Amy Henkel


I’m a story artist for animation with a comedy background- meaning I spent a good chunk of years pursuing stand up, improv and sketch comedy. That’s why I go by “Off Model”- My career track has been a bit varied and unconventional! I’m now committed to visual storytelling but it was a long and experimental path that got me here.

I always knew that boards were the aspect of animation I was most interested in, but after my first industry job (as a traditional paper animator) I wondered: What about the outside? Acting? Singing? Writing? I figured I’d check it out and at the very least, it would all help me tell stories better. (The industry was also in a major slump at the time so it gave me something to do!)

I went back to college and met an amazing community of creative people that value collaboration, risk and individual expression. True starving artists. I got hooked- The stand up, sketch and improv comedy stuff you see here was more than just a hobby. I really wanted to have professional success as a performer.

Around 2012 things shifted. I saw that storyboard opportunities were opening up and I realized that I wasn’t as dedicated to comedy as a lot of my peers were. This was my chance to finally try out the life I had hoped for when I graduated from Sheridan. I started phasing out my comedy performances and productions, with my last big show being the musical Corral Blue show at Toronto Fringe 2015.

Finally I landed in the right place and when I did get on to my first feature board job it turns out that it was TRUE! All the comedy skills I’d been working on those years actually helped me to do a better job! Now I’m working on catching up for lost time and have some film ideas I want to flesh out. I’m legitimately jazzed about animation and feel like I’m coming in fresh out of school. Seeing a gorgeous drawing inspires me more now than it ever did.

I’ve been Toronto based for over 15 years. When I think back on all the learning and growing I’ve done, and the growth in the amazing people around me, I kind of can’t believe this is the same life. One of the best things I’ve learned is to appreciate others more- Some people have stayed the same but *I’ve* changed to realize they were amazing all along!

Other stuff about me:  I love animals, science and nature and am a vegan in progress. It’s tough because I’m on a learning curve when it comes to cooking in general. I have an eBay store- trying to curate my toy collection and also fun to see that my toy has a way better home somewhere else- sometimes a country I wasn’t even aware of. I learned about exercise at one point and it changed me forever. I play musical instruments. I like to be clear, honest and vulnerable and like people best who are the same way.

Contact:  amyoffmodel at gmail dot com