Emru Townsend: How old are you now?
Craig McCracken: I'm 23.
How did you end up landing [your job at Hanna-Barbera]?
I had a mutual friend who was working with Donovan on Dogs and Secret Squirrel, and my friend was the art director for [Super Secret] Secret Squirrel and Donovan needed an art director for Dogs.
For Secret Squirrel--that would be Larry Huber?
No, Larry Huber produced it, my friend Paul Rudish was the art director on Secret Squirrel. Donovan was asking Paul, "Would you know anybody who could handle this kind of flat style I'm looking for?" and Paul said, "Well yeah, Craig can do it." So I brought in my stuff, and Donovan had seen my work at school, and he looked at my portfolio, and said, "Okay, you've got the job." And that's how I got my foot in the door at Hanna-Barbera.
It's funny you should mention that, because the design for Secret Squirrel was probably my favorite aspect of the show. I thought the two of them made a very nice package, 2 Stupid Dogs and Secret Squirrel, because they both took sort of a flat graphic style and they did very interesting things with it.
Paul and I have real similar tastes, and we were friends at school, so we kind of come from the same philosophies of drawing and stuff.
So you started right away as an art director at Hanna-Barbera.
Yeah, that was my first job in the industry, working as an art director, and then as I was working on Dogs I heard about the shorts program. And I had the Power Puff Girls as a student film I did at CalArts, called Whupass Stew. They used to be called the Whupass Girls, but they made me change it. I couldn't get away with that [laughs]. So I pitched them the student film, and they liked it, and eventually the shorts program came around and gave me an outlet for that, and I kind of got in on it.
So another CalArts refugee makes it into a studio.
Yeah, exactly. It's like we are all here. I went for two and a half years and then got this job. That's kind of the average, most people only go for a couple of years. Not many people stay the whole four. Usually, people just wait until they get the job they're looking for.