogan

June 5, 2014 | The Future | Print #3



Emily Carson is brave, but not because she sword fights with pirates and bungee jumps from skyscrapers (though I’m sure she would if given the opportunity). Emily is brave because she decided to pursue a career in one of the most competitive and rapidly evolving creative fields: animation. After having spent the last few years vlogging on her channel, EmilytheBrave, philosophising, doling out advice, and geeking out about Pixar, Emily has now begun sharing her own animations with her 11,000+ subscribers.

Taylor: What got you interested in animation? And who are your favorite animators?

Emily: Like most nine year olds, I really liked cartoons. I also really liked to draw and make up stories. When I saw the credits during Monsters Inc., it dawned on me that people could actually make cartoons for a living, and I guess the rest is history. I have tons of favorite animators. I grew up admiring the work of Glen Keane (who did Ariel, Beast, and Tarzan), Chris Sanders  (Lilo and Stitch), and Butch Hartman (The Fairly Odd Parents, Danny Phantom) – their art is still a huge influence on my style. Nowadays, I adore Brenda Chapman (Brave, Prince of Egypt), Andres Deja (Scar, Jafar, Dr. Facilier), Pen Ward (Adventure Time), Natasha Allegri (Bee and PuppyCat), and Claire Keane (Tangled).

What about animation and technology do you think makes it a good medium for storytelling?

I might be biased, but I think animation is the greatest form of storytelling ever created – it’s timeless, ageless, and translates practically all over the world. John Lasseter said, “The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art.” While technology has outdated many forms of storytelling, it’s only improved animation.

Where do you see your YouTube channel going in the next year? The next 5 years?

I don’t even know where my channel is going to be three months from now! Because YouTube as a site is constantly changing, I have to keep adapting the way I run my channel. I’ve recently joined Channel Frederator, an MCN [Youtube Multi-Channel Network] run by Frederator Studios (who is responsible for Adventure Time, The Fairly Odd Parents, and Cartoon Hangover). This means a lot of things for my channel, but mostly it means I’ll have an opportunity to do more animated videos, which is something I’ve always wanted to do, but have never had the time nor the resources for before. In 5 years, I’d really like to start creating animated web series, either for YouTube or whatever site has replaced YouTube at that point (Vine? Instagram video? Who knows? I don’t).

Do you plan to use the internet and new media to share your work, or are you looking to break into the more traditional industry? Do you see any room for overlap there?

Yes, maybe and absolutely! I don’t really know what the “traditional” industry for animation really is anymore because it’s still such a new industry and it’s changing rapidly. However, I do see a TON of room for overlap between the Internet and animation. In fact, it’s already happening with Cartoon Hangover – just check out Bravest Warriors and Bee and PuppyCat, they are both amazing cartoons, done traditionally (2D animated by a full production team), and thrive on the Internet. In fact, I see a lot of the future of animation on the Internet. Everything is becoming more accessible nowadays and the Internet gives absolutely anyone the power to share their creations with the entire world – which is both a scary and truly amazing thought.

What is one inconnu (or “unknown”) fact about you?

I was first chair clarinet in the 7th grade.

What do you think will be the biggest challenges you’ll face as you try to accomplish your animation goals?

The fact that it’s becoming an incredibly competitive field. Like, 70 years ago animation wasn’t really a career, but now it’s a booming industry. But I guess like any career, I’m going to face a lot of rejections. In animation it’s rough though because a lot of the time rejections are against your art or your stories which is very personal, but I think you have to learn to suck it up, learn from your rejections, and keep your head up.

What does the future of animated storytelling look like to you? 

When I imagine the future of animation I think of Liz Lemon’s quote about creativity: “Creativity, to me, is just like… like a bird. Like a friendly bird that embraces all… ideas. Just, like, shoots out of its eyes all kinds of beauty.” As the technology is becoming more accessible, more people are going to be encouraged to create, and that in turn inspires other people to create and tell their own stories… like that giant creativity bird.


Photo courtesy Melly Lee.

Taylor Brogan

Taylor is a Los Angeles-based idiot with a degree in English from the University of Chicago. She wants to write your favorite TV show.

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