What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Caue Zunchini, I’m a Freelance Animation Artist (Background Design and Painter, Character Design, Storyboard, 2D Digital Animation, Clean Up and Illustrator). And an art collector lover (action figures, books, dvds, posters and etc).
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Just one. When I was young I used to work in a gift company testing pens like an assembling line, checking the ink and testing on a paper. I used to test more than 1000 pens per day, It was really exaustive and boring hahahahah.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
All these shows are from Brazil, so probably many people from other countries don’t know Fudencio e Seus Amigos season 6 – MTV Brazil (2009 Popota – pilot (2010) Gui e Estopa season 3 (2011-2012)
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from São Paulo (Brazil), I always breathed animation since my childhood. I grew up watching cartoons and movies specially from 80’s and 90’s (Hanna Barbera – Cartoon Network – Nickelodeon – MGM – UPA and Disney) which in fact are my main inspirations and references until nowadays. Entering into the animation business wasn’t easy for me. I had to invest many years, months and hours studying harder and harder every day by my self while I worked as a graphic designer. I tried for 3 long years, but finally in 2009 I got a chance at MTV Brazil, working as 2D flash animation assistance for a show called “fudencio e seus amigos” doing digital clean up and lip sync, and after 4 months I started doing Backgrounds and Character Design as well.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Well, today my life is different. I quit my last job in Brazil in January 2013 to try to get a job at the US animation business, I don’t have a studio routine anymore I’m just doing freelance some times and job tests. In my last job at the studio Mariana Caltabiano Criações (Brazil), I used to work 8 hours per day, but varied according to the day. I used to get there early at my desk surrounded of action figures, books and dvds, and before start to work I checked my emails, messages, watched some cartoons, saw the news and spend some minutes doing quickly sketches and studying animation. After that I used to put my head phones choose some cartoons, movies or music (from 80’s preferably hahaha) and start to work while listening. I was responsible for the Background department, before I used to divide functions with a friend of mine called Ed Garden but now I’m doing everything alone since the first rough to the final version and revisions, always taking many cups of coffee and making jokes and jokes hahah. The days were really exhaustive but I really liked and enjoyed it so far. It was really great times.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I work with the thing that I most love in my life which is animation. So I really like all the steps since the brainstorm to the final edition, I try to figure out the whole process to make the work must professional as possible even though my work is almost only directed to pre-production. My favorite part is when you receive a kind of job that you can solve seems like a personal stuff, when you get involved in a such way that you can forget all the deadlines, pressures and “rules” putting all your feelings and personality, I mean when you really have fun while you working. When you share it with the public and you receive good feedback and compliments there’s no money that really can pay for it. Another thing that I like very much is the studio environment. I love to work surrounded of many action figures, posters, books, dvds, music and etc. Also to work with very talented and funny friends, making jokes and laugh the whole day is really wonderful. In my opinion when you work on a free and funny environment, but with commitment, you can produce better and better and improve your skills so far.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Well, as all of the artists I don’t like short deadlines hahahahah, and also disorganized and confused briefings. Some clients they don’t know what they want, and you have to redo and redo many times, I guess that they think we have crystal balls hahaha . And the most of these times they change completely your first idea, forcing you doing things that you don’t want to do in the art. hahahaha. Also sometimes is very difficult to find work. The animation business in Brazil is not big like the American, is very rare for you find interesting and constant jobs. Also some clients they don’t value the artists paying them really low wages, but the sad part is that many artists are accepting working for low money what is decreasing the business year by year.
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?
Nowadays I work basically with digital equipments, I draw directly on a screen called Cintiq, very functional and practical, which came to help the life of all the artists, animators and illustrators. When I started in the business, the technology was already advanced, not like today but many artists has been already using it, I started with paper and pencil but it didn’t take to long for me to enter completely on the digital world. Since I’m using the computer to work my attendance have been improving more and more every day, you can be more affective skipping some boring steps and fixing some mistakes very quickly. The digital world definitely changed my life, but I think that is essential for all the artists know the classic way and classical techniques and mix it up with the new and technologic world, this is the best combination in my opinion, and many great and renowned artists are doing it today. Unfortunately I’m having some bad damages, as for an instance my hand draw skills is decreasing a lot because I definitely stop to draw on a paper and this could be a suicide for the artist, so is important never leave the classic style even if you only will use it for your personal stuff.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
As I said before, the animation and illustration business in Brazil aren’t very big, so if you’re a freelance and don’t have a full time job, you must always be worried if you will have work or not for the future, because we don’t have many projects happening and many studios don’t pay you very well. Both business are small but the animation field is smaller than the illustration so many artists have to do both or sometimes leave the animation because they don’t get work. If you have a full time job, many times you have to do boring and quickly works that don’t add nothing special for your portfolio and don’t increase your skills or something. To find a really special and funny job is really rare. Sometimes you have to be careful with the types of work that you take for don’t get seek of the business and get discouraged. Your passion with art must be bigger than anything to keep you working and never give up.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Oh yes, I was fortunate enough to met some brilliant brazilian artists and some of them passed from a great references to great friends today. I could learn a lot asking them and seeing how the work, I received many tips and advices. Some of these artists are: Eugenio Colonnese the comic horror books artists from 60’s, Marco Pavão and Thiago Martins from MTV Brazil, Alexandre Augusto (one of the best brazilians animator in the business), Mauro Souza, Marcio Guerra, Giba Valadares and Chris Borges some of the most famous and fantastic illustrators in Brazil, Fernando PQ and Jefferson Costa (Animation Artists), my uncle Bob Bigas and many others brilliant artists. Their heads up was better than whatever school and classes that I had. And with the internet now, I could met some of the most important and fantastic artists from all over the world, exchanging experiences and contacts.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Actually I don’t have a really tough situation in my life until now, just some bad moments but nothing terrible, some of them related with work unfortunately, as for example I passed 4 days and 4 nights working without sleep and ending up in a hospital then hahahahaha. I spend almost 2 weeks to recover my self and return to work I have sequels until today haha.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
I was working on Monstroville project for Swamp Ape Studios but I had to stop. Before I was working on my personal project called Ninja Mummy but because of the time I had stop as well. Now I have a pilot in my mind called “Action Mullets” is a super hero from 80’s who use his mullets as a weapon to combat crime and etc. I’m planning to do everything related with 80’s like dresses, soundtracks, Backgrounds, old slangs etc. I’m a 80’s lover hahaha.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
Hahahahah Yes, I can touch my tongue in my nose very easy and also I’m the king of ridiculous dances, I’m very good to decorate cartoons and movies lines and the best one to cook boiled hot water =)
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Well, this is very funny because in a few days ago I asked for some tips with Mike Milo the owner of this website hahahahahahah. So it will be a tip from a young artist to the ones younger yet. You must love what you do, and do it with passion, putting your heart and soul in every stroke and flick, you need breath art as much as possible since of the most simple shapes until the most detailed. Always search and improve your skills struggling by your self every day and every night. Keep your mind opened to receive heads up and suggestions from the old and veteran artists (they have much to offer you trust me) but don’t be freak hahahahaha, wait for their time and they will help you. If you work in a studio it doesn’t matter your age or your level, be the first to enter and the last to leave. If you feel that you not doing a good job or something, always get early and practice before the work time until you feel that you are ready enough to hold your own. A good network can help you as well, and also be opened to help people, never hiding information only for you always be free to help anyone, after all when you need help people helped you right ? So do the same for the future artists and aspiring in the animation. Also of course you’ll need a personal life too, so you must work very hard but always with knowledge, take a time for your family and friends as much as possible, go to movies, be cool and enjoy your life.