What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Toni Reyna, I am currently working as a character designer at ILION Animation Studios.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
During my student days I worked as a waiter and even a grape harvester. I certainly don’t want to do those jobs again!
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
“Mortadelo y Filemon contra Jimmy el cachondo” (Ilion Animation Studios, Javier Fesser 2014) This is a animation movie but it is completely different from all other animation movies I have already seen. It will probably look a bit odd to most international audiences althought I think most people will find it quite amusing and unusual. I hope you all will have the chance to see it.
Wher are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am from Valencia, Spain. I have always been interested in drawing but I really started to get interested in animation when I started to play with a 3d Software. I was introduced to 3d animation while at the university studiying Industrial design. This was a new world for me. I stopped using a pencil for a while because I was so mesmerized by what I could do on a computer.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
First thing in the morning I have a quick meeting with the director and then I go to my desk to start working. I have to really concentrate because I need inspiration. Working alone like this for long periods of time can be lonely until the moment comes to share my work and ideas with the team and where I can get and give feedback.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Obvioulsy the most gratifying part of what i do is seeing how everything works and fits together from one of my designs. Once a project is released and everybody has a chance to see it is a great moment for me. I also enjoy break time spent with my colleagues.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
What I like least about my work is the back pain from sitting so long in front of my computer. I need to train myself to regularly get up and stretch.
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 try to work with both traditional drawing tools and digital. When I work with digital tools I prefer Photoshop. I find photoshop so useful that I am reluctant to use another software tool. Without a doubt cintiq technology is what has most changed the way i work. Wow, what a tool!
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
The fact that there are really very few animation companies is Spain. Yet although there aren’t many companies here, they are all quite professional and competitive.
If you could change the way the business works and is run how would
you do it?
I would like to see a wider range of animation movies beyond familiar standard movies. by this I mean something a bit more risky.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Yes, I have had a few opportunities to meet animation masters in the past. When I was living in London I had the opportunity to meet Uli Meyer, who was a complete inspiration for me. A couple of months ago I met Marcelo Vignali in a conference and I became completely mesmerized by him.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I have an extremely bad memory for bad things.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
Next November(2014) “Mortadelo y Filemón”(Ilion Animation Studios, Javier Fesser) will be released in Spain. It is really different and funny. I do not know in what theaters besides those spain that this movie will be SHOWN but I strongly recommend it to you. I am currently working in some new projects which are looking really good but we will have to wait to see it.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
Drawing is my favorite hobbie. If being a daydreamer is a talent I’VE got it. I also love gardening but I have had to abandon this since I moved to Madrid. But since it is something that gives me so much pleasure, I’ll take it up again.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Work hard, keep the passion and be a learner for life.