Olivier Tossan

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What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Olivier Tossan and I work, since Oct 2010,as visual development Artist at DreamWorks Animation Studios.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I am originally Set Designer but drawing has always been my passion.  The craziest professionnal experience in the one I am currently having at DreamWorks Animation… Based on a scenario, we are making an all visual world emerge in front of us. I am serrounded, everyday, by big talents everywhere… Amazing !

What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I came very recently to the animation world.  I am a ” Late Bloomer ” !!! Before finding myself in California, I have been experimenting lots of defferent creativ fields, such as architecture and graphic design, which I think, has given me strenght for the creativ process I am currently involved in at DWA…

How did you become interested in animation?
When I was a kid, I was mad with the Disney’s classic movies… This connection was so strong, that it has followed me all my life, with more or less presence… California and animation was, for me, inseparable… Working in Animation was moving to CA… Moving to CA was working for animation. That was one of my projects on my life list.

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am french and I grew up in Paris.  Before moving to California, I have been living for 12 years in Berlin, Germany.  In 2008, I decided that time had come to realize my american/animated project.  I created a new web a new portofolio, spent a lot of time on the internet searching for names and connections in the American Animation World, sent a lot of e-mail.  Showing my work, live, in 2010, a the CTN Animation expo, in Burbank… In 2009, a first freelance contract of 6 months for Blue Sky Studios, from Berlin, until I was contacted by DreamWorks Animation recruiters…

What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
70% of my time at my desk, creating Characters and environements for the project. Supervising the Characters development with the 3D sculptor…  Art development meetings, with the director, the other artists, producers and sometime the writter..

What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I prefer the visual development rather than focussing on one Character… I feel like having more space for my imagination…

What part of your job do you like least? Why?
the Technical development of a character… Documents needed for the 3d modeling of the character.

What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
In french, I would say . ” Je me sens comme un poisson dans l’eau ! ” ( I feel like a fish in watter !!! )…

What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
Photoshop and enjoy keeping on drawing traditionaly…

In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
In 2010, I could show my work to a group of old men who had worked with Walt Disney himself, during the golden period of the studios… I fellt blessed !

Describe a tough situation you had in life.
An artist’s life is paved with tought situations… And a lot of brilliant moments !

Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
Since I live in Los Angeles, between the jod at DreamWorks and the organisation of my new life, no time for side projects.
But I will have to… An exhibition in Paris is on preparation, in 2012…

Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I am a good singer…

Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
NEVER GIVE UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take risk !

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