Marlyn Spaaij

Director-writer-storyboard artist Marlyn Spaaij is amongst the key creative professionals in the Dutch animation industry. She was storyboard supervisor on American Girl’s 2D series Wellie Wishers (2017) and storyboard artist on the 3D series of Chinese kids brand Dr. Panda (2018), as well as a character animator on the 2D feature films Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015) and Triple Trouble (2014), a.o. Currently, Spaaij is directing her animated short Trouble in Mind (10’), with the support of the Dutch Film Fund and ARTE Germany’s Nadja Dumouchel as a script consultant. Spaaij is a graduate of HKU.

To get to know Marlyn, we asked her some questions about her creative process…

What inspires your work?

Growing up, me and my sisters played together endlessly. There was no shame between us in anything, and I was confident that our strong sisterhood would stay the same forever. However, as my slightly older sister grew into adolescence, our small age difference suddenly became a huge gap. She didn’t want to play together anymore, and I grew scared of losing her to ‘the grown-up world’. Throughout this uncertain period in my life, I’ve learned to trust that our sisterhood can transcend any changes, and that growing up is merely a natural transformation to navigate. I hope Sisters of the Mist is an exciting goosebump adventure as well as a comfort to those still having to experience their transformation.

Tell us a bit about your writing/illustration process.

Write, write a lot, write some more. Think deeply until your brain starts to hurt. Re-write, re-write a lot, re-write some more. And I’m always: drawing and sketching while I write.