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Category: TV & Film

Where we celebrate women and non-binary folk working in animation, and explore representation behind the scenes and on the screen.

I&PF-137, Elissa Sussman, Author of ”Drawn that Way”

September 30, 2021

Welcome to the Ink and Paint Folk podcast- a look at animation through the women and non-binary folk who make it!

Hosted by Jessie Juwono and Cassie Soliday

Today's guest is Elissa Sussman!


She is the author of the upcoming book, DRAWN THAT WAY published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers.

The story follows highschool student, Hayley Saffitz who lands a spot in renowned animation director Bryan Beckett’s once-in-a-lifetime summer program. She has a plan: snag one of the internship’s coveted directing opportunities, dazzle Bryan with her talent, and secure a job post-graduation. 

Except she doesn’t actually land a directing position. All of those go to the boys. And one of them is Bryan’s son, Bear.

Despite Bear’s obvious apathy for the internship, Hayley soon realizes that there’s more to him than she expected. As they work together, the animosity between them thaws into undeniable chemistry and maybe something… more.

But Hayley can’t stop thinking about the chance she was refused.

Will she conform to the expectations of her idol, or will she risk her blossoming relationship with Bear- and her future- to prove that she’s exactly as talented as she knows she is?

I was so hyped to read this book since learning of its existence. And it’s even better knowing that Elissa used to work in the animation world herself at studios like Nickelodeon, Disney, Dreamworks, and Sony Imageworks on films like The Croods, Hotel Transylvania, The Princess and the Frog, and Tangled. So she knows the ups and downs of this industry intimately and makes it personal to teen readers.

In this interview, she shares what went into writing her new book, what it took to pivot from animation into publishing, that eager beaver energy you have when you’re first starting out, and the realization that your dream job or industry has a dark side.


Find Elissa online:



Learn more about her book:




This podcast is produced in partnership with Women in Animation

"Today, women hold only 20% of the creative roles in animation. WIA wants to make it 50/50 by 2025!"

Please also check out other great organizations promoting diversity in the industry: Black n’ Animated, Rise Up Animation, LatinX in Animation, Asian Queens in Animation, Asians in Animation, and Diverse Toons.


Ink and Paint Folk on Social Media:
Twitter: @InkandPaintFolk - Instagram: @inkandpaintfolk


*Note: With the name change, the transitioning of the title may be inconsistent across the web for a bit. Thanks for your patience!