‘Your crummy draw­ing’

ImagineFX - - Peter De Sève -

Peter talks com­pli­ments, crit­i­cism and deal­ing with knock-backs… some of them self-in­flicted Peter was al­ready a suc­cess­ful ed­i­to­rial artist when Dis­ney asked him to de­sign char­ac­ters for The Hunch­back of Notre Dame. They didn’t use much of what he drew, but it was his big break into an­i­ma­tion. He’s since learned a few thing about deal­ing with crit­i­cism and com­pli­ments.

“I take com­pli­ments as lightly as pos­si­ble,” the artist says, “and have a pretty good an­tenna to help me de­ter­mine which are gen­uine and which are just ner­vously po­lite. As for crit­i­cism, I take that more se­ri­ously – though, again, my an­ten­nae is cru­cial here. Some­times a crit­i­cism can come from a per­sonal bias. A piece might have an off-put­ting el­e­ment in it – a rat, for in­stance. How­ever, if enough peo­ple don’t get what you’re try­ing to say, the fault is not in the stars chum, it’s in your crummy draw­ing.”

Peter is per­haps his own tough­est critic. He has trou­ble look­ing at past projects – even suc­cess­ful ones: “When I look through my work, I have real dif­fi­culty in look­ing at fin­ished pieces. In­vari­ably, there’s some­thing that bugs me about them. Some­thing I didn’t quite pull off. But for some rea­sons, I’m much more for­giv­ing of my sketches and looser draw­ings. They are al­ways much less self-con­scious and to me are a glimpse at the artist I’m sup­posed to be.”

Quasi­modo and Es merelda Dis­ney never ac­tu­ally used Peter’s char­ac­ters de­signs for The Hunch­back of Notre Dame, but he’s since gone on to work for box-of­fice hits such as A Bug’s Life and Find­ing Nemo.

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