What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Niklas K Andersen, and I am currently working as an art director in Belgium.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
When I was in drawing school, I cleaned up in a local bar in Viborg, Denmark, before going to classes at the animation workshop at 8 am. Later, in between my first junior job and becoming full time in the animation industry, I was working as a telephone salesman full time. Not the most funny job, but I drew my ass off at night, and afterwards I got into the animation business.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
Titeuf le Film, Brendan and the secret of kells, Plants(a feature project i worked on in Jerusalem, not coming out unfortunately) and Asterix and the vikings.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am from Denmark, and I started out in Copenhagen at A-film. I got accepted for a trainee period of 1 year. ThereI learned a lot, and that gave me the entry ticket to work for A-film as a professional artist.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
I normally plan out the days for the artists, give artistic directions, answer all questions from artists, supervise all departments in general and make sketches and artwork to lead the team with.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I love the part where I get to draw. That’s the reason why I wanted to get into the animation business along side my love for animated films.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Spreadsheets! I am not really a big fan of doing all the scheduling and organizing part, but I do know that it is impossible to make animated films without really good planing, follow up and supervision.
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 work mostly in Photoshop and I also use Blender (3d soft). As for hardware I love the Imac and Cintiqs. These are really a killer combination together with traditional sketches and artwork. It has really given an amazing freedom to be able to retake and build on my analog drawings via the cintiq, tablet and photoshop. Also the fact that I can use Blender to mock up some designs I have in my head, which sometimes can be a bit tricky to get out just by sketching on paper.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Not knowing when the next job is gonna come in.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
Many, but I am mostly looking forward to work on my new stories with my little character Francois.. Shown in my portfolio images and website.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Trust yourself and believe in your own talent! Don’t say no to any technique or limit yourself to only digital or only analog. Take the best from both worlds. But I do believe, it is vital to be familiar with the analog world in order to get your ideas and sketches out. For the business, get some good credits under your belt and have strong personal projects in your portfolio to inspire people with. Those two in combination have always worked well for me.