I come from the “old school” of artist/graphic designer, people who used to work only manually with the usual tools, china pen, squadron and goniometer.
My first attempt to introduce computer to my workflow was in high school, while my diploma. My thesis’ theme was about new tecnology, “Corel Photo Paint”, on how you can draw and mix photos with this software.
I remember my teachers amazed while looking at this photo manipulation… I put a bag full of coffee beans in Eddie Murphy’s hands.
At the time the graphic tablet was something for rich people, so I used to do everything by mouse. But it was like they were seeing a magic show.
My first videogame was given to me as a present for my sixth birthday from my uncle.
He gave me the Commodore 64, but I didn’t know what it was. I thought it was a keyboard to write.
So I can say I was casually catapulted into this world. So as soon as I realized what I could do with the Commodor, I could not help it anymore.
I was so fascinated of that world full of colors and moviment.
Graphically at the time things were very essential, to see a character, you really needed to stimulate your imagination, and of course as a child I had a lot of that.
Every games for me became a new world to explore, both in front of a tv or outside. It was a time full of creativity.
3. What was your task while you worked in adv industry?
At that time I was studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bari, and as any student who feels the I was looking for a job, whatever it was.
I have always found a job in the industry of art.
Between 2009 and 2010 I had learned to love Photoshop for its potential and I was curious about vector graphics and 2D.
Illustrator and Flash were my “ships” to career in the advertising world. Like any respectable Italian job, I started in a small local print company like a “mediocre 2D animator”.
The question was simple, 2D Animators did not exist, they were very few (and still today) so I just stepped on something where there was not much competition.
It was a pity that my animation skill was immediately set aside I start creating simple advertising campaigns on road signs. I was working as a graphic for a particularly famous goldsmith of Bari, developing for him, advertising campaigns printed on magazines and billboards.
4. What does it means for you to be a concept artist?
To be a Concept Artist in Italy for me does not mean to give up.
Although the industry of video games is growing steadily, especially in Italy, even if the issue of employment remains.
Many well-known artists are also forced to look for a regular job, sometimes even for long periods, or (more plausible hypothesis) to go abroad finding something that is similar to a job in the industry.
Unfortunately our country still does not allow great jobs as an artist, although the situation is slowly improving. But anyway something is changing.
5. What is the connection between a 2D/3D animator and a concept artist?
The connection is in the design and the possibility of exporting some specific elements of the object that I’m going to animate at the moment, also being 2D animator of video games, allowing me to intervene dynamically on the aesthetics of a character’s design following specific movements, without having to postpone the artwork to the designer and wait for a correction … in short, I save time!
6. What about your experience at Dramslair?
In Dreamslair I learned many things, things I like and things I like a litte bit less.
I have learned that dialogue and communication are key elements, as it is important to give a deadline and be able to respect it.
I have learned that keeping a bit ‘over time’ is sometimes an advantage, but sometimes it can turn back against you, so you have to know how to measure your time too.
All this translates into “learning to get to know yourself under your professional profile”.
I also learned how to figure out what I don’t like, how to identify a bad team management, and I learned that not always doing the right thing is like doing the nicest and most enjoyable thing.
I learned at my own expense not to attach too much to my work, and be always ready to question all my work, but trying to find out the benefits and try to protect some salient points.
7. What were the most successful professional episodes that made you grow?
Well, I would say there were different.
The most important, decisive one, was at Dreamslair, the first company I ever served when I was the last artist available (including the Art Director).
On this occasion, I had the opportunity to engage in different roles and then to deal with various things, such as creature development, creation or editing of the environment, and UI optimization. All the things you concentrate have competed to make me do a real professional jumping. At the time, working as a concept artist was really a mystery away from my horizons, as I relegated to drawing up feedback only for other artists and managing the artistic database. I saw this openness as an opportunity both to make me notice and to improve my skills.
8. How important is collaboration with colleagues for the quality of a product?
Collaboration is all! In the company, one of the most important things is to be great communicators. The concept artist’s work does not stop at the simple aesthetic performance of the work, but represents only one part.
The bigger part is mutual confrontation, not just with other concept artists but also and above all with colleagues from other sectors.
A relationship that must be based on dialogue and confrontation.
As for my experience, a good team is a team that, without invading reciprocal spaces, exchanges feedback in an organic and continuous way, it doesn’t annihilate the ideas of colleagues, but deals with its merits and defects, mixing it with others and bringing them to a more level high.
9. What are your short-term goals?
This is not an easy question. When I think of the future I never see further then my nose, I live day by day, although I plan my artistic growth through the study (with poor results, but at least I do it). Well, if I just have to say something then I say that I would become even more “skilled”.
It is a goal I set for every passing day and that will surely accompany me for the rest of my life. Then I want to do a diet … that’s for sure I’ll do it 🙂