Thursday, January 13, 2011

Episode 3: Dan Segarra

Welcome back to S-aas! Our guest tonight is a talented animator and artist Mr. Dan Segarra. Enjoy the show!

Are we live? ...testing.

Yes we are! Wave to your family and friends, Dan! 
OK, that's enough waving. Stop! Stop before you knock over- Uh-oh...
Well, thank you, Dan for joining us. Would you be so kind to introduce yourself to the world?

What do you like about art, world? there reading this blog. What “draws” you to art? Why do you do it? My name is Dan Segarra, I animate for Sony Imageworks, and I draw and animate because I love reaching an audience.

What is it that draws you to the art of animation? How do you describe your relationship with animation?

Ha! Check it out, I've already answered this question above.
So why does the audience matter? Who cares what others think about your work. That's true but you can learn a lot from how a group of people react to your work. If you do your art in a closet and never show anyone, it may be art to you, and you might be fine with that, but your audience is important because they are real people like you and me. They smile... they cry... they laugh... get angry... maybe they even get inspired! Maybe they'll go out into the world after looking at your work and try to make people feel what you made them feel with their own work. Your audience is real, you are real, and art is made to express your reality to others.

I know you’ve worked with various kinds of characters, creatures and animals. Is there a particular type of character you enjoy animating the most?

Emotions! I cannot stress that enough. It absolutely doesn't matter what I animate as long as I have the chance to make it emote. I'm a computer animator that came from a drawing background. Whether you're drawing something by hand, or animating a character in the computer, I think feelings are the most important element to any art. The goal of any animator is to make a character feel sincere, believable, and real. And as valuable as it is emoting with a character in animation, I believe it is just as valuable to emote a feeling with any art that you do.

How awesome is it to work on feature films in the same studio with other talented animators and artists?

It is a great experience being able to work with such a great team. Although there are many talented artists who work at Sony with me, all of them started somewhere. And many of them struggled and worked incredibly hard to separate their work from others. These studios are filled with people just like YOU, whose efforts to animate on these films matched their desire to do so.

I understand animators use mirrors when they need visual references. Do you dance like a chipmunk and make faces in front of a mirror? : )

On my first day at Rhythm & Hues, they asked me if I'd like a mirror and I asked “Why, do I have food in my teeth?” lol In actuality I use a mirror on occasion, but I shoot reference very often. Visualizing my shot before animating is incredibly important to me. Everyone visualizes their own way and my way is from writing notes down and shooting video reference.

Do you ever catch yourself “people-watching” with those super special animator eyes of yours even when you are just hanging out at a Bakers Square or a park?

Haha :) My eyes are just like yours... well maybe not exactly because of my Lasik surgery. lol But besides that, I see just the same. Everyone pays attention to different things and whatever that may be for you, you can bring that into your art. Personally I'm a pretty sentimental guy, and I tend to like the sentimental shots. I excel in those because of who I am and what I pay attention to in life. So when I'm animating my shot, and the shot calls for something emotionally draining, for example the shot in the Yogi Bear movie when he gives up being himself and takes off his hat and tie, I begin drawing from my life during the times when I felt like giving up. And I've gone through many of those moments. I know what it feels like when you want to give up, so I put that into my animation.

What is your old time favorite movie or TV show that you think had great influence on you?

Little Mermaid was one of the animated films that really influenced me. I was about 9 years old when the height of Disney animation began with that movie, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, etc and that's what really rooted my interest in wanting to pursue my career into animation. The accumulation of all my favorite animated films as a young adult directed my animation career as I started watching more and more of them to this date.
How do we stay informed on what awesomeness you are up to?

My next animated film will be coming out Christmas of 2011. It's called Arthur Christmas. I think you will enjoy it, I've only seen an animatic with the storyboards up to this point because it's still in it's early stages but from what I've seen it is a fun film that'll touch your heart because it doesn't miss the true meaning of christmas.
Besides that, if you'd like to bookmark me, you can do that here:

Here is a direct link to my reel:

...or stay inspired with work that inspires me. You can find that here at my blog:

We are all looking forward to seeing your works on big screens. Please keep us updated on your future projects and success. Thank you again for taking your time to visit Super Awesome Artist Show!

Stay inspired! Because those who are inspired are the ones that inspire others.
Thanks Pinc Bullet, it's been a pleasure. :)

Thank you for joining me! Stay tuned, everybody, and brace yourselves for another exciting episode of Super Awesome Artist Show!