“I want to feel like I exist and I want everyone else who wants to feel that way to feel that way too”- Rebecca Sugar, San Diego Comic Con. Everyone is born an artist with different ways and with different purposes. Some like to inspire people, and some like to show the world their works. Just like Rebecca Sugar the artist, composer, and director of many Cartoon Network original series like Adventure Time, and Steven Universe, (Steven Universe Wik). According to (RaveNoir, 2014), she is also known as the first female sole creator of a Cartoon Network show after her resulting series “Steven Universe” enjoyed critical and audience acclaim since its 2013 debut.
Rebecca Rae Sugar was born July 9, 1987 in Silver Spring, Maryland. She attended the Visual Arts Center at Einstein High School and also Montgomery Blair High School simultaneously, (Steven Universe Wik).
Then after many years of studying at the two schools, she then changed to the School of Visual Arts in New York. There Sugar began her career directing her own digital animated short “Singles” as a project for her school, it got viral and she won an award for the best experimental film at the Animation Block Party (amidi, 2009). After the success of her animated short, she was then hired as a storyboard revisionist at Adventure Time during season one, then got promoted as a storyboard artist in season two, (Steven Universe Wik). During that time of her working as a storyboard artist, she then released her first graphic novel called “Pug Davis” which she wrote and drew the designs of the characters, (eric, 2010). While Sugar was working on Adventure Time, She then achieved a lot of awards, and also nominations for the Primetime Emmy Awards, and Annie Awards (IMBD, 2017). Sugar then maintained her position on Adventure Time until she left when the fifth season started so she can focus on creating her own projects. Her last episode in Adventure Time before working on her new projects was “Simon & Marcy” however, it was also a difficult time for her because while working on the episode because she was also working on launching her new shows (Cavna, 2013).
When Sugar first released her show Steven Universe on Cartoon Network 2013, people enjoyed the show and really liked it. It really got a lot of attention since its 2013 debut, and then Sugar became the first female sole creator because of her resulting show (RaveNoir, 2014). Though her show received a lot of attention and love, it also became known for addressing many social issues because of two woman characters who were in a relationship were mentioned in the show. Though after the stories were told, many famous websites like PBS started talking about it and have a lot of interviews with Sugar about why she did it (segal, 2016). Also a lot of parents did not like the idea of mentioning LBGT in a kids show because some were against the LBGT community and some thought that those kinds of themes cannot be mentioned or shown in a kids show. In the San Diego Comic Con event, when the producers, directors, animators, and everyone who worked in the show came to take questions and discus what they are planning for the future of the show, Sugar decided to talk about why did she add those “mature” themes in a kids show. According to Sugar, she said “In a large part, it’s based on my experience as a bisexual woman… There is an idea that these are themes that should not be shared with kids but everyone shares stories about love and attraction with kids. So many stories for kids are about love. It really makes a difference to hear stories about how someone like you can be loved. And if you don’t hear those stories, it will change who you are. It’s very important to me that we speak to kids about consent. That we speak to kids about identity. There’s so much I have to say about this. I want to feel like I exist and I want everyone else who wants to feel that way to feel that way too” (RaveNoir, 2014). Sugar is now 29 years old living with her boyfriend Ian Jones-Quartey and currently still working on her show Steven Universe, (Steven Universe Wik).
Every artist love to inspire people, share hidden stories by expressing it with a piece of art and show them that no matter how different you are from society you are not alone, you are special and no matter how different your beliefs, nationality, culture, and interests you are still a human. Rebecca Sugar through her journey showed us it’s okay to do many things at once, nothing is impossible, and showed her story that it’s okay to be different from others because it’s what makes you special, (Patel, 2016).
amidi, a. (2009, 10 8). Cartoon Brew. Retrieved from cartoonbrew.com: http://www.cartoonbrew.com/brewtv/singles-rebecca-sugar-15727.html
Cavna, M. (2013, 11 1). The Washington post. Retrieved from washingtonpost.com: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/tv/steven-universe-creator-rebecca-sugar-is-an-idealistic-trailblazer/2013/11/01/fe622da2-4338-11e3-a751-f032898f2dbc_story.html?utm_term=.152d597c8953
eric. (2010, 12 9). federator blogs cartoon central. Retrieved from federatorblogs.com: http://archives.frederatorblogs.com/adventure_time/2010/12/09/rebecca-sugars-pug-davis/
IMBD. (2017, 2 13). Retrieved from IMBD.com: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3566987/
Patel, A. (2016, 10 10). Buzzfeed. Retrieved from buzzfeed.com: https://www.buzzfeed.com/anjalipatel/rebecca-sugar-has-some-amazing-advice-for-aspiring-animators?utm_term=.egyLa8MdR#.rsoNJ94ky
RaveNoir. (2014). genius. Retrieved from Genius: genius.com/artists/Rebecca-sugar/bio
segal, c. (2016, 9 4). PBS newshour. Retrieved from PBS.org: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/art/rebecca-sugar-steven-universe-lgtbq/
Steven Universe Wik. (n.d.). Retrieved from fandomi: steven-universe.wikia.com/wiki/Rebecca_Sugar