How I Work: Samantha Youssef
January 10, 2016
Samantha Youssef is a feature film character animator and visual development artist. She is the founder of Studio Technique, an artistic training studio specialized in the training and artistic development of animation industry artists. Samantha is a former animator for Walt Disney Animation, and is an award winner at the Toronto International Film Festival for her animated short film “La Fuga Grande.” In 2015, she published Movement & Form: The Youssef Drawing Syllabus.
Current Gig: Artistic Director, Animator, Artist
One word that best describes how you work: Passionately
Current mobile device: iPhone
Current computer: iMac
What apps, software, or tools can’t you live without?
iCalendar, drawing pencils, paper
What’s your workspace setup like?
I have my iMac, my scanner, and Wacom Cintiq at my desk. Next to that is my Disney animation desk where I do most of my drawing.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut?
Make a list for what you can realistically accomplish on your day to day. I get more done that way.
What’s your favourite to-do list manager?
I just write out to-do lists in a notebook, still old school that way! I haven’t yet found software that organizes everything as clearly for me. At least what I’ve found so far! Still looking for that ideal assistant software!
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?
My sketchbook. Its a diary of where I go and what I see. I also can’t live without my books, my library at my home. Otherwise I’d have to say my Nintendo DS.
Do you find yourself always working on something? Or when you finish a project, do you take time to let your mind wander without concern for what’s next?
I’m always working on something, my project list is already lined up for the next few years!
What do you listen to while you work?
I don’t listen to music when I work. I love to sing and dance. When I listen to music as I work, I get too distracted by singing or dancing along.
What are you currently reading?
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
How do you recharge?
I go to ballet class every day. I leave everything at the studio door and it’s a good mental release for me. It gives me energy to keep dancing.
What’s your sleep routine like?
I’m not a big sleeper, but I get about six hours a night.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
One piece of advice… I’ve received such good counsel and guidance from many people I have been fortunate to call friends and mentors. I can’t simplify it to one, there has been advice for many different huge life challenges, each varying but equally important.