What is your name and your current occupation?
Daphne Hong – I’m currently Animator and illustrator in Paris. I work for animation features, TV series, video games and edition.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Nothing crazy, I always had jobs in the artistic industries.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
To be proud is not the right word, but I have for of all my projects a special feeling because I learned a lot each time and my dream to be a part of animation industry became more and more true. My most personnal work is a book I illustrated, which was released in March 2012. Being a author is also very rewarding.
How did you become interested in animation?
It started with children’s books, TV series and animation features. I drew very early in my childhood and did it everywhere on anything (for example, the walls of my parents apartment), I loved to draw princes and princesses, fairy tales impressed me very much. I also liked make comic books with cartoon characters. I realised as a teenager that I wanted to work on something artistic.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I was born in Paris, but I moved several times during my childhood in many cities in France. I also had the chance to travel a lot abroad thanks to my parents, that opened my mind on the world and different arts. I understood that I could work in animation industry by visiting an art school, so I applied to it and I was accepted. I studied 5 years in traditionnal technique (that means, watercolor, gouache, life drawing…) and I spent 2 years at Supinfocom where I was graduated in 2001.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
When I work in animation studio, I check my schedule, look at my shots, read the story board and watch the animatic. Then, I draw some thumbnails to put my ideas quickly on paper and after that, I can start my animation work. When I work at home for illustration, I like to do researches on the subject I illustrate, then I make sketches and send them to my editor. All is done remotely, therefore by email and telephone.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I love when a project is on the beginning, we have to find a style, popose ideas, it’s very stimulating. I like to be a part of a team whith a main goal, it’s an exciting moment. To see your work comes alive is a special moment too.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Divergent opinions and indecisions which can put in danger a production. This is never pleasant.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
It depends, but for CG animation, I can use Maya, XSI or Max, I also animate with Flash. For illustration, I draw on paper and mix traditionnal et photoshop brushes for colors.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Sometimes, I want to spend more time on a shot but the budget doesn’t allow it.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
In France, there are a lot of good animators and supervisors but they are not known outside the country and most of them are very humble.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
It was just one time, someone asked me in afternoon to change completely a shot for next morning, I spent the night to work on it. I really felt alone at this moment.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
I ‘d like to create another children’s book and a short film based on the theme of ballet. I’m working on it during my spare time.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I’m a ballet lover, I dance 4h or 6h every weeks and I go to operas to admire ballet, it’s just magic.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Believe in yourself ! Try to take life with humour. Plant seeds everywhere, sooner or later, you get out of it what you put in it.