Artist - Katie Shanahan

TCAF 2012, Steven and Katie Shanahan
(Photo Credit: Grayden Laing / Canadian Animation)
Hello! I'm Katie Shanahan, a cartoonist and storyboard artist with almost ten years of experience in tv animation. I've worked on shows for PBS Kids, Cartoon Network, Mattel and National Geographic Kids. In my free time I make comics, collaborating frequently with my brother and creative-partner Steven ("Shaggy") on our ongoing "Silly Kingdom" series, as well as short stories for comic anthologies like "Explorer" and "Flight."

Silly Kingdom Books
What part of Canada are you from?
Toronto, Ontario.

What role do you play in the creation of animation?
Storyboard Artist.

What is one project that you are proud to have been involved in?
For comics, I'm proud to be a part of the Flight and Explorer anthologies. I learned a lot working on those stories and met wonderful and talented friends and mentors because of them.

Explorer & Flight Anthologies - Katie Shanahan (contributor)

What inspired you to create animation?
Two films that really inspired me to get into animation were "The Iron Giant" and "The Firebird Suite" from Fantasia 2000. Both films, on top of being gorgeous, really hit me emotionally and came out when I was finishing high-school and trying to figure out where to focus my artistic interests (comics or animation). After I saw those films I decided "I want to do THAT" and took up animation at Sheridan College. I haven't been able to work on feature films yet, but I hope one day to be able to make films that can move and entertain people as much as those two did for me.

Who is one of your favourite Canadian animators?
The first name that pops into my head is Kris Pearn (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2). He was my first year character design teacher while at Sheridan and continues to be a big inspiration (also, he's super kind and hilarious). Johane Matte is another huge inspiration for animation and comics. She's currently working at Dreamworks as a story artist.

What is one of your favourite animation books?
Aaaugh, it's hard to choose just one. The "The Animator's Survival Kit" saved me when I got my first animation job and had no clue what I was doing. I also love pouring through the art books for Hayao Miyazaki's films.

Who is an up-and-coming Canadian animator that everyone should check out?
I've been following Rosemary Travale's fun art for a while, she recently graduated from Sheridan with a cool stop-mo film and is continually making great things.

Are you involved with any animation organizations in Canada?
Not officially, but I'll use this space to give a big thumbs-up to the Animatic T.O talks being run by my pal Andrew Murray.

To more of Katie's artwork follow these links:


Katie was the storyboard artist on the "Life in the Dreamhouse -- Let's Make A Doll"