Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Introducing...Caroline Attia

Picasso Pictures is delighted to announce the signing of an incredibly talent designer, illustrator and animation director Caroline Attia. Fresh from the centre of Paris where she lives and works, we met up for un tasse de thé and caught up with all things Caroline...

PP: Hi Caroline, we are really happy to have you join our roster, so where are you based currently?
CA: Thanks! I am based in Paris but I travel to London a lot.

PP: You have such a distinctive style, how did that come about?
CA: I started drawing heavily at the age of 6. I knew then this was my thing and it’s always been very hard to imagine myself doing anything else than that for a living. When I was 12,  I saw an ad in a magazine for Disney, they were hiring animators for their brand new studio in Montreuil (where I live now!). That’s how I first discovered people were actually making a living creating and animating characters, from that moment I knew I wanted to get into animation and I kept going in that direction with my studies.

PP: Is there one specific project that you feel best sums up your style?
CA:  I guess my 'Monsieur Martin' trailer. Firstly because 'Monsieur Martin' is my first book as both a writer and an illustrator, and secondly because I had a lot of fun doing it, it does really represent my style at the moment.

PP: And what were you influences that kept you going from a young age?
CA: I have many influences, it's really hard to narrow it down. I guess Franquin when I was younger was my favorite comic artist and Claire Wendling as well. Of course, my work does not relate to them anymore, but I still think what they do is amazing. I am very fond of Michael Dudock de Witt films, and his feature 'The Red Turtle' did not disappoint me. I also love Saul Bass and it surely has been a great influence in helping me simplify things! In kidlit, I should say, Jon Klassen, Olivier Jeffers, Marc Boutavant, Sasek, among others are people I look up to!

PP: What inspires you?
CA: love walking and taking photos of houses, streets that I think I could use later as an inspiration for one of my projects. 

My husband is a painter, I go to a lot of galleries and look at paintings, photography as well as contemporary drawing and etching. 

Travelling is also a great source of inspiration. Oh yes and a great new source of inspiration for me is baby stuff!  I was asked to design some baby clothes and accessories and really enjoyed that.

PP: Finally, can you tell us something about yourself that people would never know?
CA: Well, I used to do pole dancing and was really into it for a few years. It’s a really great workout, it’s very demanding and it has an element of risk to it so it really helps with self confidence. I had to stop when I got pregnant, and haven’t gotten back yet. For now I am doing Yoga and it’s very soothing.

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