What is your name and your current occupation?
Spartaco Margioni- freelance artist/animator.
sold water purifiers door to door.
Well, many, but working on SpongeBob Squarepants was extremely fun. I was primarily responsible for main characters and some of those sound files, would really make you laugh. Also, working on Dr.Seuss books and making old classics into multimedia projects was very eventful and fun.
How did you become interested in animation?
I have always been able to draw since I was small and just truly enjoyed the old animated classics growing up. Once in school, I started to gravitate towards animation after trying a few other endeavors but truly just liked the act of creating something and then, making it move.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I was born in New York but originally, I am from Italy. I have lived most of my life overseas and seeing how animation, character development and stories are done in Europe, I was always into how this all came about. After school, I applied at many companies, studios and such. My first job, real break was working for a large video game development company called “Sierra On-Line”. I was one of four animators in the entire company so we had a lot of creative freedom and influence.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
First, coffee. Then, check a few emails and update my blog. After a while, I put sometime aside to focus on current projects. Later on in the evening, spending a little more time with emails and then focusing more on creating art assets.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
The creation. Everything from the conceptual work to the finished product. The character design, layouts, a little research and development, the entire process.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Selling a product. Trying to get your idea out there and getting a studio to finance the venture.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis? Illustrator and Photoshop mostly. I dive into Unity, Blender and Maya once in a while but everything starts with paper. I enjoy using different tools, Painter is great fun when working on a layout and After Effects when so needed.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business? Finding the work. The industry has changed so much and your experience and background don’t help you as much as in the past.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Yes, I have met a few of those wizards and even had an old school Disney animator in my school for quite sometime.
Describe a tough situation you had in life. My parents dieing. They both died at critical points in my life and specially when my father died since I was 17 years old and at the time in one’s life when a little direction is needed. They’re my strength now, always, since I survived both those situations and can handle anything that is placed in front of me. My mother dieing after my father was devastating for me but my art has helped me cope and at the time, I was working for an animation company that tried to help me with the situation.
Any side projects or you’re working on or hobbies you’d like to share details of?
Well, working right now on an IPAD/OS game with a friend of mine. We are trying to push the envelope a somewhat and making the game with a certain look that we desire.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy? Nothing really strange. I love to paint, I paint when I can and such a nice change from illustration and animation. Traveling is my hobby and I take a lot of photos.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Be yourself. Really work on your creative side, having the ability to create on the fly, as I would say and not being like the rest. You need to stand out, be you and your work. Also, now more than ever, there’s computers, a box. It’s right there with everything you need. If you want to do 2d or 3d, doesn’t matter, just needs to be real and yours. Remember, it’s a hard road you’ve chosen. For me, it’s about creating.