First News - - AN­I­MA­TION SPECIAL -

OKAY, so he’s not re­ally an ap­ple, but Ge­orge Gendi, cre­ator of Car­toon Net­work’s new show Ap­ple & Onion (and the voice of Ap­ple) is prob­a­bly one of the best peo­ple around to ask about the world of an­i­ma­tion. We spoke to Ge­orge to find out what it’s re­ally like be­ing an an­i­ma­tor, and to get his ad­vice on how you could be­come one, too.

How did you get into an­i­ma­tion?

As some­one who was al­ways in­ter­ested in draw­ing, I wanted to study illustration. I did a course at Kingston Univer­sity that was illustration and an­i­ma­tion, and through that I dis­cov­ered my in­ter­est for it. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing, I wanted to con­tinue de­vel­op­ing my own an­i­ma­tion, so did a two-year an­i­ma­tion master’s at the Royal Col­lege of Art. Af­ter­wards, I worked as a free­lance an­i­ma­tion direc­tor, which is when I re­ceived an email from the Amaz­ing World Of Gum­ball team ask­ing if I would try out work­ing with them on sea­son one, which was be­ing made in London. I took the test, got the job and at the end of sea­son one I came up with an idea for a show. I then pitched Ap­ple & Onion to Car­toon Net­work, who started de­vel­op­ing it in the UK, be­fore we made the fully-an­i­mated pilot over in Car­toon Net­work Stu­dios in Cal­i­for­nia.

Do you have any ad­vice for those look­ing to get into that world?

It seems like over here in LA, once you’re through the door of a stu­dio, if you do a good job, peo­ple are go­ing to want to keep giv­ing you work! As for how to get through the door in the first place – cre­ate lots of work that shows off your skills, tal­ents and the kind of things that you’re in­ter­ested in doing. Use the in­ter­net to dis­play your work and get it un­der the right peo­ple’s noses.

Do you have ad­vice on how to find your ‘style’?

Ex­per­i­ment a lot, but in the end, don’t be afraid to do it the way you re­ally want to, even if oth­ers aren’t con­vinced. Al­though it may start out bad, there’s a rea­son you want to do it like that in the first place, so I think even­tu­ally you will get some­where worth­while. That’s not to say you should ig­nore cri­tiques – they will help you hone your skills and find your di­rec­tion. Just make sure you pin­point what it is that you love or are in­ter­ested in doing, so that you don’t lose sight of it when some­one else doesn’t see it.

What is it about an­i­ma­tion that makes it so special?

When I watch an­i­ma­tion, or even live ac­tion, I am es­sen­tially hav­ing an ex­pe­ri­ence. What is special to me about these art forms is that as a maker of it, I get the chance to de­sign an ex­pe­ri­ence for who­ever is watch­ing!

What’s the best and worst thing about what you do?

The best thing is that I get to make things that can make peo­ple laugh and feel good. The worst is not that get­ting there is a long, hard road – that can ac­tu­ally be re­ally en­joy­able and def­i­nitely rewarding – it’s more that it’s easy to start wor­ry­ing and doubt­ing your­self along the way. That worry and doubt, if I let it stay for too long, is the worst thing about what I do.

What’s your favourite thing to draw?

Prob­a­bly Ap­ple & Onion at the mo­ment!

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