What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Einav Deri. I work as a Character Designer and Artist at Flaregames and KeenFlare.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Before breaking into animation and video games I’ve worked in the food, clothing, sales, customer service and computer industries. Out of all I’d say customer service was the craziest, talking on the phonefrom 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM everyday for almost 2 years was really crazy, I’ve learned a lot though. =)
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I recently finished working on 3 different major commercials and animated shorts at Snowball | VFX Studios. I designed all the characters and some of the props in the commercials. Seeing my characters come to life, fully animated with all the textures and lighting was really awesome. I’ve had the opportunity to work as an artist on the animated TV-series ‘The Adventures of Vipo the Flying Dog’. I’ve also just finished working on a huge IPad/IPhone game at Flaregames and Keen Games, here in Germany. The game called ‘Royal Revolt’, I designed some of the characters in the game so it was really an honor.
How did you become interested in animation?
I remember that day clearly, I was 5 years old, I watched Disney’s Snow White, after the movie ended there was an inside look at the Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, CA, I was blown away, seeing all the artists working together as a team, creating something so amazing together, that just blew me away, that was the moment when I knew exactly what I wanted to do in life. Playing Video games, watching Disney movies and animated TV shows in the 90′s was an adventure and a huge inspiration and part of my life as a kid.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I was born in Israel, used to work there for a while for a major local animation studio called Snowball | VFX. I recently moved to Germany and started working in-house for an awesome video game studio called Flaregames. I used to take Character Design classes at The Animation Academy in Burbank, CA, studying there really helped me grow as an artists. After finishing my studies there I started working as a freelance artist, I got to work on different projects but I still wanted to work in a studio with other artists, I wanted to be a part of a team but still felt like I didn’t have enough experience so I went to a local college and took 2D/3D classes, I also took some online animation and character design classes. While going to school I applied for internships and soon started interning at ARG! Cartoon Studios. As soon as I started interning there I got contacted by a mobile game studio called Katun Studios and soon started to work on games as a freelance artist. After finishing working on some games and projects with these studios I felt like I was ready to start working in-house in a studio environment, I started applying for different studios and a few days after I got a phone call from Snowball | VFX Studios, I was invited to an interview and a few weeks later they called me again and told me I got accepted to the job and that they would be happy if I joined their team. Working for Snowball was something that I wanted and dreamed of for a long time. I feel so blessed that I had the opportunity to be a part of this amazing studio. After finishing working on a few super cool project at snowball | VFX, I was invited to an interview at Flaregames in Germany, they flew me over and I got excepted to the job, I packed my stuff, moved to Germany and started working here as a Character Designer and Artist, I’m very blssed for working in such an awesome, amazing studio such as Flaregames. I draw and create constantly, I breath, eat and sleep art everyday, all the time, it’s everything to me. I think my attitude and drive, my will to learn new things everyday and grow as an artist really helped me get into the business.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I love designing characters, coming up with new designs and styles. I love the process of creating characters, developing the personality of each character. I love seeing my characters come to life, seeing them animated is wonderful.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
I can’t think of any. So far I enjoyed everything that I’ve done.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
Mostly pencil and paper, a Wacom tablet and Photoshop.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
The most difficult part for me was; knowing that I could offer so much as an artist, person and a team-player, and yet coming from a small country such as Israel with limited number of animation studios and schools wasn’t easy at all, it made my journey a bit more challenging, but I made it.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I had the opportunity to learn with some of my fav artists in the whole world, for example; Charles Zembillas (Character Designer of Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Jak and Daxter) Also was a student of Steve Silver and Studio-Sidekick’s founder and character designer; Torsten Schrank. While studying at The Animation Academy in Burbank, CA I got to meet a lot of amazing artists such as Disney’s Paul Felix, Joe Person, Alan Simons, Chance Raspberry, Snakebite, Gary Montalbano, Jose Lopez and many more. About 2 years ago I had the privilege to go on a private tour in the Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, CA, I met with Disney’s Art Director Paul Felix and he showed me the studio, it was one of the best days in my whole life. Also CTN Expo in Burbank last year was awesome, I met a lot of super talented artists, got to meet some of my favorite artists, show my artwork and get some helpful feedback so it was truly awesome.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
We’ve all experienced ups and downs. Staying positive, working hard towards your goals and dreams, appreciating what you have and keeping a smile on the face is always helpful! =)
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
I’m working on a personal project right now during the nights. I’ve been working on this project for 12 years and I believe I’m gonna finish working on it in the next few months so it’s very exciting!
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I used to be play tennis for a couple of years and even got to be the champion of my hometown, I won the 1st place 4 years in a row, I got 4 gold trophies. Sports has always been a huge part of my life. Also, when I have some free time while at work/after work or on weekends, I love playing video games! I’ve been an avid gamer ever since I can remember. My room looks like GameStop.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Keep creating, stay productive, keep drawing everyday as much as you possibly can, get feedback from other artists, keep working hard towards your dreams, that’s the only way I know.