What is your name and your current occupation?
Hi, my name is Anna. My second name is Maria. You can use only Anna or Anna+Maria; you can combine them as you like. Citelli is my surname. I deal with visual and 3D modeling for the ASC creative team (pronounced in Italian with the same sound of ASK in English and we play with the same meaning), which I co-founded with Daniel Afferni and Luca Mari in Milan, Italy.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
During a period of time long enough, I’ve tried working in various creative fields. I worked with photographers to prepare mock up, I made portraits of cloth for advertising, I presented design projects and I painted on canvas my favorite subject, a portrait of man who jumps, at the time of suspension.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
The work I most care about, after what I am doing for the ASC, is a project to change the cultural approach that the society has in relation with death: Capsula Mundi.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I have always loved drawing and I did it since I was a child. The images allow the mind to travel to new areas, to invent personal worlds. The ability to transform thoughts into real images, that other people can see, it is a great magic. With Daniele and Luca we do this every day, but every day we learn to develop this competence more and more. We update and study new digital programs as if we were still at school… in fact we are not aware of time passing.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
A typical day starts with a caffe espresso buono with friends, then with the checking of the e-mails. After that we have a meeting to assess the planning of the work day and then each of us sits in front of his monitor and starts working. Many days are funny, some are boring. But we love our job anyway.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Our work is developed with creativity: drawing, photo shoots and research. All this is very interesting and always a challenge.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
The most boring thing of our work is the bureaucracy, which in Italy is particularly heavy.
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?
These are the programs we use daily: Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere,Modo, 3D Studio Max, Poser.
Part of the work, however, takes place manually, by drawing, for example Daniele is the one who prepares shooting board and ‘rough’ that the team should follow.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Technology has opened everyone the opportunity to work on the image downloaded from the web. This is a damage for our working space, but we have learned to do the same, that is to download the photo entries from sites that sell them and work better. Actually it is not enough to download a picture to solve the problem of creativity.
If you could change the way the business works and is run how would you do it?
Our work is linked so strongly with the emotion and imagination. For this reason it is not easy to improve the part of businnes. In Italy the creative work are valued differently by others such as those performed with a regular employment contract and that were held in more rational fields: banks, offices, government jobs etc.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Not during travels abroad, but in Italy there are so many great animators we know.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I must confess that I did not really had difficult situations regarding my work. Certainly Europe is now in a very difficult time, but for everyone, not just for me. I think for all the people who work creatively the most difficult time is to turn a passion into a job and agree to adapt our art to customer needs.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
As I mentioned in a previous answer, I follow a different project, Capsula Mundi. It ‘a design project developed together with a colleague of mine, Raoul Bretzel. In the context of Italian design exhibition completely devoted to life we ask our-selves what cultural mark can a designer leave through an object, and also we want to overcome the idea of design as a token that feeds itself through a self-referential circuit, always faster, and frequently stopping at the glossing coating. Starting from this consideration we decided to dedicate our next work to a disturbing object that refers to a taboo of our society: the coffin. Capsula Mundi is an egg-shaped coffin, made out of biodegradable plastic, in which the corpse is placed in the fetal position. The Capsula is planted into the ground like a seed. Above it, a tree, chosen by the deceased while still alive, is planted and grows.Consequently, the cemetery as we know it will appear anew, shifting from being a congested area of architectonic structures to a vast green memorial space: a sacred forest.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?I don’t need unusual hobbies, I’m already quite extravagant …
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
It’s always the usual advice. Leave the house and your mother and go to look for work at those who do it best.