Nadia Cano

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What is your name and your current occupation?
I´m Nadia Cano. I´m currently working on the Storyboards for an Animation Series on Paka-Paka Channel, a new Argentine animation channel. I´m responsible of creating the complete storyboard for 26 episodes of CUT-OUT animation based on children´s book. This TV show has three seasons and I have been involved in all of them. The first season is called “Taller de Historias”, the second, “De cuento en cuento” and the third one still hasn´t got a name defined.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I had only one job before getting into animation. I was working to embroider blouses for old women with an artistic design. I had a very low salary. I worked 12 hours per day without benefits. In that moment was a hard time to my country, everyone was unemployed. At least I was making art (in some way).


What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I think every project leaves me something new. The project that makes me proud is: De cuento en Cuento. I made all of 26 episodes of 20 minutes for Paka-Paka Channel. Without any help and with a very tight schedule, I worked from scratch on the preproduction of the show: character design, layouts and storyboards. Thanks to all my work and effort, the team of production gain prestige and popularity.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I´m from Argentina. I got into animation while I was in third year of my career. All my family was unemployed and I got an offer to work for an animated film called “Patoruzito: La gran aventura”. Animation had been always my dream career so it was a blessing for me to have that opportunity . My mentor in the Animation Institute where I attended recommended me as his assistant for the movie. Thanks to scholarships, people´s help and very hard effort I accomplished to get where I am. I´m grateful for it.


What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Since November I´ve been working as a freelancer. Although I miss the team whom I was working with, I realized how important is to develop my own animation projects. A typical day consists on being sitting on the computer with MATE (a typical Argentine drink) and listen to my kitty trying to gain my attention while I work. The day goes by when I´m completely merged in After Effects or Photoshop. There are weeks when I spend my time drawing Storyboards in the traditional way. Sometimes I check Animatics before the company sends them to the channel. I can manage a lot of areas in animation and styles of drawings, so every task could be different to the other. But I can say that: you always have to finish a lot of work in a very short time it makes no difference if you are working in movies, TV series or commercials. 🙂


What part of your job do you like best? Why?
My favorite part is when I have an script and I must to find the way to show the essence of the story when it´s drawn. Converting an script in a visual expression looking for the most highest way to transmit the idea to people and enjoy with it. Creating a new world, character, giving the essence of the color- style and Concept of the complete work and the first steps to bring life to a new scripts. I´ve been working in a lot of areas in animation and I´ve been enjoyed all of them, but al last, I notice that I love this part in special, working with your team with the ideas float on the air. Looking for the best way to concrete the project.


What part of your job do you like least? Why?
When a project is dropped it half way through only for to get at deadlines . In Argentina animators have this trouble all the time. Producers have a very great creativity to make an imaginary deadline chart 🙂 But Everybody knows it part of the job.


What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis, how has technology changed in the last few years in your field and how has that impacted you in your job?
My first Movie in animation(Patoruzito 2) was in 2D traditional way. My first Steps were in a world where animation was a mixed between Traditional art and Digital, so I grown up knowing that the two ways were part of this. Currently a lot of animators aren´t artists, they just use some programs and no more. This is a king of animators. I learned from the two schools: traditional and Digital, a lot of my mentors were from the Disney style and a lot of my youngest co-workers just use the computer to make all. In Digital I learned at first Flash, CorelDraw, Photoshop, Premiere (I remember just this, right now) and with the experience working in the Animation field I´ve been improving my knowledge and discovered other ways such as Maya, After effect and updating all the time every program. I think programs are easy to learn. Programs are only a tool to work. Currently I use traditional and digital ways in every area of animation depends on the job.


What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
I don´t have idea about what It could be difficult. Maybe it could be: To think in animation like a business itself. It was always a dream for me and now it´s my resource for life , too.


In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I´ve had not the opportunity still. Only I know my mentors in Argentina. They worked to Disney and Hanna Barbera.


Describe a tough situation you had in life.
My mother has a hard disease. My brothers and I had been a very difficult infancy. My family was poor too, so a girl like me couldn´t either think about make an animation career because it was only for other people luckier than me. But the same situation made me stronger than others. I created a comic to read at my little brothers where they could see life in other way, I based some characters on them. I promise to my little brothers to make this story in a TV show someday. Everyday I´m nearer of that. Currently I´m into animation business, I have all the tools to make this dream come true.


Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
I created a lot of scripts to series when I was youngest and I think it´s time to develop it. I have to give it a new air but the basis is created. I´ve been working all this time in animation for other people, so than I´ve never have time to make things to me.


Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I ´m always looking something new to do or explore. It could be an science theme or just play Polo. Last year I´ve broken my arm playing Polo, that the topic of the year for me. I need make new things all the time. That give me news perspectives of life and give me a chance to keep an open mind.


Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
My advice would be: Don´t think animation is only talent. You must to study with strong determination. Looking for a good mentor and always keep an open mind. With humility to have a feedback between co-workers and mentors. Whether you are an freelancer or work in a team. You must to be prepared to be talented, cleaver and proficient in everything you do.

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