11
Sep
08

Pictoplasma 2008 Conference

This past weekend, myself along with a couple other designers from Last Exit, attended Pictoplasma 2008 which was being held for the first time in New York City. It is a 3-day festival celebrating character design and animation and attracts some pretty big names in the animation world.

Speakers included:
• Sam Lanyon Jones – Tokyo Plastic
• Philip Hunt – Studio AKA
• Sam Borkson & Arturo Sandoval – Friends With You
• Gangpol & Mit
• Akinori Oishi
• Aaron Stewart
• Motomichi Nakamura
• Tim Biskup
• David Oreilly
• Fons Schiedon

My favorite presentation was Sam’s of Tokyo Plastic. Not only is he brilliant at what he does, he is also a very humble, funny, eloquent speaker. I especially loved the story when he spoke of his time over in Thailand. Him and his partner would party until 6am, go to sleep, wake up in the afternoon, work until night, start rendering files and then go out and do it all over again. Now that’s a rockstar designer’s life if I ever knew one! The conference was small and intimate which was perfect for Q&A. I got the chance to ask Sam if he was ever going to do another project using Flash after the successful Drum Machine he did years ago in Flash 6. That was really the first project that catapulted Tokyo Plastic to fame and I found it interesting that they haven’t done many more projects with flash. He said he would love to go back to flash animation and hopefully he will in the near future.

Studio AKA was also magnificent. Their new short film ‘Varmints’ is visually breath taking. I firmly believe that they could be close to ‘Pixar’ level if they solely concentrated on film production.

David Oreilly’s presentation was also very entertaining. Everyone should check out OCTOCAT. I’m sure you can find out about the back story if you do a quick search. Absolutely hilarious.

Each speaker was brilliant in their own right and this weekend was just the sort of inspirational boost I needed. I came home flooded with ideas in mind and techniques I wanted to try but most importantly, it gave me the urge to start drawing again. Yes, drawing – the thing you do with pencil and paper. I just want to ride this wave of inspiration/creativity for as long as I can.

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