Louis Gonzales – Brave (DVD)

December 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

From graffiti artist to story artist – Louis Gonzales, who started as a graffiti artist in the San Fernando Valley, has worked at Pixar Animation Studios since 2000. He takes on the role of story artist in the studio’s newest animated film “Brave.”

Working as a layout and story artist for Pixar Animation Studios over the last 12 years, Louis Gonzales has lent his artistic talent to a number of films including “Finding Nemo,” “Ratatouille,” and “The Incredibles.” As a story artist on “Brave,” Gonzales helped visualize the story of a princess who must break a curse cast on her family and kingdom.

Is it gratifying for you as a story artist to see the finished product when it looks a lot different than what you initially drew?

Yeah, it’s always good to see the film when it’s done, especially here at Pixar. We put a lot of work in at Pixar and everyone is really proud of it. Working as a story artist is considered pre-production, which is part of the planning stage. I haven’t been let down working here. I’m always proud of the movies we make.

How much research did you have to do on the country of Scotland before you started visualizing the setting for the film?

I’ve always felt it was very important to know your setting unless you’re talking about outer space or some kind of fairy land. I was lucky enough to be one of the first people with the film to go to Scotland. We were there for 10 days and soaked in as much of the culture and atmosphere as we could. We wanted to understand the country and the customs.

I read in your biography that you grew up doing graffiti art. Is that still something that interests you?

I still love it although I haven’t practiced it for a long time. It is part of the reason I’m here. Graffiti was an outlet to draw with like-minded friends. It was a big part of my upbringing. All of my friends would get together and do graffiti art. We encouraged each other to get better. It was like my own little art community since I didn’t go to art school.

Do you allow any of your graffiti to sneak into any of your drawings with Pixar?

(Laughs) I’d like to think my graffiti background is in all my art to a certain extent whether it is a direct representation or not. You don’t lose that. It’s something that will always be a part of me. But after all these years, I have evolved and grown.

Julian Nariño – ParaNorman

August 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

As a storyboard artist for Laika Studios, an animation studio based out of Oregon, Julian Nariño gets the opportunity to let his creativity soar as much as possible on each of his projects. Born in Bogotá, Colombia and raised in Kansas, Nariño studied film at Kansas University and animation at the California Institute of the Arts. In 2009, he worked on the animated film “Coraline.” This year, his artistic talents were used to create the film “ParaNorman,” an animated film about a young boy who can speak to the dead.

What kinds of cartoons do you remember watching in Colombia?

I remember spending a lot of time in front of the TV. We would mostly watch Disney cartoons in Spanish. It’s very strange for me to watch all the old classics in English.

What were some of your favorites?

I really liked “The Jungle Book” and “101 Dalmatians,” which in Spanish was called “La noche de las narices frias” (“The Night of the Cold Noses”). Those two specifically stand out when I was younger.

When did you realize you wanted to be part of the animation industry?

I knew at an early age I wanted to do film. I was really into horror movies when I was younger and wanted to get into special effects makeup. I was always drawing on the side as well. I kind of combined what I loved with drawing. Animation became a natural fit for me, so I decided to pursue that.

What do you think kids like so much about these type of animated film that have darker themes like “Coraline” and “ParaNorman?”

I think there is something inherently interesting about the ghost story and begin scared, but knowing you really are safe. I know stop-motion animation does have a tendency to be a little creepier because of the thought of the puppets coming to life.

Is it hard to watch someone take your drawings and adapted them to the big screen in a way that is sometimes different than your initial work?

It’s easy because you’re working to make the director and writer’s vision come to life. It’s a team effort to reach that ultimate goal. It’s always satisfying to see the final product on screen.

What sequence in “ParaNorman” are you looking forward to seeing the most?

There are some running zombie sequences I’m excited about. Also, I’m looking forward to the sequences that have comedic touches.