Pedro Perez Interview

Tell me a little bit about yourself, about your life? Where did you go to school, and what classes did you study?  What helped prepare you to become the artist that you are today?

First of all I wanted to thank you for this interview for your blog. I'm a regular reader and it's an honor to share a place among so many renown artists from all over the world.

I attended public school and already as a kid I liked drawing on the tables... which they made me clean after the classes. Later I dropped high school and started working in stuff completely unrelated to the arts, until a friend told me about a small animation studio where my career as an artist started 16 years ago.

How do you go about designing, and what goes through your mind, from start to end

When I plan the design for a character I focus on his personality. I try to work on the gestures since that's a very important aspect in the creation of a character. That's the point that will make a difference in bringing the character to life, when the modeler and the animator base their expressions and gestures on your design work.

Often I will create a lot of sketches. Sometimes you get your character right on the second drawing, others you need to explore a wide range of possibilities until you hit what you are happy with.

What is a typical day  for you, and who are the people you work with?

Since 2009, my day to day starts at 8am at Lightbox Entertainment, where I work as a character designer and story artist. It's a company full of great artists in every field. We are very excited to be working on our second feature.

On my spare time I do freelancing for album covers, comics collaborations and on-demand illustrations.

What are some of the things that you have worked on? (Books, Movies, Games, Comics)

Over the course of my professional career I had the honor to participate on a wide range of productions. Among those, the biggest projects I've worked on are "The 3 wise men" (2003), "Planet 51" (2009) and "Tad the lost explorer" (2012). I've also worked on comic books for independent editorials in France and Spain.

Is there a design you have done that you are most happy with?

Every design makes me happy at the time of creating it. By the time I finish a new work I like to say that the one that I'll be more proud of will be the next one.

What projects are you working on now? (if you can tell us)

I'm creating storyboards for Lightbox Entertainment's second feature: "Capture the flag". I can't tell much about the project since we are in the early stages of development, I'll only say that it's the story of a family of 2 generations of astronauts involved in a race to the Moon.

Oh, and soon I'll be working on the sequel for "Tad the lost explorer".

Who are some of your favorite artists out there?

Phew! There are so many! But if I had to choose, the ones I get most inspired with for designing are Dean Yeagle, Bruce Timm, Dave Alvarez, Chris Sanders, Alessandro Barbucci, etc.

Could you talk about your process in coloring  your art, as well as the types of tools or media that you use?

My process is quite simple. I draw by pen or ink, then scan it, treat the line and color it in layers in Photoshop. That's basically my process.

What part of designing is most fun and easy, and what is most difficult?

For me the easiest one is usually the pose. What I find difficult and fun at the same time is giving the character a determinate expression. Sometimes, when the script requires for a special interest that can take me hours to achieve.

What are some of the things that you do to keep yourself creative?

What keeps me creative is life itself, the best source of inspiration. From traveling anywhere to commuting every day to work or peeking in blogs (like this one), things that keep my creative all the time.

What are some of your favorite designs which you have seen?

Since I discovered Pinterest I found a lot of artists full of talent, some well known others not so much. Last one I discovered is Elsa Chang, she has designs that are pure eye-candy and is a great source of inspiration.

What is your most favorite subject to draw?  And  why?

The pinups for its wide range of possibilities, from Suicide Girls to 50s pinups like Betty Page. The female body is for me the most beautiful thing and it's always a pleasure to capture it on paper.

What inspired you to become an Artist?

French authors like Uderzo and Franquin. Also Disney movies influenced me heavily as a kid. My parents would play them for me and my brothers and every time a loose paper was around I would draw the characters my own way. Later I was astonished by Jordi Bernet with his "Torpedo" or Carlos Gimenez with "Los professionals".

What are some of the neat things you have learned from other artists that you have worked with or seen?

I learned a lot from a bunch of different people, all of them very talented. I've been lucky enough to be always surrounded by great artists and teachers. In the field of storyboarding I need to thank Paco Saez, who was story supervisor at the time of producing "Planet 51". He introduced me to the preproduction stages of animation film-making where I could put to a test everything I learned as an animation inbetweener.

Over the years I also learned to assimilate the techniques of fellow animators. I would pick the drawings they discarded throwing them to the bin and take them home, where I'd analyze them. That's how I learned, practicing hour after hour.

What wisdom could you give us, about being an Artist? Do you have any tips you could give?

Well, I can only tell what helped me get to this point: if you want to work on this don't stop chasing your dream, always listen to the most experienced, learn from your mistakes and never surrender, work hard because this is a job that demands a lot of hours in front of the table, and most of all and most important, always have fun with what you are doing, for when one is having fun it's a sign of enjoyment with the task and the result will always be good.

If people would like to contact you, how would you like to be contacted?

I can be reached by my facebook page "Pedro Perez ilustracion y diseƱo", or by email. No problem :)

Finally, do you have any of your art work for sale (sketchbook, prints, or anything) for people that like your work can know where and when to buy it?

We are preparing a sketchbook and illustrations book at Ominiky Ediciones. It will be ready by mid-august if everything goes right. I'm also releasing a collective album for the same editorial called "Solo historias canibales 2", where I had the great honor of sharing 4 pages with other great artists.

Pedro Perez Gallery