What is your name and your current occupation?Â
My name is David de Rooij and I am a freelance Animator/Storyboard Artist/Character Designer.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?Â
While I was doing Art School, I had a couple of little jobs like working at a supermarket, a zoo, a club. I also made a little comic for a division of a big Energy Company.
What are some of your favorite projects youâ€™re proud to have been a part of?Â
I havenâ€™t been part of many big animation projects yet, but during my internship at Anikey Studios I got to work on a couple of very nice short animated films: â€œPaul and the Dragonâ€and â€œLittle Quentonâ€!
How did you become interested in animation?Â
I have always watched cartoons and even made my own comics and flipbooks. I tried to animate digitally in GIF Animator and Flash, drawing with my mouse! I just never realized thatÂ I could become a professional animator. After finishing high school I studied Graphic Design at two different Art Schools, because I thought that would be the closest thing to what I wanted to do. When I failed Graphic Design at my 2nd school, I discovered an Art School where you could study Animation.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?Â
I am from the Netherlands and we dont have an animation industry here. There are a couple of small studioâ€™s (mainly consisting of 2 or 3 people each) and the rest of the animators are working on a freelance basis. After my internship at Anikey Studios I worked with them on a couple of freelance jobs, but they couldnâ€™t afford to hire me full time, and there arenâ€™t any studioâ€™s here that can do that. That is why I am working as a freelancer right now.
Whatâ€™s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?Â
I have two kinds of days depending if I have freelance work going on or not. If I do, I get up early and work at home all day, until I go to bed at night. If I donâ€™t have any work, Iâ€™ll check the internet if someone is looking for an animator or comic artist or work on my own projects.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?Â
I like doing something I love to do. The best part is when a project is finished and the client is pleasantly surprised and content with the outcome!
What part of your job do you like least? Why?Â
I donâ€™t like the business part of a freelancer, and the looking for or waiting to get new projects. I just want to draw.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
I have an old secondhand Wacom Cintiq 18sx to draw on and Toon Boom Animate Pro 2 to draw in. I use that from sketch to final, I only use paper for grocery lists!
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
I would really love to make my own films, but itâ€™s very difficult to get a budget. There is a filmfund in the Netherlands where you can submit project ideas, but it isnâ€™t easy to get your project approved unfortunately. I would also love the create a cartoon series, but there arenâ€™t any Networks here that I can pitch to.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I met John Kricfalusi in 2011, when he visited Amsterdam. I worked for him on new George Liquor episodes and his Stussy commercial. When he came to visit Amsterdam, Mitch Leeuwe, Harmke Pasterkamp and I showed him around for a couple of days! I also met Chris Allison in Amsterdam last september! Â In a few weeks I will go to Los Angeles and hopefully I get to meet a lot of animation greatness there!
Describe a tough situation you had in life.Â
When I just graduated, the first year being a freelance artist was really tough. I almost couldnâ€™t pay the rent, so I was thinking about getting a job as mailman. Fortunately, not long after that, I got to work on a big animation project, so I didnâ€™t have to be a mailman after all.
Any side projects or youâ€™re working on or hobbies youâ€™d like to share details of?
I have been making a music video for my dad, who is a musician. It has been in progress for a long time, because I only work on it inbetween commercial work, but I hope to finish it soon! I also have some show ideas I like to develop!
Any unusual talents or hobbiesÂ likeÂ tying a cherry stem with your tongueÂ orÂ metallurgy?
I like to play guitar a lot.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?Â
Do it because you love it. Youâ€™ll have to put a lot of time and effort in the work and if you donâ€™t love it, itâ€™s terrible!