Thursday, 19 March 2009

Damian Gascoigne

Damien Gascoigne's lecture was one I found very entertaining particularly as he started by talking about his family and saying that he originally came from Bradford. He was a confident speaker and I got the impression he really enjoyed talking to us.
He specialises in animation and went on to describe his everyday behaviour as a designer. He is always doing something and urged us to pick up a camera, collect things and doodle. Many of his characters emerge from nothing taken from everyday drawings of people in different situations. He even described a special occassion where he sat there and just drew people. Often he will notice things like light fittings and everyday objects which he feels have character, takes pictures of them and doodles on whatever he can find like newspapers. Gascoigne showed us a picture of a cup sticking out of a bin but rather humourously the cup hada face on it and he said it was calling out to him to animate it. What was comical was his very honest admission that he is obsessed with hair and went on to talk about his own students as he teaches at Kingston University. He showed us pictures of them and described there personalities, one in particularly wearing a toy car round his neck.
He described his animation as fine art animation and began describing a projected animation onto a polystyrene book for an exhibition which took 4 years to come to fruition.
Being creative is something you don't have to apologise for was a statement that really stuck in my mind from Gascoigne's lecture because it is so right. But his optimism was also paired with realism as he discussed the conditions of being an illustrator and animator. Sometimes you have a lot of work coming in but you have to be prepared for times when the work drys up. He mentioned his tough time last year having made 7 pitches for commercials not being successful with any of them.
Being a freelance animation director/illustrator is stressful from this point of view but he is happy to keep going and is exploring other avenues of animation like 3D animation with handrawn line, being taught by his own students. He went onto say that he loves working in a team. AS his talk drew to a close he mentioned that he was an illustrator for five years and then wanted to see his illustrations move with sound, im thinking along the same lines with my own work. Overall I found Damian Gascoigne to be a very interesting, entertaining and witty person.

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