Louisa Appleton [louisarghh]
What is your specialty in multimedia?
2D and 3D animation
Do you have a website or blog where we can see something of your work?
www.louisarghh.tumblr.com is where my drawings and works in progress can be spied upon, I'm re-making my normal website at the minute.
What has been your career path? How have you arrived to the point where you are? What did you do before?
I went to university and studied animation but when I was there I had wanted a chance to do some live action filming and editing, so I got a job filming videos for the army. During that time I brought animation into the role and learnt Maya and polished my After Effects skills a bit more. After 2 years, I left that job as I couldn't get any further in that company and I wanted to work on new projects.
What types of clients do you have? How do they find you?
I usually have people find me via my website or via flickr or who I've been recommended to by people I know.
How did your interest in multimedia technology begin?
I've always, always been drawing 24/7. I would wake up in the middle of the night and draw by my nightlight on the floor in secret, even when I was in primary school. When I was in secondary school I became obsessed with Bill & Ted and wanted to make my own version of that (as you do), so I wrote out this whole big script and got in touch with some old friends and some new friends and started getting together kit and props to make this home-made version. I bought a cheap little DVCAM and put a fire-wire port in my horrifically bad computer and bought this awful, awful editing software. It was my mission to genuinely make this thing, but this was back in 2001 I think and the software never really worked and my computer later exploded as we had serious disagreements and of course, this poor little film never got made (which is probably for the best). But, this meant that when I left school a couple of years later and went looking for a college, I went looking for a film/art course. Unfortunately they had no such combination, so I ended up doing an Art & Design course instead and during that time I became interested in the idea of going on to do animation as I was very interested in movement and capturing movement or capturing a moment as it happens.
Please provide a brief description of the hardware and software you currently use most.
At home I have a souped up 27" iMac with Adobe Production Premium CS6. I also use Maya and Softimage.
What parts of your work are the ones you enjoy most and least?
I absolutely love the evolution part of a project. Someone comes to you and says, 'I want this like this, this, this and this' and then you take that on board but also bring your own edge to the project and then work on new ways of doing this thing and then it grows and evolves into a final product which sometimes can be slightly removed from the initial idea, but which brings everything together in a much snappier way.
I also love 3D modelling, I would happily just sit in a room and model everything ever thought of for the rest of time.
Technology and art - a collison of the left and right brain?
Not at all! The two co-exist happily together and certainly now with the internet and CG and, well the digital age I guess, art would have a hard time without technology.
Do you usually keep an eye on the work of your competition and analyze how they have done things?
I do, usually with my jaw on the ground.
How do you learn new techniques? Manuals? Tutorials? Trial and error?
Tutorials are helpful yeah, I thank google and youtube for being awesome. But also trial and error, yes.
(I guess the answer to this question would just be... yes)
What new technologies are you experimenting with now?
I want to try out Zbrush soon, that's new to me, not necessarily everyone else... Hmm, I'm not such a dab hand at modelling people either, so I'm going to brush up on that. And, well, anything else that takes my fancy! I would spend all my time trying to master every piece of software and technology that came along if I didn't think the information would start running out of my ears in the form of a crazy word goo if I tried.
What technology or phenomenon do you believe will revolutionize the sector in the next few years?
Hmm... I have no idea!
Does it irk you when something new makes what you've already learned obsolete?
A little, but it's usually for a good reason.
You spend many hours in front of screens and in dark rooms. How do you compensate for that on a personal level?
I come home and continue it... my eyes hate me.
If you have to hire an assistant, what qualifications and qualities do you look for when making your choice?
It has to be someone you gel with and can bounce ideas off of and around with. I think it would be quite difficult if you hired someone to work with who is completely technically competent but you have no rapport with. You'd also have to love their style.
What types of professionals are you used to collaborating with, sharing experiences with, or forming a team with?
Currently, just my previous work colleagues who are very much creative artsy-fartsy types who see things in a slightly bizarre light to the average office worker. A lot of my friends are like that too, I like people who are vaguely removed from the normal way of doing things.
What advice would you give those who want to break into this profession?
Don't be afraid to ask.