#MeetTheResident – David Gray
#Meettheresident 2020! We have amazing residents in all of our studios and it is important to us to share what they do, to hear their story of who they are and how they got to where they are now. You can learn and be inspired by other people’s journey and to see how different people approach their career.
We caught up with our new resident – David Gray who is a character animator for a London-based animation studio, producing children’s television.
What do you?
I’m a character animator, working mostly on pre-school television shows. I bring the characters to life with movement and personality.
Any projects that you are currently working on?
I’m currently working on the next series of Peppa Pig.
What inspires you?
I get a lot ideas and energy listening to music. I also recently did some sketches and illustrations based on my favourite TV shows and some books I had read, so it could be anything really. I also really enjoy watching other artists work, watching their processes and thoughts play out.
I get a buzz seeing or hearing works in progress, development sketches and rough cuts too – rough, hand-drawn animation is really exciting to watch – as you can still see the hand involved in its creation. I also think it demystifies the artistic process a bit, knowing that the final, polished piece – be it a film, a drawing or song or whatever – took a lot of working out, a lot of thought and a fair few mistakes and corrections to get it just right.
How do you stay creative/inspired?
I don’t draw much in my day job so I try and indulge that outside with sketchbook work and illustration projects. I also try and have, and explore, other interests outside of art and animation to keep the other parts of my mind bubbling and active.
Who is your design hero?
Chuck Jones, who was an American animation director at Warner Bros. back in the 1940s & 50s. He was a tremendous draughtsman, had an impeccable sense of comic timing and directed some of my favourite cartoons from the Golden Age of Hollywood animation.
What piece of software / tool / equipment would you struggle to run your business without?
A piece of animation software called CelAction. It’s been the backbone of every big series job I’ve had over the past 14 years.
What are your plans / hopes/ ambitions for the future?
I’d like to branch out a bit more and try and get into story boarding or make more of my illustration work. I’m also trying to write a script, based on a short story, with the hopes of developing it into a short animated film.