Interview with Emma Sanchez, LISAA student and two-time Disney Art Challenge winner
"I think the future of animation is saved," said Brad Bird at the 2018 Disney Art Challenge Awards, and Emma Sanchez, a LISAA Animation & Video Games student, is looking forward to becoming part of that future. This daring and enthusiastic student did not hesitate to participate three times in a row in this competition, organised by the immense Walt Disney Company France. As a result of these three entries, Emma Sanchez received two prestigious awards—a huge accolade for the young artist. We met up with her to find out more.
LISAA: what made you choose animation?
Emma Sanchez: I've been drawing since I was very young. The Disney world fascinates me and helped to develop my imagination. I have always appreciated classic cartoons and I find animation extremely delicate and alive. This is what made me want to work in this area.
In high school, I became interested in different artistic professions, and animation came to me as a revelation.
You decided to choose LISAA animation school. What did this training bring you?
I learned a lot and could dip into a lot of techniques. It allowed me to enrich my technique and assert my graphic style. Overall, the course was very beneficial, but I encountered some difficulties learning 3-D techniques.
At LISAA, I dipped into a lot of techniques and asserted my style
I ended up understanding that drawing was what I knew best and what I wanted to do later.
How did you hear about the Disney art challenge? What made you want to take part?
I actually took part in it three times. In the first year, I saw a poster hanging on a wall at the school. The fact that it was organised by Disney made me want to take part. I started the process out of curiosity, but without success.
In the second year, I tried my luck again. But this time, I was much more determined! The theme of superheroes really inspired me because I had already worked on it for my end-of-year project. I took it up again, adapted it, pushed it further. I was really motivated! I took part in the challenge without thinking that I could win.
It's a competition that showcases young talent—it's a huge opportunity.
You won the first prize last year, and this year, the audience prize. What has this success brought you?
For my first win, when Brad Bird [animator, director, screenwriter and producer behind, in particular, the films The Incredibles and Ratatouille] announced my name, my mind went blank! I was shaking, I was in shock. Knowing that a great master like him thought my drawing was the best gave me confidence in my work.
This is my greatest success, because I thought this challenge was unattainable. It was a unique experience.
This year, the theme was "toys coming to life". What was the inspiration behind your drawing, "obsolete"?
Today's society. Nowadays, toys are totally neglected and have been replaced by video games. I wanted to transcribe this through the emotions of toys that live only through the eyes of children, and the feeling of abandonment they might feel. I wanted to highlight the evolution of our society and the impact it has had on the children of the "Generation Z".
What do you want to do after graduating? What are your dreams?
Working for Disney has been my dream since childhood, as a character designer or illustrator for their books. When I was eight, I already wanted to draw. I hope that obtaining these two prestigious awards will make my dreams more attainable. But before that, I will focus on building up my portfolio!
We must dare to take part in competitions—there is nothing to lose!
What advice would you give to our future or current students who would like to succeed in the field of animation and win competitions?
Well, I would say work, persevere and also dare. You have to be daring in order to take part in competitions or other projects outside the school. There is nothing to lose—only experience to gain!