Polly Guo is a storyboard artist, currently working for Dreamworks. She has previously been a storyboard artist for Adventure Time, and she has produced varied personal works such as Gawain’s Girlfriend and the Green Knight and Houdini & Holmes.
Polly lives in Los Angeles with her boyfriend, her rat Brown, and her dog Aggie.
In this episode, Polly discusses:
-Her creative upbringing, from drawing Pokemon in middle school to storyboarding for Adventure Time.
-Realizing that a certain style or method isn’t for her and then questioning why she doesn’t draw like everyone else.
-The story behind Gawain’s Girlfriend and the Green Knight.
-Advice that Sam Alden gave her to draw in a very tiny space to make decisions very quickly and not be too precious.
-How art should be something that you discover as you’re creating it and from as much of the subconscious as possible.
-The inspiration that she takes from Paul Thomas Anderson.
-The story behind creating Houdini & Holmes.
-How working on guilt and fumes can get things done, but it doesn’t lead to a proper lifestyle or mindset.
-How incredibly important it is to complete your first personal project.
-The difference between using creative criticism to be helpful or to tear someone down.
-Valuing criticism from someone who is completely disengaged from your creative pursuit.
-The difference that she sees between personal and professional work.
-Her biggest source of resistance of trying to figure out who she is outside of her work, as she came into herself so much through her art.
-How she continues to make personal work despite every bone in her body wanting her to relax.
-The power in working with other people.
Polly’s Final Push will encourage you to make stuff with your friends and to have fun!
“Something I like about writing is letting yourself be taken by the process and letting yourself discover what you’re writing as you’re writing it.”
“Who you are as an artist doesn’t exist inside Pixar’s 20 Rules of Storytelling or any other rulebook.”
“When you get to the point where you’re creating work not on purpose and it reveals something very deep about you that you didn’t even know yourself, that’s when people really start to relate to it.”
“I feel like before you’ve completed your first big personal project, the wall of completion is nearly insurmountable.”
“Get to the finish line by any means necessary.”
“My biggest source of resistance is trying to figure out who I am outside of art and outside of my work.”
“Art stagnates if you don’t live your life and have new ideas and influences.”
Gawain’s Girlfriend and the Green Knight by Polly Guo
Houdini & Holmes by Polly Guo