Interview with Ann Telnaes
Nov 16, 2015
Interview with Ann Telnaes
Category (Creative Talent)

Ann Telnaes


Artist Spotlight is a place to showcase new artists as well as revisiting talent.  Enjoy this interview sharing the stories about their work, career, and process for navigating the winding road that artists must take in order to become a professional in such a creative, respected, and sought after career. 

This is artist Ann Telnaes.  For more about this artist visit their CTN Profile:  CLICK HERE

Can you first tell us where you are working now and how you landed there? 

I'm an editorial cartoonist for The Washington Post. I've worked for them since 2008 creating online animated and static cartoons ; prior to that I was a nationally syndicated print editorial cartoonist since 1995.

What was your path to Animation? Were you always interested in animation or fine arts growing up?

I've been drawing ever since I can remember, although I didn't consider animation until I was in college. I spent 2 years as a graphic design major and then applied to the character animation program at California Institute of the Arts. I attended CalArts for 3 years and graduated with a bachelor of fine arts.

Where did your path lead you from there?

That's a long story! You'll have to attend my presentation to find out.

What were your artistic inspirations growing up and how did they change over time?

My early inspirations were Robert Osborn, Gerald Scarfe, Alexander Calder and like many of my animation colleagues, Ronald Searle.  I also admire the work of editorial cartoonists Pat Oliphant and Herblock.


How did you get involved with CTN and what have you found CTN brings to you as an artist?

My friend and former Imagineering colleague Guy Vasilovich introduced me to CTN and highly recommends the annual CTNexpo. I'm really looking forward to meeting Tina Price and hearing more.

What are you working on now that we may see at CTN?

I'll be showing my earlier print editorial work and current work from my Washington Post blog page.

Can you speak to your opinion on the Charlie Hebdo killings of Political cartoonist's?

After an initial feeling of shock upon learning of the killings at the offices of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, I became nauseous when I learned that four five cartoonists were among the twelve murdered during an editorial meeting. I never personally met any of them, but I was familiar with the magazine and its irreverent cartoons and how, in 2006, they defiantly published the Danish Mohammed cartoons when hardly any U.S. newspapers decided to do so (including The Washington Post).

It was not long though, before my shock turned into the determination to join my colleagues in speaking out against the attacks.

It's the 21st century, but people who are living in centuries past are murdering cartoonists. It's not a left versus right issue; many of my liberal colleagues didn't support the Danish cartoonists free speech rights and felt that publishing the Mohammed cartoons was wrong. There was much debate about whether the cartoonists had somehow "crossed the line" of good taste and if offensive cartoons should be drawn at all. Of course, no one could name everything, which should be on this grand list of offensive images; what is offensive to one person or group isn't the same for another.

Free speech has to be absolute. If society starts to put limits on what can be said or drawn, it creates an environment where people feel they are justified to act violently against anything they deem offensive to their beliefs, religion, culture, or whatever else.



Interview by Heather M. Shepherd

Heather is an experienced artist, modeler, and CG designer. She has worked at Disney,Dreamworks, Jim Henson and Warner Bros. Recently shehas been writing, directing,and producing her own award winning films.



Tracks :