What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Deane Taylor, I draw stories, create worlds, design and direct animation in multi mediums.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Before animation I was a signwriter, scenic painter, a television presenter and most crazy… A volunteer ambulance officer.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Cow and chicken was a highlight for me, I did the layout and art direction with my good friend David Feiss who I have the utmost respect for. Recently I was Creative Director on a series called Figaro Pho. The extended version of 26xI min interstitials. Very cool. On the film side…The Nightmare Before Christmas continues to be the project closest to me.
How did you become interested in animation?
I used to be a big fan of the early Fleischer cartoons where miniature sets combined with 2-D. Other influences were Jay Wards Rocky and Friends…then anything at all by Chuck Jones.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from Adelaide in South Australia. I was working as a presenter on a local kids show where I interviewed Bill Hanna who was in town promoting a live Hanna Barbera show. He offered me a job in Sydney which I took. I started there in 1978 as a Layout Artist and stayed to become Creative Director.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
My days are driven by task, not time. I get up, and finish when I’m ready. I do the really important work only when I feel it’s right.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I take great pride in what I do and enjoy the satisfaction that comes with a good result.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Contracts. I am completely crap with speaking legalese.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
A cintiq, which I enjoy almost as much as a moleskin.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Being away from home.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Constantly. I have been very lucky in that regard. Some names…Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera, Chuck Jones, Jay Ward.- Tim Burton,Rick Heinrichs, Eric Leighton, Henry Selick, Peter Chan, David Feiss, Tony Stachhi, James Baker. The list is huge. It has been 30 plus years after all.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
There have been a couple of occasions where I’ve had story ideas taken away and realized poorly. I still feel sick about this.
Any side projects or you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
I am in development of a trilogy of stories that I have created through images in paint clay and whatever else has gotten in the way. It’s too early for detail, but I am thrilled with the result so far.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I can wriggle my scalp like a Skink.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Be interested and interesting. Be versatile and have ideas. Don’t be afraid of the rough sketch. Look for solutions not problems.