What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Arthur de Pins and I’m a french cartoonist.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I’ve been a waiter in a restaurant owned by a friend of mine. I was pretty good actually and I’m able to hold 4 plates at once, which is very useful.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
In animation, I’ve co-directed and animated the flash part of an episode of the Drew Carey’s green screen show. We were only four, with very few budget and low technical equipment, but that made the result even better ! Animating from the actor’s play was a lot of fun ! Maybe more fun than watching the final result. The series stopped shortly after a few screenings on TV. (A better quality video)
How did you become interested in animation?
My oldest dream is to make a long length animation film. But I have to admit that my main goal is to tell stories, whatever the way it is. And today, that way is comic books. I’ve studied animation at university (Arts Décos – Paris), just because I wanted to know the skills. After 3 short films and a few TV pilots, I decided to turn my career towards illustration and Comics. A lot of french animators do the same, because financing a short film or a TV series project is hell, and in the same lapse of time, you can make much more stories and develop your own universe.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I used to make short films or work as an animator just because my university led me to it. But after my little break, I went back
as a charcater designer. I suppose that I’m more in the mood for still images right now, than animated ones.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
One of the main difference between an animator and a comic book author is people around you. When you’re an animator, you’re surronded by dozens of collegues. And when you go work for yourself, you’re alone. Which is great, but can turn you crazy. That’s why I share a workshop with animators friends of mine. Even if we don’t work on the same projects, we share a place, have coffee together, even cook and have meals together (my “cooking day” is tuesday). Social like is very important.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Freedom : the feeling to create anything whenever I want. This freedom doesn’t exist that much in European animation, where it has to be “for kids” and where you have to lenghten skirts and avoid explicit language. In the comic book industry, you have only one person to convince (the publisher) and whenever you have the green light, you’re free.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Being free of your creations, your time and your schedule is sometimes scary. But the worst thing is when you have to find an
idea that doesn’t show up. Ever artist in the world know these moments.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
I work exclusively on Adobe Illustrator 9.0 (a very old version, but the best one to me). And when I animate, I use Flash 5
(very old too).
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Of course ! Mainly during Festivals. I met Bill Plympton, Rosto, Regina Pessoa, Sylvain Chomet… But I’ve never bumped into Myiazaki or Lasseter, if it’s what your question is about.I also meet great artists from Pixar, Blue Sky such as Bill Presing or Peter de Seve, who often do exhibitions at the Arludik gallery in Paris. I will attend the comic con in San Diego next july and I hope to meet many fascinating people (greatness or not)
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
When I worked on the MAGIC Tv Series character design I spend far too much time on it because nobody was taking any decision above and the director (who’s a friend of mine, by the way) was constantly unsatisfied. I made more than 30 different proposals per character.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
I’m actually learning to play Batucada (Brazilian drums) in a band. Nobody in the group (including me) is a musician, but the result sounds better and better. I hope my ears will still work as it goes by.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I can do a pretty good moonwalk on the dance floor, while dancing in a club. A skill that remains from my Michael Jackson absolute devotion when I was a teenager.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
I would say : Do something in parallel (comic book, blog, illustrations…) In the industrial-like world of animation, you have to find a way to express yourself and show everyone what you have in the guts. And try moonwalk too. Girls like it .