Cynthia Hogan, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Design at Brigham Young University, was first introduced to animation in her youth through Warner Brothers cartoons and the book “The Art of Disney”. Since then, she has used her love for animation to touch countless lives.
Despite her early interest in animation, it wasn’t until she was in Junior College that she seriously considered animation as an actual career option. When she saw Snow White for the first time in a drive-in theater she was mesmerized and made the decision that working in animation was the place she wanted to be.
Cynthia had the benefit of parents who knew people in the industry and they recommended she attend California Institute of the Arts, (CalArts), one of the few schools that offered training in Character Animation at that time. In 1985, she put together a portfolio, applied to CalArts, and was accepted into the Character Animation Department where she studied animation for the next three years.
As her time at CalArt cam to an end, she received an internship at Disney Studios that led into her first job working as an inbetweener on “The Little Mermaid”. She continued to work her way up at Disney, becoming and Animating Assistant on “Rescuers Down Under” and an animator on “Beauty and the Beast,” for Maurice and “Aladdin,” for the Sultan character. She moved on from Disney to work for Rich Animation and then for Warner Brothers Feature Animation. While she was working at Warner Brothers, she was recruited by their training department to work with a group of interns teaching them the basic principles of animation. She discovered she enjoyed teaching, so when she was later asked to teach an advanced animation class at Cal Arts, she accepted. It wasn’t long before she was given additional classes to teach and her responsibilities grew into a full time position. She became the Associate Director of the Character Animation Department and then the Interim Director.
In December of 2007, Cynthia received a phone call from Ryan J. Woodward, who informed her of the upcoming opening at BYU for the position of Animation Professor. She had been tracking the growth and success of the BYU animation department for sometime, and was impressed by what this young program had already accomplished. So when she was invited to apply for the new position, she happily submitted her curriculum vitae, and portfolio and was subsequently hired during the summer of 2008 as a Visiting Instructor. Eventually she became an Assistant Professor. She has taught beginning, intermediate and advanced animation and a figure drawing class for animators, which is geared towards those who are hoping to get into the animation program.
In 2011, Cynthia was the faculty advisor for the student produced short animated film, Dream Giver, which later went on to win an award for best animation and music composition at the Student Emmys. The students involved in the production were Tyler T. Carter, Peter Jones, and Jason Keyser.
In 2013, she participated in the animation of the Christmas music video, Christmas in L.A. for the band The Killers with other BYU faculty and students.