What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Liron Peer (sounds like “Lee-Ron Pair”) and my current occupation is being a Freelance Animator / Character Designer / Illustrator.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I don’t think I had one, animation was something I knew I would be studying and working in after high school (and the army – that’s what all the people in Israel have to do at the age of 18 – men and women, I’m a women btw). The only 2 jobs I had before animation school where doing tech support in the army and then Quality Assurance for a software. So you could say I came from the computer world, though I always knew I’d be creating Art for a living.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I didn’t get the chance yet to be a part of many projects (I’m only at the beginning of my career), so I guess I can say that I’m most proud of my own “Lady Ice” project and my “The Final Stand” project.
As far as I remember I always drew, but frankly not professionally until I was about 18! As for animation, well – ever since I saw Disney’s the Little Mermaid when I was 9 years old I fall in love with Disney movies. As I got older I wanted to be an actor and even majored in Acting during my high school years. But I also had a place for drawing in my heart and kept drawing all the time. After high school I went to the army and thought of my future. I knew I love acting but an actor’s life is really hard and I didn’t think I had the personality for that, and I love drawing, plus I’m a huge Disney fan, so the best conclusion was to combine Acting + Drawing = Animation.
I was born and currently living in Israel. As for the animation business, as I explained before, it was what I wanted to do since high school, so I just took the usual route – going to an art academy and getting a bachelor degree in animation and then just looking for work in the field. I worked in an animation studio called “Animated Storyboards” for 2 years and after that I started working as a freelancer until today.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Being a freelancer, you can say that my day is not a usual day. Since I work from home and deal with clients in different time zones my hours and working days mix all the time. Sometimes I work in the first half of the day, and sometimes in the second half of the day. Sometimes I have to take a day off to take care of personal matters, so I have to complete work on the weekend. Sometimes I get a call at 10pm or have to reply an urgent email on Saturday night. This life style has its advantages and disadvantages, but for now it’s best for me this way. But I guess the typical day would be waking up, having breakfast, opening my computer and first thing is going over all my messages. I check my Facebook Fan page, my DeviantArt page and my 3 email accounts. I sort what’s urgent and what’s not and plan my day based on what I need to do. My computer is usually open from the time I wake up till the time I go to sleep.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
The part I like best is creating. I love what I do, I love to draw and animate and when given the chance I really put all I’ve got and more into my work. Also, as I said, freelancing has a few advantages, such as afford waking up at 11am or flipping my day so I can take care of personal matters without losing work time.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
(I hope I’m not shooting my leg here but – ) Dealing with clients and especially hard clients. I do waste a lot of time and energy doing all the “office work” myself, time I’m mostly not being paid for. Also, clients sometimes tend to think they understand more about art than the artist, though they are the ones who turned to the artist because they themselves couldn’t perform the task, and that could be really frustrating sometimes.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
A good computer with a good large screen, a wacom tablet (I currently own intuos 3 and love it, but I do plan on getting a cintiq one of these days) and a scanner. As for software, I find the Adobe collection filling all my needs. And of course I can never let go of my beloved light table and blue and red pencils.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Trying to keep Traditional Animation alive. Hand Drawn Animation is what I love and want to do. That’s is the main reason I got into animation. It’s not enough for me just to animate, I need to actually DRAW the frames, I need to feel the lines and transfer my thoughts and emotions through my hand that holds the pencil. Sadly, most people today like to take the short way and can’t or won’t invest in traditional animation. So finding work in this specific field is very hard.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Yes. I can proudly say I had the honor of meeting several key people in the field: Glen Keane (who is my, and many others’, idol), Mark Henn, Andreas Deja, Eric Goldberg, Ken Duncan, John Musker and Ron Clements, Tony Bancroft and a few others. But sadly, these were only 1 time meetings, I never had the honor to actually work with one of them.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Well, let’s just say my life hasn’t been easy so far. I won’t wish to go into details, but I guess a few financial problems, family issues and a couple of serious health cases can be count as tough cases I had to deal with. I hope things will get better from now on and hope life will also have a few good surprises for me along the way.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
I consider myself lucky because my main hobby is also my day job. I’m currently working mainly on projects for clients, but let’s just say I have a few things developing in my “drawer”, waiting for the right moment I’m aiming for. As for hobbies – I studied Kung fu for 6 years and now for the last year I’ve moved to studying Ninjutsu. I also study Japanese as a hobby. I read a lot of Manga and watch Anime and Animated movies (I consider this a hobby and research for my work). I also take care of street cats and try to be active in saving the environment. I have a huge Collection of Disney and Anime related merchandise. I love to cook and you can say drawing Fan Art is also some sort of a hobby.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
Hmmm… I… don’t think I have one. Only the ones I mentioned before.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Practice drawing and practice/test you animation. Study anatomy, it is very important. Learn about the process of making an animated movie. Read “Animator’s Survival Kit” and “The illusion of Life”. They are the bibles of the animator. Learn from everything around you – movies, friends, internet, teachers, nature, etc. The more you know the better. And above all – you must understand that animation is A LOT of HARD work! You have to be patient and willing to work really hard for those few seconds of animation. But if you put all you have in your creation I promise you that every second you spend will be worth it once you see your drawings come to life.