What is your name and your current occupation?
Flaviano Armentaro, storyboard artist and comic book artist. i’m a freelance.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I did magician for children s party.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
there aren’t so much good animation projects in Italy, is more something you do to work and survive than something artistic. I’ve been very proud to do storyboards for Gregory Panaccione wich is a fantastic director and incredibly talented comic book artist. i’m also hugely happy to work on Nola which is a french comics i’m doing with Mathieu Mariolle and Pop that came out soon.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from Italy. i started as clean-up/inbeetweener for an animation studio and year by year I learned all the positions from animation to storyboards. In between I made some comics and illustrations work.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Feeding my newborn daughter. making a sugary breakfast. reading newspaper. playing with dogs. handle emails and phone calls. working to something. making lunch. lunch with family. coffee. playing with daughter. working at something. tea time. making dinner. dining with family. watching a movie or go out with friends. reading a book into bed. sleep. sometimes i don’t work at all. I switch through websites, watch anime, read comics or books, go to swim, sleep on the couch.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
creating characters. because you can bring something that don’t existed before to life and except when you work with boring clients you can express artistic freedom.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
making backgrounds (except flora). because is boring dead cold stuff. lots of straight line to draw, human hands are not made to draw straight lines.
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?
I work with a 21 Cintiq, it speed up the work, i don’t have to deal with tools like ink or brushes or erasers or scanners or anything else that can stop the workflow of simply drawing lines.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
getting paid. all the time. it’s a an open war. i wish i had some friend into bounty hunter business.
If you could change the way the business works and is run how would you do it?
dealing directly with the audience. Kickstarter is doing the job and i hope in the future all the people will be used to buy this way as now happen with amazon.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
animation is a lonely work, you can work with other people but if you want to do the best you have to focus on your thoughts and watching images into your mind (taking hot showers helps a lot). i worked side by side with Sandra Gaudi, one of the best animator in Europe. i meet Florian Satzinger two times, huge artist and kindest person on earth. i would like to know Rodolphe Guenoden, i hope i will find him at some convention since we are working both for french publishers.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
making work for $11000. not getting paid. hired a lawyer. spent other money. lost my work, my money and my character rights because there is nothing to do against big studios.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
I’d like to make a comic book about my first year with a newborn. submitting pitch to studios. sadly nothing to show guys 🙁
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I tried (and enjoyed) golf but is way to expensive for me. i’m a good farmer, not so much plot to work but i have my few healty vegetables.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
be free and strong on you style and your ideas, try to push them forward through blogs and socials. but if you have to submit your work to a studio you have to know better what they do and what they are looking for, then make a coherent proposal, a portfolio “in style”. there is no better way to be hated from an employer than sending something useless for him, maybe really cool, fantastic art but something he is not looking for at the moment, you are wasting his time. and don’t accept underpaid work, it don’t lead you to anywhere good and you will not be considered a good artist, only something to exploit. (hey Steven Silver say the same thing, maybe in a better way)