R.I.P. Suzan Pitt

Rest in peace, Miss Suzan Pitt! Equal parts intimidating and inspiring, Suzan was a fiery force of nature in the animation classroom where I was first introduced to her. A smiling, sweet old lady with her dog one moment, she could instantly transform into a fire-breathing mentor who could coax the very best (or worst) out of you, and was never afraid to tell you exactly what she thought. Suzan introduced us to the works of Emile Cohl, Lotte Reiniger, Winsor McCay, and countless other animation gods and goddesses past and present in tandem with her weekly lessons on technique, making for a cocktail of inspiration and action that instilled a glowing love of the art form deep within our hearts. Her respect was always earned, and while it was no easy task to get a smile out of her, when Suzan expressed genuine joy or laughter in the work of her students it always charged the room with an overwhelmingly positive energy. I used to say that in the early days of her class it feel like living a week in a few short hours, brains caught on fire by the carefully selected works she would share with us and the resulting discussions directed by her unique perspective.

Thank you for being one of the most influential animators and artists in my life, Suzan!

-David Braun, 6.17.2019