David Pavon

Where did you grow up and when did you decide to become an artist?
I grew up in Torrenueva, a small town in Spain close to Granada. Since I was a child I always wanted to become an artist and probably it all started when I watched Pinocchio for the first time. I really wanted to recreate that magic with my pencils and from that moment I spend so many hours drawing!

Did you go to an art school or are you self taught? How did you develop your skills?
I went to an art school and I have a Bachelor Degree in Interior Design and Animation, but I have also learned a lot (and I keep learning everyday) by constantly experimenting with my art and by looking at the the work of the artists that I admire.

Have you always been supported in your artistic path or has it been challenging to let your family and friends understand your choice?
I really didn't have any problem to let my family understand my love for arts. After all, my mom was an artists herself.. I was a lucky guy!

What was the strongest influence you had when you were growing up ( artists, movies, cartoons, comics etc.. ) ?
I was born in 80's, a good decade for animation shows. Don Bluth, Disney, Miyazaki, Hanna & Barbera and many others were such a great influence to me. Movies like Pinocchio, Cinderella, The Secret of Nimh, The Little Mermaid, Akira, My Neighbour Totoro or tv series like Duck Tales, Sherlock Hound, Saint Seiya, Dragon Ball or Moomins were truly amazing references, both in terms of styles and storytelling.

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?
As a kid I loved to draw Disney characters and I still do. Today though, I don't try to simulate the Disney style anymore, I prefer to recreate them with my personal touch.

From the initial client idea to the final work: what goes through your mind when you are designing?
Well, it depends. Without getting to much into details, sometimes clients ask me to create something in a particular style and in that case I'm definitely less free to do what I want. But sometimes they give me complete creative freedom..  and those are the project I enjoy the most!

What are some of the things you have learned from other artists who you have worked with or whose work you have seen?
Working with other artists has definitely improved my drawing and colouring technique. Group projects in particular are the perfect occasion to sharp your artistic skills.

Is there something that you have designed that you are most proud of?
Some illustrations are among my favourites because they made me win art contests or simply because performed very well on social media, my first short film "Origami" and my Mad Max and Peanuts fan arts were all well received online. Of course I have also many other artworks that I love on a more personal level.

What projects have you worked on in the past and what are you working on at the moment (if you can tell us)?
In the past I have worked for DisneyParks, Barbie, BBC and Harper Collins. At the moment I'm working in a very interesting project for Disney and I'm also designing a new children book. 

What would your dream project be?
I would certainly love to work in a Disney/Pixar movie project as a character designer or as a concept artist.

Working for a company or freelancing: what suits you best? And why?
As I mentioned above, working for a company for a while would be really good for me, but in the future I would like to keep my family and friends close to me, so freelancing would be my choice.

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?
Most of the time you find yourself struggling with an art block for one reason: you are too focus on something and that can stress you. In that case you need to do different things and forget about your art for a few days. Enjoy yourself: visit an art exhibition, travel, talk with other people, check out a good art book for inspiration. 

Concept art, animation, illustration, comics, there are lots of choices. When you’re young, sometimes you know only one thing: you love to draw. What should a young artist take into consideration to make the right decision when choosing an artistic path?
At the beginning of your career you find yourself working on many different projects, you want to make a living as an artists and this will push you out of your comfort zone. This can be an excellent occasion to experiment with your art: with the time and a bit of experience the answer will naturally come to you.

If you had to recommend only one art book (a comic book, graphic novel, children book, ''how to'' book) to a fellow artist, what would it be and why?
Some of my favourite art books are the ones about animation movies (Ratatouille, The Lion King, Pocahontas or Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs just to name a few). I also love books about the work of artists such us Eyvind Earle, Maurice Noble and Mary Blair, but if I had to recommend only one, I would go for "Blacksad". This comic series is such an incredible work of art: the colors, the characters, the settings and the story itself, everything is perfect. Juanjo Guarnido is the best!

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 try not to think about this too much. I prefer to take the opportunities that life brings to me everyday and enjoy my life. When I'm working on something I always give my best. If one day I will receive an email asking me to be a part in the next Pixar movie I'll be ready for it. I'm an hard worker and I want to reach my goals, but I don't want to be obsessed with them.

Who are the artists who inspire you the most today and what are some of your favourite designs out there?
Nowadays, thanks to the internet, I have a lot of artists that I love: Joey Chou, Glenn Keane, Peter de Seve, Cory Loftis, Mingjue Helen Chen and Nico Marlet just to name a few.

We have a soft spot for hand drawn animation, what is your opinion about the future of this art form?
I hope to see more 2D animation movies in the near future. I have great expectations for "Klaus", the upcoming animation project of the SPA Studio. 

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?
Crowd funding proves that the industry sometimes lack vision for innovation, many great projects come to life today only because of crowd funding. If you are lucky enough to have a good idea and a large audience that follows you, you can really make things happen.

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 follow me on my Twitter and Facebook page and I have an online shop that you can visit HERE. For commissions feel free to drop me a line at davidpavonbenitez@gmail.com . I also have two art books for sales HERE if you are interested.

Thank you David :)