22 Stars: Shannon Jefferies

November 5 2020

Co-Production Designer on Under The Boardwalk

Don't sweat the small stuff.

Shannon Jefferies
Talking to her younger self

1. What is your job at Paramount Animation?

Production Designer

2. Who is the artist that inspires you most?

Depends on what I'm working on. but right now Georgia O'keeffe.

Concept art for Paramount Animation's Under The Boardwalk

3. What is inspiring about your current project?

I grew up on the classic musicals from the 50-60s so I have a lot of comfort memories of coming home from school and watching a Doris Day musical or a Lucille Ball musical. So when i heard this movie was a musical in the classic sense it got me excited. Scale is also going to be an interesting challenge to work through.

Doris Day was an American actress, singer, and animal welfare activist. She began her career as a big band singer in 1939, achieving commercial success in 1945 with two No. 1 recordings, "Sentimental Journey" and "My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time" with Les Brown & His Band of Renown. She left Brown to embark on a solo career and recorded more than 650 songs from 1947 to 1967.

Lucille Désirée Ball was an American actress, comedian, model, studio executive and producer. As one of Hollywood’s greatest icons, and arguably the most iconic female entertainer of all time, she was the star and producer of sitcoms I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, as well as comedy television specials aired under the title The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. She is also the first female head of a major Hollywood studio, Desilu Productions, which she also owned.

4. What was your first job?

I worked in a movie theater as a snack bar girl at UA cinemas.

5. When did you know you wanted to work in animation?

I didn’t know at first. I was an illustrator in New York and I actually got into furniture design. I had to consider dimension and lighting in the design. Had to think about 3d, color and shadow and how it affects the room. Then I decided to do a little animated short. I started entering it into competitions and it was doing really well so that’s when I started thinking about art and animation as a new job. 

6. What is the one thing you like about working for Paramount Animation?

I like that it feels like a start up where everything is more intimate.

Sweet Lincoln's mullet - Shannon LIKES us!

7. Who in your career has helped you to improve and succeed? How did they help you?

With each project I have found different mentors. Working with someone like Chris or just creating a partnership with someone who has their strengths and you have yours and you help each other grow. Every time I learn something new it is the most inspiring and exciting and empowering. It is the different groups of people that help me grow. Also, Kelly Asbury, he taught me you could be genuine and humble and talented and gracious. You take it for granted when you don’t get to work with people like that all the time.

8. Which do you prefer to use? [pen, pencil, Wacom, or paint brush]

Paint brush

9. What is your favorite Paramount movie?

The classics with Jerry Lewis; Napoleon Dynamite; Anchorman

10. What is your favorite animated movie?

Iron Giant

11. Who is your favorite animated character?

Bartok from Anastasia

12. What is your favorite thing to doodle in the corner of your network?

Ring designs and jewelry

13. What is your favorite zoo animal?


14. Are you a dog person or cat person?

Probably more a cat person but we have so many of both.

15. Are you a coffee or a tea person?


The "Embrace Science" ring from Shannon's jewelry collection at shannonjefferies.com.

16. How do you express your creativity in your free time?

Paint or make jewelry

17. What do you do when you are feeling a creativity block?

I take a hot shower or a swim.

18. What's your favorite book you've read?

Any type of human endeavor type books. I can't get through it when I know it's not real.

19. What is your favorite vacation spot?

Mammoth Mountain Lakes

20. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Chocolate with nuts

21. Are you a night person or a morning person?


22. If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?

Don't sweat the small stuff.