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Bill Plympton — Animator, Graphic Designer, Cartoonist, and Filmmaker


Bill Plympton is a cult hero of animation. Over the past few decades, Bill has developed a unique style that marries colored-pencil imagery with a warped sense of humor. As well as directing his own productions, including the short film “Your Face” and feature The Tune, he's produced created idents and commercials for Microsoft, Geico, MTV, and NBC, and music videos for "Weird Al" Yankovic and Kanye West.

In this incisive and inspirational podcast, Bill talks about how a desire to make people laugh has fueled a successful career that’s attracted some big fans. He discusses overcoming skepticism about animation as a viable career choice, and gives valuable advice for anyone starting in animation, from the importance of developing your own style to making the working day as prolific as possible.


Plymptoons >

Bill Plympton on Wikipedia >

Bill Plympton on IMDb >

Bill Plympton on Twitter >

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4:47 Bill’s background and inspiration

11:06 Becoming an illustrator

14:26 Directing “Boomtown” and “Your Face”

19:30 Choosing animation

23:14 The advantages of being your own boss

27:24 Taking “The Tune” to Sundance

31:55 The golden days of MTV

36:42 Thoughts on anime

38:51 Bill’s working day and how he creates so much

43:30 What’s exciting in the future of animation

About the author

Christopher Nichols

Chris is a CG industry veteran and Director of Chaos Labs. He can also be heard regularly as the host of the CG Garage podcast which attracts 20,000 weekly listeners. With a background in both VFX and Design, Chris has worked for Gensler, Digital Domain, Imageworks and Method Studios. His credits include Maleficent, Oblivion and Tron: Legacy.

Originally published: July 18, 2022.
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