What is your name and your current occupation?
David Mattock – 3D Artist / Animator / Motion designer
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Fruit picking, Grass cutter when very young
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
3d human avatars for a Large Oil company. One of the first freelance gig I was please my work would just be going on mainstream television. And always proud to of worked for Cartoon Network
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from the UK. I studied graphic design at college a long time ago and after years working in print design etc I started
getting bored of it and more interested in moving image. I started playing with After effects, flash and 3d software. I worked for two years as a flash animator but towards the end was more interested in after effects and teaching myself more 3d. After a year of travelling I came back and decided it was what I wanted and attended some intensive Maya training at Escape Studios London. I already had a fair knowledge of after effects which really helped me get my first freelance gig afterwards doing Maya 3d work, character animation and motion graphics. Since then I have learnt lots, gained a large client base freelancing for 8 years.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
First thing catch up with emails, upload any work updates for clients. Then crack on with whatever project I’m personally working on usually involves working in Maya and After effects. I expanded earlier this year working with a partners studio abroad and now manage multiple projects whilst animating one myself, so I have to have skype meetings during the day, deal with multiple clients all whilst trying to work on my project which is tricky sometimes
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
My favourite type of work is 3d character and creature animation, my favourite part of the job is making the client happy and feeling proud of what you created.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
I dont charge that much, but explaining to someone who wants movie VFX for less than a packet of biscuits always frustrates me, having to explain that you do more than click a few buttons.
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 use HP workstations, graphics tablet, and for software Maya and After effects with the adobe creative suite. I think the most change is software, After effects plugins get better and make my job easier. For example Video Copilots Element 3D has changed the game, and allows me to produce nice Projects with short deadlines and smaller budget.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
I think I’m lucky that I have a wide generalist skill set which always keeps me in work, I can complete a whole project from initial design to compositing. But I imagine someone who just markets themselves as one skill like character animator but cant model or texture or do motion graphics it will be a lot harder. I suppose the hardest thing is always having work on, you need to learn how to sell yourself, especially when building a client base. You can be the greatest artist in the world but if you cant sell yourself or no one knows of you it wont matter.
If you could change the way the business works and is run how would you do it?
I’m only a small company so I run things the way I want to be honest
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I like to keep studying on the side, and while studying character and creature animation with online school “iAnimate” I had some amazing tutors that have worked on massive film projects. One uk based teacher was one of the traditional hand drawn animators on who framed roger rabbit, I learnt a lot from him and he was so helpful.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I went travelling because my mother passed away suddenly and had a relationship break up at the same time, but this led to the best thing in my life as I met my now wife and mother of my children in Brazil, was meant to happen.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
A wide range from some corporate motion graphics projects, UK television game show, 3d engineering films
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I can bend the tips of my fingers whilst keeping the rest of the fingers dead straight, not met many others that can do this, not that you’d want to lol
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Get a showreel completed, keep it simple and put online in a simple website with your own domain name, its dead cheap. Keep updating your reel, keep practicing and always learning. Then as above you need to learn how to sell yourself, knock on doors, send that showreel link, and follow it up !