Annie Poon: Mormon Artist
Annie Poon is an artist based in New York City. She creates stop-motion animations using cut paper, generally in shades of black and white. She also draws comics and illustrations.
Poon is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She has worked with Brigham Young University, the Church, Bonneville Communications, and Mormon Artist Group as well as the Museum of Modern Art, MIT, the Museum of Art and Design, the National Gallery, PBS, Nickelodeon, the Kidsfilmfest, the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, Carrot Books, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, among others.
Poon’s work is labor intensive, requiring about a day’s work for five seconds of animation. She “begins each of her sketches with a ‘key image’ in mind—a representation or distillation of the overall feeling for the work. Sometimes she even composes music before making the animation. After broadly designing characters and establishing general ideas, she sets her camera over her sketchbook and sits with blank paper, scissors and pen to meditate, allowing the scene to intuitively build within the pages of her sketchbook.”
Her short, “Runaway Bathtub,” based on childhood games she played with her twin sister, is in the permanent collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art. The LDS Church commissioned her short, “The Shiny Bicycle,” which depicts a boy who fails to paint his bicycle, but with hard work is able to make it look shiny again.
Poon’s “Puppy” strips have been collected in a book entitled Oh Puppy! and Puppy has appeared in three animations: “Oh Puppy” rap video, “Puppy’s Super Delicious Valentine’s Biscuits,” and “Daisy Daddy.” The strips were first published on Fredflare.com.
Her works often come from her religious beliefs. “The Book of Visions” depicts angelic visitations to Joseph Smith, Joan of Arc, and Black Elk. She felt that these experiences showed that God valued teenagers’ ideas and feelings. The film was also a tribute to some of her spiritual heroes. It was warded best film of 2006 by the Association for Mormon Letters.
Poon’s battle with mental illness (schizoaffective disorder) is depicted in “The Split House,” which was also awarded an Association for Mormon Letters award.
Poon and her eight siblings grew up in New Canaan, Connecticut. She studied painting at the School of Visual Arts.Her mother fostered her interest in art and gave her a nickel for each painter she could identify. She also once excused Poon from school so she could visit the Metropolitan Museum for a day. Poon loved stickers, paper and scissors, Colorforms, and Shrinky Dinks. She considers artists Shel Silverstein and Quentin Blake as her main influences.
She is married to Kah Leong Poon, who is a portrait, fashion, documentary, and artistic photographer.