What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Jean Claude de La Ronde and I’m currently a freelance storyboard artist offering my pre-production services in the entertainment industry.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Acutally that would be my last job back in december 2011. I did storyboards for a horror film and the producer wasn’t really organized and it was just a big amalgam of confusion.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
My most favorite project was when I was working over at Makuta VFX in Hyderabad, India. I was contacted by one of the founders of the company back in 2010. They needed a freelance storyboard artist that could help them with their film project which was a film by SS Rajamouli. Rajamouli turns out that he’s the top Director in Hyderabad and I managed to go over there for a month and help him out with his vision for the “Eega” film. It was truly the best gig I had up to this day. The folks at Makuta were exceptionally welcoming and I made a bunch of friends when I was in charge of the Previz developpement.
How did you become interested in animation?
I’ve always been a cartoon fan since the day I discovered the
Tom and Jerry show on T.V. lol Been watching cartoons and movies with the passion of one day being able to draw them on a sheet of paper.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I was born in a small town called Ormstown in Quebec, Canada. I can’t remember those days since I was just a toddler. I mainly grew up in Chateauguay, Quebec, Canada which is about 45 min to an hour from the American Border/ Vermont State. I mainly got into the animation business while studying at Dawson College in Montreal. i was in the Illustration and Design Program and one day our teacher introduced us to Storyboards. I immediately fell in love with the artform. My big break came when I replied to a Star Wars Fan Film project that was posted over at www.conceptart.org. I decided to reply to the posting stating that I was interested in doing some artwork and contributing to their film project. After that project, one thing led to another and since then I’ve been working and putting my artistic talents to good use.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
I generally get up early in the morning and checking my emails while drinking my morning coffee. Once that’s done, I start work around 8-10 Am and will generally draw all day until 8-11 Pm.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Well I like to learn new techniques and getting the knowledge from it. It’s always a goof vibe when you know that you are exploring new techniques or a new area that is out of your comfort zone because you know deep inside of you that you are personally evolving and gradually investing time and energy in your skills. That’s always a good feeling because sooner or later, the pay rate goes up! lol
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Getting to draw a new shot that you’ve never drawn before. You can get stuck in a rut sometimes.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
I work on a MacBook Pro with OS Lion 10.7.3.,Processor of 2.66 GHz Intel Core i7. I have 4 GB of Ram memory. I work exclusively with Wacom Digital Graphic Tablets. Right now I have the Intuos4 medium size. I’m aiming to get myself the 24″ HD Cintiq soon enough. For softwares, I work with Painter 11, Photoshop CS5, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Sketchbook Designer, Manga Studio Debut 4 and Storyboard Pro.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
I would have to say that since I’m a freelancer, finding that next job is not always easy. You have to be ready to spend time in front of your computer monitor and search for the new jobs and letting people know that you exist. That can be demanding sometimes and frustrating.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
No it never happened to me so far.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
A tough situation that I think most people have to go through in life is actually realizing what you really want to do with your life as far as a career goes.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
My hobbies are really learning new softwares and gaining more knowledge. I always keep time for drawing and keeping those gestures alive and making sketches from life drawing.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
Yeah I actually have my welding degree lol! Far from drawing pretty pictures on a computer screen! lol
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
When you decide to go in the art field, you have to be ready to face some pretty tough situations if you want to really achieve your goal. I remember going days without eating properly just because I had to buy some pencils and paper. lol But always remember that tough times are not eternal. They come and go and they’re really there to test you if you have the guts and the will to go through and endure the hardship. I’ve always said to myself that they were preparing me for a bigger and better opportunity coming my way. So far, I’ve been right! My father always says, “If it’s to be, It’s up to me”. 😉