Picture of Starviz and cartoon Killer Kiss on All Ages of Geek

We Interviewed Animator Starviz the Founder of SweetGamble Toons!

We had the pleasure of chatting with animator Starviz all about their work! Starviz is the founder of the studio called SweetGamble Toons and shows called, Killer Kiss, Serial Sirens, Extraterrestrial Extermination (EE), Vacay, and PepperJack the Webtoon Series!

Hi! My name is StrawViz, aka Lenexa Butler! I’m the founder of the studio called SweetGamble Toons! As well as the creator of a few upcoming shows called, Killer Kiss, Serial Sirens, Extraterrestrial Extermination (EE), Vacay, and PepperJack the Webtoon Series! I would love to thank All Ages Of Geek for having me apart of this to answer some questions!

1.What initially inspired you to become a creator, and how has that inspiration evolved throughout your creative journey?

I’ve loved animation my whole life! Ever since I was a kid I knew I wanted to be an animator, I’ve always loved to draw, when I found out that you could draw digitally, that really changed me and how I drew! When I was 17 I asked my parents for an iPad, I’ve always wanting one so I could start actually learning animation digitally, as well as just doing some fun digital art! When I was surprised with an iPad on my 17th birthday, I bawled, I was so beyond grateful and couldn’t thank them enough! I spend weeks, and months creating these fun original characters, and trying to perfect  my art style! My main person I looked up to with animation was VivziePop! I loved her shows, how they moved, the style and I based my art style kind of around Vivs! But I was able to find my own and I am absolutely in love with me shows and my characters! 

2.Can you share a specific moment or experience that fueled your passion for your current creative project? 

When I was around 10, I had a BIG love for My Little Pony! I was always telling myself I’d want to do something like that, so now I’m 18, I keep telling myself that I CAN do it! I can make something and be proud of it! I know little me would flip out knowing I’m now an animator and have these amazing shows coming out!

3.What challenges have you encountered as an indie creator, and how have they shaped your approach to your work?

A big challenge with my shows specifically is their meaning, Killer Kiss is focused on abuse, that is a very touchy subject, but me and my co creator Hailey Null, really wanted to showcase what it’s like and give these poor people a voice and to have this horrible act be noticed, at the end of each episode, there will be an abuse hotline as well, we thought that would be an amazing idea just in case. As for Serial Sirens, that focuses on addiction! How these 3 singers who are actually sirens just can’t get enough of sucking up human souls so they can be more powerful, I mean. This focuses on how addiction can truly harm a person or even people! And with Extraterrestrial Extermination (EE) we went with abduction, the main character of this is just minding her business sitting on her deck when this huge mothership takes her away to this land where now she has to fight for her life, we really wanted to showcase some of these horrible dangers in the world and how it could happen to anyone! PepperJack is about murder and how Jack has his love missing and he has no clue where she has gone, and Vacay is about wanting to just get away, but you can’t always trust what goes your way, these show stories will show how all these things happen in the world.

4.Are there any particular creators who have significantly influenced your style or approach? How do you incorporate those influences into your own unique voice?

I’ve always loved the art styles of Family Guy, Bobs Burgers, as well as the Monster High 2D series and My Little Pony! Those have always had a huge influence when I’m animating or creating characters! As well as VivziePop! That’s where I kinda gained my art style from! I loved how clean and cool her shows just looked! 

5. How do you navigate the balance between staying true to your artistic vision and adapting to feedback from your audience or collaborators?

I love having feedback from others! It makes me grow as a person and as a creator! When I gain feedback I always take it into accountability, to me it would help my show grow and thrive it it was getting feedback!

6.Can you recall a memorable success story or milestone in your indie creator journey that stands out as a turning point for you?

Yes! When I posted a casting call for Killer Kiss last year, I had so many people wanting to join! It was absolutely crazy! I couldn’t believe that so many wonderful VAs would’ve wanted to join my shows! I felt so honored and so happy hearing that from others!

7.What role do setbacks or failures play in your creative process, and how do you overcome them to keep moving forward?

I never want to over stimulate myself! There has been a few times something doesn’t look right, then I end up getting a bit frustrated and taking a few days off drawing to focus more on my health! By taking those few days off I have learned that creativity is key to animation! Once you run out, take a few days to regain! 

8. How do you manage your time and energy to sustain a consistent creative output while juggling other aspects of life?

This one is a bit rough to answer, I’m kind of a hectic mess to be honest with you! I have a full time job, as well as creating these shows in my free time! It gets a bit rough at times, and I get really tired to even draw, but I still push myself cause I don’t want to let little me down or my beautiful cast down! My cast has been the absolute best thing that ever happened to me! They keep me on track and happy to be doing this!

9.Have you found any unexpected joys or rewards in the indie creator community, and how has it contributed to your overall experience?

Oh yes, Most defiantly!  One of them being going to comic con after the Killer Kiss pilot releases in 2025! I’m so beyond excited and can’t believe how far my shoe has come! Me and Hailey are so thrilled and we just pinch ourselves everyday not believing this is our life now!

10.If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring creators, what would it be based on your own lessons learned?

Do it! Just go for it and live your dream! I was bullied in school, didn’t have any friends, I thought I was just gonna be alone all my life and never meet anyone, after focusing on my dream and believing in myself, I have meet such an amazing cast who I can call family honestly, and seeing all these people excited for my show makes me so grateful! I’m so proud of myself for focusing on my dream and just jumping in and going for it! And you should to!

11. What are your thoughts on All Ages of Geek? What are some things we should change/do? What are something you enjoy about our website?

I LOVE your website! I think it’s so amazing how you do this for other indie creators! I truly thank you for having me do these questions! It’s been a dream of mine to do an interview! Thank you for making one of my dreams come true!

12. Goals for 2024?

My goals for 2024 is to release the first episode of PepperJack on Webtoon Canvas March 23rd! As well as releasing the Official Killer Kiss Trailer the end of 2024! Plus some extra special things I have coming up! Thank you so much for supporting me and my dreams!

Here is my Links!

YouTube! https://youtube.com/@SweetGambleStudio?si=IkAb1xFrUTugoHJo

Vacay Trailer! https://youtu.be/NfLctp_PZEQ?si=qYAMicAwXFyQqEea 

My Twitter! https://twitter.com/strawviz?s=21&t=aGR6GPhwtgBb3hkWd5hqJA 

My Instagram! https://instagram.com/lenexab?igshid=NTc4MTIwNjQ2YQ== 

My TikTok! https://www.tiktok.com/@sweetgambletoons?_t=8cCCPBqBICp&_r=1 


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