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Interview with Daniel Clarke

By Layla Khani

Web: http://www.danielclarkeart.com/ (will open in new window)
Email: moc.oohay@moortrasnad

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Date Added: 4th May 2012

It's a relief to know I am not the only one who starts with an idea and ends up with an image miles away from the original one! Now you are currently working at Triggerfish Animation Studios - how do you find it working in there? Do you work mainly as a character designer or do you also specialized in the animation aspects of it?

I have found the experience to be very interesting and educational. I had never worked with anyone before Triggerfish, only freelance and gallery work. So to be working together with 70 - 80 people on a large project like a feature film was quite a change. I actually started out doing storyboards for them, and then moved to the texture department and had a lot of fun texturing characters in ZBrush. We didn't have a matte painter so I took on that responsibility too. I also produced the color keys, which the lighting artists use as reference, and learned a lot about storytelling using color and light in the process. In October 2010 I finished up on Zambezia (the first film) and started work as Production Designer on Triggerfish's second feature Khumba.

Wow, you've had quite an adventurous time there! I suppose that's given you a wide insight into what making a 3D feature film involves, but what do you really prefer to work in: 3D or 2D?

In my mind it's not really the medium that matters, but rather what you do with it. Be it 2D, 3D, stop-motion, comic books, films or computer games, ultimately the goal is to make interesting images that tell a story.

Are you working on any exciting projects at Triggerfish at the moment that you could tell us about?

Triggerfish has been in production on its second animated feature, Khumba for the past year and I have been having a great time working with the director and a bunch of other talented artists in coming up with its look and design.

That sounds like a really interesting project to be involved with. What do you suggest to the artists who do not have this opportunity to work in big companies or on big projects? How can they improve their skills and their experiences in the digital world?

I think that due to the internet it is becoming much easier to get yourself out there and be exposed to so much world-class art and educational information. Having a goal and tenaciously pursuing it is the only real way to improve, even if you don't

reach it or change direction mid-way, it's always good to be focused on what you want to do with your art, but never to the point where you are no longer enjoying it. That wasn't very helpful was it?!

(Laughs) Well, it is always interesting and useful to hear what professional artists suggest to newcomers. You currently live in South Africa; do you find it inspiring? In what ways do you think location can affect your art?

Cape Town, with all its mountains and beaches, is definitely a beautiful place to live and I am sure it affects my art in some way, but more significantly than the place I think are the people in it. Luckily I have a very supportive family and a great group of friends and co-workers.

What is your next big challenge in your career as an artist and do you have any specific thoughts or plans for the future?

I think at the moment I am just trying to learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible. So I am
pretty open to whatever comes my way, but with the long term goal of focusing more on my own work, telling my own stories and hopefully being able to make a living from it!


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