Thursday, April 5, 2007

THE INTERVIEW



Tell me a little bit about yourself, about your life? Where did you go to school, and what classes did you study? What helped prepare you to become the artist that you are today?

My family always encouraged and supported art. My mother is an artist. Growing up she taught art lessons from our basement. I would sit in the back of every class and draw. I had a strong artistic foundation from an early age. Drawing has always been something I love to do. I got a major in Animation and a minor in Graphic Design form Loyola Marymount University.


How do you go about designing, and what goes through your mind, from start to end?

The very first thing I do is research. Research is the most important step of designing. Just looking on google images or corbis.com is not good enough. Whatever you are designing, experience it in real life. Collect all your research and find out what type of character you are designing. Concentrate on the personality of the character. Once I feel I have a grip on who this character is, then I start focusing on design and style. I’m constantly looking for ways to make my design simpler and more direct. Silhouette is very important. Create interesting negative space whenever possible. Focus on “line action” while posing. Create rhythm and contour. Also, contrast sharp points with curves (straights versus curves). Keep asymmetry in mind.


What is a typical day for you, and who are the people you work with?

The past year I’ve been working on Madagascar 2 as a character designer. Each week I travel back and fourth from the Dreamworks studio in Glendale to the PDI/ Dreamworks studio in Redwood City. Needless to say I am racking up my frequent flyer miles. I typically have two art reviews a week. This is a meeting where the production designer and myself present my designs to the directors and producers. On a daily basis I work very close with the production designer and art director. An average day is usually 9am- 6pm, but most often it is longer.

What are some of the things that you have worked on?

I’m fairly new to this industry so I haven’t worked on a lot of things. I got my first character design position on Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends at Cartoon Network. From there I was hired at Dreamworks. I’ve done numerous freelance designs for Disney, Sony, Nickelodeon, Fox, and Hasbro.


Is there a design you have done that you are most proud of?

no


What projects have you done in the past, and what are you working on now? (if you can tell us)

Right now I’m working on Madagascar 2 at Dreamworks. At the end of April I will be starting at Sony Feature Animation on a project called Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Who do you think are the top artists out there?

My love for animation started with my passion for fine art. Picasso, Monet, Gustav Klimt, Georges Braque, Robert Delaunay, Salvador Dali, and Paul Klee are very inspirational. Ward Kimball and Tom Oreb are my favorite designers in animation. Others include Charles Harper, Eyvind Earle, The Provensens, Aurelius Battaglia, AM Cassandre, Marc Davis, Ronald Searle, Mary Blair, Mel Crawford, Miroslav Sassak, Rowland Emett, Kiraz, George Grosz, Alain Gree, Sokol, Al Hirschfeild, Ed Benedict and many more.

The top character designers currently working today are Craig Kellman, Nico Marlet, Carlos Grangel, Carter Goodrich, Craig McCracken, Tony Siruno, Andy Bialk, Devin Crane, Shane Prigmore, Shannon Tindle and many more.


Could you talk about your process in coloring your art, as well as the types of tools or media that you use?

I like to use lots of different types of mediums. When I’m roughing ideas for a character I like to use pencil, marker, or sometimes the Cyntiq. It just depends what mood I’m in. As far as coloring a character I use gouache, acrylics, Tria Markers, Photoshop, Painter, and Illustrator. I tend to use a combination of these tools. A lot of the time I will color the character in marker or gouache and then scan it in to Photoshop and adjust the colors from there. When I’m painting something work related I like to have it in the computer so I can easy make adjustments based on director’s notes. Lately, for my personal work I’ve been painting on different types of wood. Using a mixture of wood stain and gouache I will paint my design.


What part of designing is most fun and easy, and what is most hard?

The first rough pass of a character is always fun. One of the toughest things to do when designing a character is addressing all the notes from the art director, the production designer, the producers, and the directors. As you can see, there are many people to please. I also really enjoy coloring the character. This stage helps make the character more believable and brings it to life.

What are some of the things that you do to keep yourself creative?

Keeping a healthy balance between personal art and work related art is very important. The second I don’t have time to do my personal art I feel very uninspired at work. Also, I have a life outside of animation. I try to travel frequently, listen to different kinds of music, and experience life.


What is your most favorite subject to draw? And why?

People… no two are alike.

What inspired you to become an Artist?

As stated before, I was raised in a family of artists and was always encouraged to be creative.


What are some of your favorite websites that you go to?

http://cartoonbrew.com/
http://cartoonmodern.blogsome.com/
http://drawn.ca/


What wisdom could you give us, about being an Artist? Do you have any tips you could give?

It’s all about finding a balance between designing for work and creating personal art. Ideally the two will go hand in hand, but if not, never stop creating for yourself.


If people would like to contact you, how would you like to be contacted? (Email, Web page)

pete_oswald@yahoo.com
peteoswald.blogspot.com


Finally, do you have any of your art work for sale (sketchbook, prints, or anything) for people that like your work can know where and when to buy it

If you are interested in any of my work please email me.