Monday, 13 March 2017

Introducing... Fauna


At Picasso Pictures we are passionate about nurturing new talent in our division The Pod. So we are delighted to introduce Fauna aka Andrew Brewer, a motion graphics artist and animator who specialises in beautiful minimalist imagery and contrasting textures.


PP: Hi Andrew, welcome to The Pod! So where did the name Fauna come from?
F: I actually chose Fauna as my title to design and direct as a sort of homage to the natural world and all these cool and weird creatures around us, of which we are included - a fact we would do well to remember sometimes! I also really like the juxtaposition of it's organic associations in contrast to the digital work I create.



PP:Where did you grow up? 
F: I grew up in Nottingham which has a great homegrown artist and music scene. I spent my formative years dressed as a punk, shambling around with my sketchbook there. After a foundation degree in Fine Art I left for Teesside Univerity where I studied computer animation and ended up winning an Animex award with a fellow student for a motion graphics effort about the region's industrial history.


PP: Where are you based now?
F: After moving to London (via Manchester and Brighton) and freelancing for a number of years, the few downsides of living in a shipping container with Whiskey the ferret (RIP) were becoming more apparent and I returned to Nottingham where I felt I would better be able to focus on my personal work, save up for a bigger computer and improve technically without the worry about the electricity going.


PPHow did you get into Animation? When did you know it was for you?
F: Actually, I thought I'd be a journalist or a maverick archeologist, but with as many folk of my generation my life changes entirely as a young teen with the release of a game called Final Fantasy VII. Around that time I was also discovering Anime and these vibrant new imports had me captivated. Also when I realised I could avoid sports by lurking in the Art Block, the prospect of a 'life in the arts' seemed quite appealing. So I guess it all started with drawing robots, Manga girls and skipping P.E.



PP: Who /What has been the biggest influence in your career?
F: I love movements like Suprematism, Constructivism and Bauhaus. Then there's early twentieth century experiemental film makers like Oscar Fishinger and computer art pioneer John Whitney who still blows minds. I'm super into generative stuff and especially that kind of stripped back look - geometric shapes and simple colour palette and so on. 


In particular the work of Designer Republic was a big inspiration for me. They were involved in an early series of Playstation games called Wipeout which put this super slick minimalist graphic design and early 2000's British electronic music together, creating an incredible cutting edge effect. That game single handedly shaped what my future self now considers 'cool'. They were also behind a lot of the iconic album artwork for Warp Records, which for me was a really exciting time in the UK for Design.

PP: Is there one specific project you have made that you feel is a bit of a favourite, and if so, why?

F: I think it would have to be my most recent project 'Vulpes, Meles & Lepus Timid' (Fox, Badger, Rabbit).  It was an experiment in breaking down the animal's features into basic geometry and I think I could have got away with even more abstraction but I also wanted them to look really tactile and real-worldly which I think comes across, as I was actually asked if they could be exhibited, but had to explain they were all CGI, which was a massive compliment.




PP: Where do you see the future of Fauna heading?
F: I am really excited about the future! Although there is always so much to learn I feel like I know my tools now, I'm getting to a good place where I can be really creative with them. Right now I have been enjoying a bit of an energy burst with my work, geeking out reading design books again and getting back to drawing and developing new ideas, if I can keep it on a roll then it should be a good year and a lot of fun.

PP: Lastly, tell us a secret about yourself that nobody knows.
F: OK, well I still maintain a crush on Maid Marion from Disney's Robin Hood.



To see more of Fauna's work click here







Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Introducing...Ugrow by Luca Paulli



Pod Director Luca Paulli revealed his latest design and animation for his fictional brand Ugrow this week. We caught up with him to find out more about it and see how the launch went..


PP: So Luca what exactly is Ugrow?
LP: UGROW is a fictional brand I created, it's a pill that gives you extendable arms. This idea then evolved into a campaign titled ‘Things you can do with extendable arms’ in a series of short animations illustrating some of the things you can do.



PP: Where did the inspiration come from?
LP: The inspiration came from author Nicola Barker saying that ‘ we live in a sociatey of spectacles’. She argued that we define our power and status through acts of consumption and excess under the guise of having fun. At the same time  I read that, I had an idea for a series of animations where the characters where doing funny and silly things with extendable arms. The two things clicked together and I decided to explore the concept Barker is talking about, using animation. I want to provoke a reflection on our society and look at how we define ourselves through our behaviour.
There is a duality in each character action  that should make the audience raise some questions. Are they really enjoying what they are doing? Is it making them happier?




PP: The woman playing Table Tennis is interesting,  she is the only one using her arms to replace another person, is there more to her than meets the eye?
LP: Yes, the woman playing table-tennis on her own is funny at first, but I want people to wonder why does she do it? Doesn't she have anyone to play with? Maybe she doesn't like to lose? Or she is using a highly encoded language to tell the audience that she wants to be seen as unique and so she puts on a show.

 
PP: You have three animations so far, are you going to add more to the series?
LP: Absolutely. I have a lot more ideas and I will release them regularly on social media, on the Ugrow Facebook page, and Instagram and Twitter. I want to start a conversation with people and see what they would do and maybe make some of their suggestions.


PP: Did you have any suggestions from your guests at your Private View?
LP: Yes! People had some very funny and unusual suggestions:


 PP: You can check out Ugrow and keep up to date with Luca's animations for things you can do with extendable arms at Ugrow.me and @HelloUgrow