Animation Insider Interview
What is your name and your current occupation?
I’m Paolo Libunao. Not much of an animator. I’m into pre-visualization i.e. story boarding and concept art. I also illustrate comic books and other stuff. I work freelance.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I don’t think I’ve done any crazy jobs.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
There’s “Armor Quest” a graphic novel from Rising Star Studios. Concept art for “Earth-Steel-Stone”. As for story boards, well there are those that I made for video game cinematics for Raptura Games.
How did you become interested in animation?
As a kid we all loved watching cartoons, I loved drawing them. It became a hobby. It never occurred to me that it would be a career.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I live in the Philippines. I always wanted to do something creative. I never thought I will work in animation or anything like that. In college I took up industrial design not an animation course. Upon graduating I got jobs in traditional painting which eventually led to illustrating comics, book covers and infographics. In comics I learned how to do story boards, which got me jobs in animation. I’m also doing concept art, I guess my background in industrial design is a big plus in doing those concepts.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Nothing very interesting. I wake up. Eat break fast. Prepare for the day. Check my email. Start working. Finish up. Call it a day. I do something like this everyday. Never had so much fun.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I try to love the whole process. If you’re not liking what you do then you may not be doing the job you love. But of course there’s nothing more fun that getting paid for what you did and getting reviews and exposure for it.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Revisions. You finished up a great looking piece and your employers want it changed. It really messes the whole thing up.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
I have the most sophisticated and expensive technology: PAPER & PENCIL!!! I’m the only one who has it. There’s also less sophisticated and inexpensive technolgy like a desktop PC, Wacom tablet, scanner, etc. I also have a table, I don’t like working on the floor.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Being misunderstood and being unrecognized. When nobody knows you exists. If animators are the unsung heroes of animation, storyboard artists are more unsung because our work is almost never seen.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
None so far. When I was doing comics I had some good advice from “Hellcop” artist Gilbert Monsanto. That’s not in the area of animation but I learned a few when it comes to visual storytelling.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I have a few. Being jobless for months. Making tough decisions. Although they all made me tougher.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
Right now I’m working on “League of Eden” a comic book for an independent company. It’s still unpublished so I will not say more. Maybe I’ll tell you that you can find it www.fantasy-soft.com
There’s also a storyboard project I’m working on for a TV mini-series entitled “Katipunan” for GMA network.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I don’t have much of a hobby these days. Just too busy. During weekends I do a lot of volunteer work. I don’t get paid for it, but it’s fun. You feel this warm and fuzzy feeling inside of you when you help others.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Do what you love. There’s no other driving force like passion. You’ll also hear people saying that “this guy is a great artist”, “he’s a god in this industry’’, “he’s the reason I don’t get jobs like this”. They can be very discouraging. I believe everyone has talent, it’s just the matter of attitude. Are you willing to work hard and persevere in this field? Can you handle failure and rejection? The successful people had more failures than success. They can treat their failures as a stepping stone to success.