Animate your world with Carolina Buzio

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Today in “The world of Art” we want to introduce you another creative soul from Portugal. Illustrator and animator Carolina Buzio definitely has a story behind her artistic path. Her roots can be found in the heart of Portugal, Porto. Later on, she took her steps in Berlin and got amazed by the life in Budapest. All these places have developed her professional side and also influenced her as a designer. It’s impossible not to fall under her charm – the enthusiasm and optimism of they way she tells her story is very touching. We talked with Carolina about how she got interested in animation and what she experienced in the magical Budapest.

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Your life moments seem to be like scenes from a movie. Born in Portugal, studied communication design, fell in love with animation and moved to Budapest. After then, you decided to take a chance in Berlin and it was a lucky one. Why did you feel the need to study abroad and what experience has it given to you?

I decided to study communication design because it seemed a viable way of getting a job using my creative skills, and studying that really opened my eyes to all the possibilities out there! However, in my second year of studies I realized that I loved illustration and animation more than design itself, so I took the opportunity to do ERASMUS in Budapest, in a school that had a degree focused on animation. Being there made me realize that I had the talent and the patience to be an animator.

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Animation sphere is not widely common these days, it is quite hard to find a place which could offer such studies. What encouraged you to step into this mystical and unique industry?

The feeling I got when I  saw my drawings come to life for the first time was so amazing that I got hooked:  I knew it was something I’d love to do more of in the future. I didn’t know if I wanted to do that on a professional level, all I knew is that I wanted to continue experimenting with it.

One of the projects which is called “CHECK-IN ENERGIEEFFIZIENZ”  shows the environmental issue – climate protection and gives some good suggestions on how to save the energy. Could you share more details about this work? What was the most challenging thing in this project?

It’s always great when you get a project from a client and you identify yourself with the message they want to say, so I was happy to work on it. The main challenge with this sort of work is knowing when to stop: with animation you can always keep on refining it, take it further. Being a perfectionist sometimes leads me to working over the budgeted hours just so that I make it extra nice.

The work “Obrigado” catches the attention by unique and cute illustrations that represent the wild life due to the usage of clean products. The nature theme appears in more of your works. Is it one of your favorite subjects or maybe there are more of them?

I guess I can say I’m lucky to get many environment related projects since it’s a message I definitely stand-by. Nature is an inspiring theme for many artists, so yes, it is one of the subjects I enjoy exploring but I’d say I’m mostly character driven: I enjoy observing and drawing animals and people, studying their interactions and personalities. (Carolina’s note: It’s important to say that I did not animate this video, but did all the illustrations and prepared them for animation)

PINGO DOCE – Obrigado from EASYLAB on Vimeo.

Could you describe the creative process of your work (technique, research)?

The process depends on the project (if it is a personal illustration I’m doing or something for a client), but it always involves doing research on what has already been done about the subject. This means looking at others artists’ works, getting inspired, seeing what obstacles I might face and what can still be explored about the theme to make sure I add a different voice to the “conversation” around it. Most of the times I need to do other types of research as well, such as reading about the subject and doing observational drawing. For example, I’ve been doing the visuals for a conference with a “Jungle” theme, so I spent one day at the botanical garden drawing tropical plants! After the research stage I draw a lot of small thumbnail sketches exploring composition, then scan them and redraw or refine the sketches in Photoshop. The coloring phase is mostly done digitally with occasional scans of textures made with black ink and brushes to make it look less digital.

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You have studied communication design in Portugal. Would you agree that the environment has changed your attitude as a designer?

I guess that everywhere you’ve been to ends up shaping the way you see the world…  I notice similarities with other Portuguese artists, mainly in the use of bright bold colors, shapes (as opposed to lines), a reduced colors’  scheme and a very playful approach that is not so much towards realism.

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What is the biggest challenge in the animation process, starting or on the contrary – seeing the final result?

Definitely the start, but that happens to me in every project: I tend to procrastinate before I start something big due to my fear of failure or of finding out I might not yet be good enough to do it.

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How would you describe your work and can you say that you have already developed a recognizable style?

I’d say my work is bright, character based, with a tendency towards vivid colors and a certain playfulness with shapes. I cannot tell you if I have a recognizable style: I think what someone perceives as style is just a reflection of the artist’s influences, personality, life experiences and tastes. If you check my portfolio again in 10 years it might look quite different, but if you look at all those years in between you’ll see the evolution.

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You have mentioned in your website that you have already published a book. This is a great achievement for a designer and it has a huge impact on the professional career. How was the book actually created?

(Smiles) I should update my website! I’ve illustrated two more books that were published last year (for YoYo books) and I’ll be making 5 more this year! That first one you mention was for a publisher in Budapest. I was one of the 5 winners of a contest in Hungary and so my rendering of the “Puss in the Boots” got published.

You have already participated in a feature film The Congress by Ari Folman, which sounds really impressive. What were the tasks that you had to accomplish? 

I came to Berlin for an internship 4 years ago with an animation studio (Bitteschoen.tv), and that was the project they had going on at the time. I was an animation assistant but got to animate a few scenes as well. It was tough but also a really great learning experience and my animation and drawing skills are ten times better for it! However, it also made me realize that what I really enjoy is animating my own characters and so from that point on I made an active effort to be a freelancer doing animation and illustration and finding ways of combining the two fields.

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What are your suggestions for people who are thinking of learning animation?

Do as much as you can! Animation is not for everyone (as I mentioned, patience is a key point), but if you enjoy it then try to learn by doing. If you are not doing an animation degree, then I’m the living proof you can do it by practicing from books (like “The animators survival kit” by Richard Williams), by studying movement and watching amazing animations. Another key element is studying the human form, so join some model-drawing sessions in your city or try some online tools like this one.

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