EP 29 – Samantha Youssef – Founder and Art Director of Studio Technique, Disney Animator – Curious George, Lilo and Stitch, Bambi, Tarzan…

We are very lucky to be joined by Samantha Youssef, founder and artistic director of Studio Technique and previously a character animator at Disney. Samantha recently released the first volume in her drawing series, the Youssef Drawing Syllabus, titled “Movement and Form,” which is intended for animation industry artists and is packed with insights and techniques for figure drawing. She has had experience with game companies such as Ubisoft, Filmax and Yowza, and has worked on films such as Curious George, Lilo and Stitch 2, Bambi 2, and Tarzan 2, among many others. She is also the creator of an award-winning animated short film La Fuga Grande, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Samantha is currently working on personal projects, including her next book, and teaching courses at her studio and online. We are happy to have such an accomplished artist join us for this podcast!

“To draw something successfully, you have to understand what it is you’re drawing.”

In This Episode…

Samantha chats with Anthony about her new book “Movement and Form,” and goes into the insights and philosophies of art and drawing itself. Studying ballet as a child along with many extracurricular activities, Samantha’s intentions of being a doctor suddenly switched to art and animation – all without much formal training. Samantha is an example of what hard work can bring, and has cultivated a unique philosophy on both drawing and teaching. Among insights on education, the learning process and drawing techniques, this podcast also includes an in-depth geeky analysis of the new Star Wars movie, fun chats about video games, anime, manga and much more!

Here’s what you’ll learn:
[01:05] Samantha’s ballet background and how it influenced her art and teaching methods
[05:30] On copying: capturing the essence of a pose as opposed to drawing what you see
[12:00] Learning the language of drawing: the ABCs
[17:00] Art education, mentors, teachers, and on being self-taught
[19:30] Samantha’s new online course and her teaching philosophy
[26:10] Geeky discussion and analysis of Star Wars!
[44:15] Samantha’s origin story: how she got into the art world and what her childhood was like
[52:00] The importance of early art education and the illusion of prodigies
[56:55] Her time at Sheridan and how she got hired at Disney
[1:04:45] Samantha’s involvement with film animation at Concordia University
[1:12:50] Samantha’s new projects, including a new 2D feature film with Disney colleagues, Hullabaloo!
[1:17:30] Her favourite programs and Wacom tablets for teaching and personal use!
[1:24:40] Syn Studio’s concept art festival this summer!
[1:31:00] Learning techniques: directing your learning and how it affects your process
[1:35:45] Anime and manga: great drawing vs great design
[1:42:00] The values of effort, hard work, and closing comments!

Links you’ll like…

Samantha Youssef



Books and Authors


Companies and programs

Films and Shows


Anime, Manga and Video Games


Other links

Even More…

This interview is part of a series of exclusive Concept Art, Illustration, VFX, 3D and Comics Podcasts created by Syn Studio. If you enjoyed this podcast please share it with your friends. And please sign up below for our newsletter to keep informed about all of our great podcasts, interviews, tutorials, articles, videos and other material created for you: the artist.


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