What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Genevieve FT and I’m currently as a freelance illustrator and concept artist. Working on many things I just can’t talk about..! I’m also a pin up artist on my free time !
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Nothing too crazy, I was working at a liquor store before. Not much to say about it, except that having discount on wine is always good !
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
For the past four years, I’ve been creating a pin up calendar, and every year I’m very proud to show the result and see how much I’ve improved during the year! I try to make a different theme every year, like zodiac signs, animals and this year was women around the world. It’s always a nice feeling to have a final product ever year and it’s even better to see the demand
How did you become interested in animation?
I always loved animation films and TV shows, plus I always was a creative kid and as a teen I made a ‘’short film’’ in stop motion (with Lego blocks, a classic!) which made me want to do more. So I applied in a 2D animation program in Montreal !
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from Montreal, Canada. When I was still in school, I started working in an animation studio, working on TV shows. The animation was all cut out animation in Toon Boom, like in pretty much all the studios in Montreal, and it’s then I realized I wasn’t made to work as an animator 40 hours a week ! So I worked hard on my drawing skills and now I can finally enjoy working freelance as an illustrator or a concept artist.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
I usually arrive around 10 AM at my studio, looking through e-mails, looking which jobs need more work at the moment, depending on the contracts I have. Than pretty much working on the computer until diner time. After diner it’s not rare for me to come back to my studio and work on my personal projects, my Dames book or my portfolio.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Starting a new illustration or starting a concept art for a game. I love creating backgrounds and characters, trying to make something different, play with shapes and colors, it’s the best !
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Dealing with the clients can be frustrating sometimes ! Otherwise, animation isn’t my favorite part. Sometimes I’ll take games contract where I’ll be the artist and animator. I much prefer creating the art then animating it !
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
I recently purchased a iMac and love it. It’s my first mac ever and love it way more than any PC I got ! (Big apple publicity here…) I don’t own a Cintiq, though I’m thinking about it more and more. Right now, I’m using a Intuos 4, which is good, but has it’s limit. For the software, I use Photoshop CS5 on a daily basis and Flash if I have to animate (which is rare !). At home I own a Asus eee slate, which is a windows tablet with pen pressure. It’s perfect to draw on the go or just if I don’t want to leave home and draw on Photoshop in my bed !
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
I’m really fortunate to work from home, it gives me a lot of time to work on my personal stuff. What I find more difficult is to promote my personal work and getting known for it. It’s really important for me to create my own art and be separated from my job. And, my dream is that my personal stuff will someday become my full time job.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I went to CTN two years ago, but was so shy that I almost haven’t spoke to anyone…! I plan to go this year (2013) and really want to connect with all the fabulous people I talk too online (mostly twitter). Otherwise, I’ve been going to conventions for the past 2 years and it’s always an amazing time to meet great artists. I had the chance to meet with artist I admire and still connect with them online.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I don’t recall any seriously tough situation. I guess, making animated short film at school, was probably the most tiring and intense project I’ve done so far. Working alone, making a 2 minutes film is a pretty long and lonely process!
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
Yes, I have a major side project right now called Dames. The goal is for me to draw 2 pin-up girls a week (on Tuesdays and Thursdays and at the end of the year I’ll make an art book out of it ! It takes a lot of my time, but it’s really worth it 🙂 You can check out the website. Otherwise, I’m travelling a lot, going to conventions, this year I’m planning on going to Toronto Fan Expo, Montreal and New York Comic Con and hopefully CTNx, where I’d like to have a booth. I also have a few art shows on the way, and hopefully more to come! I’m very excited about a group show with Girls Drawing Girls at Arludik, in Paris. I’ll be there for the opening and it’ll be my first time in Paris !
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I sing a lot of silly songs to my pet bunny at home, no one knows about it though !
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Be passionate and work a lot ! I really like this quote by Chris Oatley : “personal projects are the new resume”. I think it’s important to start new projects (books, films, comics, etc.) but it’s even more important to finish those projects! It show your discipline and passion, and the best thing in all this is that you’ve worked on what you like! After it’s a matter of promotion. You need to show your creation to the world. Don’t make a book, put a photo of it on your blog and think people will find it and buy it ! You need to share it on social network, talk about it on illustration blogs and forum, try to create a hype over your product !
Another important thing is to find information; find other artists and blog to get inspired and see what is happening right now. It’s also to go on twitter and talk to those people, find out how they got their job in the industry. If you want to exhibit in galleries, find out where your favorite artists are exhibiting, know more about those galleries and contact them, send them your portfolio, you never know ! Don’t be afraid to try, don’t be afraid to ask and don’t be afraid of rejection. Rejection is the best way to learn and grow !