What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Jorge Vigara and I´m working as senior character animator at Sony Pictures.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Definitely when I worked as clown and social entertainer. I did it when a I was a young student for getting some money and I remember that I did so many crazy things as juggling or fire spitting. There was nice, and I learnt then so many stuff that I can use now on my current job.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I’m very proud of working in Despicable Me , 3 years ago, when I did some of the most memorial shots of the show as the ” It´s so fluffy!!” one. Never though that shot could become so famous. Also, to work in “Alma”, the short film directed by Rodrigo Blaas ( currently director in Dreamworks ) . It was my very first project working very closely to high talented and old school artists. Such and amazing project that I’ve like a treasure in my memories… simply wonderful.
How did you become interested in animation?
I always been interested in animation. Since I was a child I’ve been drawing and loving movies, so it’s always been a special mix for me. When I was 19 I realized then that I could become part of this amazing industry.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I´m spanish, and well I think that I started on animation in a usual way. There was not much animation schools when I started studying it, but the industry was enough already so far from the classical 2d stuff so I decided to get introduced in somehow to the 3d animation. Just knowing the basics knowledges I was very lucky and I got a contract with a small but very talented studio called Keytoon Animation Studios, near to the coast of Spain. Then was when everything began.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
A typical day regarding to my job consist in trying to do it as less typical as possible precisely. Obviously I have my own work methodology and day by day ( having a te, drawing sketches to my shot, work on the animation in the 3d tool, get feedback …etc) but inside of that moments I always try to keep an attitude of enjoying and learn new stuff. Never do the same thing, always trying to improve and share it with the rest of the elements around me.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I think that all the planning process and the researching is the most interesting and motivating thing for me. I always think that animation as in any other part of the processes of the story telling the more important process are the very first steps you do working . So, because of that you need to be more motivated than in another part of process when you think in your shot. When you plan it, sketching it,filming yourself for references, asking to people for having fresh and different point of view ideas, using the web for researching… then is when I really enjoy my job and when I really feel myself as an animator.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
Usually the 3d tool you use for the production. Maya, softimage, 3ds max… Also pencils, my note pad and my cup of tea. That’s my main tool :D.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Hm…to keep myself motivated and the risk to loose it. Motivation is like fuel, and everything goes well until you have it. But, somethings you loose it, for any reason you know about something that make you feel sad or upset. Or simply you miss the sun in the sky and then you have a low motivated day. And, when it happens, to work with no motivation is a very depressive feeling. So, to be conscient that you have not the proper feeling to have good results is hard, because that no matters to your supervisors or producers, so you have to go and look for it. And, depends of how it takes, but usually that´s hard. Very hard.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
It was great to work with Uli Meyers, for example. Such an inspiring guy with a very charming old 2d-animation-style-studio to work in placed in Candem Town, maybe the more special area in London. To work with Bolhem Bouchiba and Rodrigo Blass was wonderful as well, then it was when I started to understand animation like a intern process instead of simply extern movement. And, of course, give the hand and have a short chat with Glenn Keanne when I visited Disney studios was simply AWESOME.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Maybe the day my parents get divorced and all that changes and hard situations that I had to live then. I was 7 or 8 years old and it brought many storms until I left my mother´s home.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
Sure. I’m always been interested in all kind of arts, but storytelling is definitely my favorite “other side”. Love having ideas, scriptwriting and film it. By the moment I´m just getting introduce to filmmaking doing small and easy shortfilms that I do thanks to the help of some mates. More on the side are the theater and music, that I really love. In fact my parents are musicians and actors ( so I guess that in somehow I followed their steps ) and that´s some of the methods that I used to keep motivated to myself.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
Cooking. Men don’t use to be good in kitchen so I guess that doing it properly is a kind of weirdness 😉 . Also all that circus stuff I did when I was younger and whistling. Love whistling, and I do it a lot when I’m working focused, but… Is not welcome from my closer work maters.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Maybe the more precious advise I could give is : Keep dreaming and go for it. Or as the dear just passed away Steve Jobs said ” Stay hungry , stay foolish “. To fight against the problems and inconveniences that the life brings to us and success thanks to our non stopping dreaming mind and crazy heart. Love the life, and love what you are and what you do. And never say “no”. Just go for it and always keep it in mind.