Florian Ponty

Where did you grow up and when did you say to yourself: ‘’I wanna be an Artist’’?
I grew up in a little village in France. When I was a child, I was often playing video games, like Zelda, Pokemon, Rayman, Sly Racoon... so I decided to became an artist to work on game like those.

Have you always been supported in your artistic path or has it been challenging to let your family and friends understand your choice?
I chose my artistic path very early. I did some researches about the artistic careers in game and animation, and I found out that there were good job opening. I work hard to prove to myself and my family that art was a good choice for me.

What was the strongest influence you had when you were growing up ( artists, movies, cartoons, comics etc.. ) ?
My stronger influence is Dragon Ball ! But I have many other influences like Lord of the Ring, Devil May Cry, the work of Xavier Houssin at Ankama... and also Kill La Kill, Mamoru Osoda's movies, The Legend of Korra and Steve Han.

Did you go to an art school or are you self taught? What helped you prepare to become the artist we know today?
I went to an art school in Bordeaux, but it was not a really good one, or maybe not as good as I want it to be. So, I learn a lot by myself.. as a matter of fact, almost all I know now. Some people taught me a lot and helped me to find my way and I learned the rest online on websites such as Feng Zhu and Flooby Nooby.

Did you have a favourite subject to draw when you were a child and do you still have one today? If you do, what makes it so special?
I prefer to draw female characters. I would really love to see more strong female characters in movies, games and cartoon. Korra is a great example :)

From the initial client idea to the final work: what goes through your mind when you're designing and what is the method you use when starting a project? Could you describe it?
This is my process when I start a project :
- references researches about the subject
- thinking about the character(s) (background story, who, where, when, what...)
- rough sketches
- I choose one of the sketches I have done, and  I work on it while thinking about strength, weight, dynamic, appeal...
- line art
- shadows and light
- sometimes, colors

What is your process in coloring your art and what type of tools or media do you use?
I am using Photoshop, but I do my rough sketches on paper almost every time. For the moment I am not really at ease with colors. This is where I should focus more, because I think it's also important.

What part of the creation process is most fun and easy and what part is the hardest?
I have fun when I am doing sketches, but I also like doing the line of the final draw. The hardest part is, like I said before, coloring.

What is a typical day for you, and who are the people you work/collaborate with?
Actually, my typical day is simple. During the day I go the company where I work full time as a designer. When I come back home, I usually work on my personal projects.

What are some of the things you have learned from other artists who you have worked with or whose work you have seen?
I have learned so many things from other artist. Above all, to draw faster, to be rigorous with my wok and to give ''life'' to my drawings.

Is there something that you have designed that you are most proud of?
Because of my young age I am young, I tend to prefer my recent works. I still have a lot to learn.

What projects have you worked on in the past and what are you working on at the moment (if you can tell us)?
After finishing school I worked as an intern at Feerik, for a game called Eredan Arena. That was really a great experience. At the moment I am working at Studio100, for the TV show Nils Holgersson.

What is your longterm career goal and what would your dream project be?
I believe that my career will be shaped by the opportunities I will be able to get, but my goal would be to work on really beautiful project like AAA gales or animation movies and TV shows.

Working for a company or freelancing: what suits you best? And why?
I prefer working for a company because it gives me a good working atmosphere, and it also gives me the chance to work with other artists and learn from them. I like to work in a team.

What advise would you give to an artist who is dealing with an art-block? How do you boost your imagination and keep yourself creative?
Personally, I am never deal with an art block. I always have inspiration and ideas for things to draw, but some of my friends do, and what I I say to them is to go see other artists works or watch a movie. If that doesn't work to boost their motivation, I suggest them to have a break. Go outside, see your friends, do some sports... sometime you just need a big break before stepping back into drawing.

Concept art, animation, illustration, comics, there’s so many options to choose and when you’re young, sometimes the only thing you know is just that you love to draw: what should a young artist take into consideration to make the right decision when choosing an artistic path?
I think it is a good idea to not reject anything and to try to experiment as much as you can. Only by trying many different things you can understand what is your artistic path. Also, talk and ask other artists about their work, I chose my way thanks to some great advises I received from them.

What’s your point of view about the industry today: what are the expectation for someone who wants to make a living with an artistic career?
I think there are many possibilities right now to work as an artists, thanks to the massive production of video games and movies we have today. But the number of people who want to work in this industry is growing as well,  so it may be possible that in few years it will more difficult to start a career as a game/movie artist.

Who are the artists who inspire you the most today and what are some of your favorite designs?
Artist who inspires me the most today are Tobby Shelton, Steve Ahn and Yo Yoshinari. One of my favorite character design is Korra.

We have a soft spot for hand drawn animation, what is your opinion about the future of this art form?
Probably hand drawn animation will become rare, just like stop motion, but I don't think it will never disappear.

Social networks, crowd funding websites, print on demand online service, you name it. New media on the internet are connecting the artists directly with their fans like never before. In your opinion, how is this affecting the industry and what are the pros and cons?
In my opinion it's a good thing, because it really allows artists and fans to be connected. The Internet can also give you the possibility to be part of things like the Character Design Challenge or to crowd-fund projects like the Reward. But you have to be really careful about what you put out there, because it's also easier to steal works. 

Finally, Where can we see your art online and get in touch with you? How can we buy your creations and support your work?
You can see my work on my Tumblr and Art Station. You can also follow me through my facebook page.

Thank you very much for this interview.

Thank you Florian :)