Friday, July 13, 2012

Artist Interview with Dave SanAngelo

The Mr. and Mrs. by Dave SanAngelo
The DMS was lucky enough to interview the incredibly talented artist and animator, Dave SanAngeloThis past year, we reviewed the children's book Bye, Bye Balloon, which was written by Dave's brother, Ryan SanAngelo. What a talented family! When Dave agreed to interview with us, Lizzy and I were over the moon. His work is amazing, and we can't wait to share it with you! So, without further ado... take it away, Dave! 




What was your inspiration to become an artist?


Way back when, during the late seventies, my grandfather picked me up from nursery school every Thursday because that day my parents both worked and I remember drawing him while he rested outside. He had his shoeless feet up on a chair and it was my introduction to the concept of foreshortening, when objects appear larger than they really are because they are closer to you. I drew his feet huge and his head really tiny and thought, "That can't be right, but that's what I see.". Anyway, I suppose that's the long way of me saying I don't remember what started me drawing I just took to it very young. My mother was an artist. She had paintings all around our house and my grandparents' house. I thought they were amazing. That influenced me. Also, as a boy I was really into cartoons, comic books, and Mad Magazine and I wanted to draw like those artists. I never cared about the words but I could stare at the pictures forever. As I got older I drew my own comics. It was my way of telling stories and making fun of something to make me and my friends laugh.

Who is your favorite artist?

Tough question. I can easily list a hundred names of people I've admired over the years, but the artists that have influenced me the longest are the Mad Magazine artists from the 50s - 80s. Like Jack Davis, Wally Wood, Harvey Kurtzman, Paul Coker, Sergio Aragones, Al Jaffee and Don Martin. My uncle had left a huge box of Mad Magazines at my grandparents' house. It was a treasure chest of awesome. Also, Norman Rockwell gets undermined by his old fashioned, "Aw shucks," simpler-way-of-life paintings but no one told a story better, with as much technical skill or attention to detail than he did.

Bride of Dracula by Dave San Angelo


What paths did you take to pursue your dream of becoming an artist/ animator?





I took every art class in high school and drew a lot of my own comic strips and comic books. Then I went to Paier College of Art in Hamden, CT where I received traditional training and learned how to paint. After that I got into the animation business while still keeping up my painting on my own time.

What is your favorite medium to work with?

I love painting in oils. It's a forgiving medium and I love the glowing effect you can achieve through underpainting and glazes. As an animator, I love using Flash because I can create my own animated sequences with my own dialogue tracks and sound effects. It's a great tool for me to have an idea for a cartoon and bang it out quickly.

Unity by Dave SanAngelo
You have produced many spectacular paintings, which piece did you enjoy working on the most?

Thanks!! That's very kind of you! My favorite painting is called Unity. It's a head made from all sorts of hands... men, women, kids... and each a golden tone. My original idea was to use all different skin tones but the patchwork of tones didn't feel right visually so I went with an overall golden tone. To me that golden color is the perfect skin tone. It could pass as any ethnicity and at the same time represents the perfect tone if all races were mixed and that went with the overall idea of unity. 

What is your favorite texture? Why?

Velvet. You can make a sweet suit out of it and it's the perfect surface for painting Elvis.

If you could choose anyone in the world to paint, who would it be?


I don't have the skill yet but I'd either love to paint Christina Hendricks or Danny DeVito the way the great Michael Deas perfectly captured Marilyn Monroe. Christina for her breathtaking elegance and classic beauty and Danny DeVito because Danny DeVito is a genius! 


What projects are you currently working on?


I'm currently developing some of my own ideas with plans on pitching them to the networks this fall. Fingers crossed!


About Dave:
As Creative Director of Soup2Nuts Studios, I created and developed properties that received deal offers from Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, ESPN, Comedy Central, MTV and G4... read more. 

Animated TV Series:
WordGirl (PBS) and Time Warp Trio (NBC, Discovery Kids, WGBH) -- receiving Emmy Nominations For WordGirl and Time Warp Trio.



18 comments:

  1. I loved reading this interview! so interesting. i have a 12 yr old son who is an aspiring artist!

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    1. Annmarie- So glad you enjoyed this interview. It is amazing to learn that Dave has always been interested in drawing. I think that is so cool that your son is an aspiring artist! ~F

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  2. He has a fantastic sense of humor. He obviously is doing something he not only excels at, but loves. Thanks for the treat!

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    1. Hi Cleelckenzie- Dave is hilarious. I love his unique sense of humor- he can always make me laugh. I think it is wonderful that his work is so much fun for him! Thanks for stopping by. ~Stephanie

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  3. Great questions and answers, what a sense of humour Dave has.

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    1. Petty- Thanks! Dave is quite a character! So fun to talk to and listen to because of the way he thinks. :) ~Stephanie

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  4. Dave is awesome. For some reason that story about drawing his grandfather's shoelaced shoes while resting really spoke to me. Some wacky pictures for sure. I really love Unity as well. So unique! Good luck Dave! Hope to see your work oh tv soon!

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    1. Hi Heidi, He really is! He's such a fun person. Great to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by : ) ~ F

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  5. I wish I would draw. I'm very challenged in that area.

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    1. Hi Kelly, But you have so many talents in other areas, so no worries! I find doodling to be extremely relaxing. It always pulls me into the moment. Thanks for stopping by! It's always great to hear from you : ) ~ F

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  6. Dave is awesome. Love the story of his grandpa's giant feet. It's so great to hear the story of someone who followed their dream. Long live Mad Magazine.

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    1. Hi Leslie, Isn't that a great story? Dave is a really cool and talented guy! We were so lucky to get to chat with him about his amazing artwork. And, we agree- long live MAD Magazine. Great to hear from you! ~ F

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  7. Painting Elvis ... hehehe. Illustrating is very hard work, as I've recently rediscovered. Experimenting with different mediums and practising everyday takes a lot of time and determination, which is why I'm often in awe of great artwork, like Dave's. (And hey, I remember his brother's book recommended on your blog, F.! What a talented family, indeed.)

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    1. Hi Claudine,
      Fabulous to hear from you! Thanks for dropping by to check out Dave's interview. He's a fabulous artist. I love finding art that truly astounds me. It's such a cool feeling. Ryan and Dave are definitely a talented set of brothers, that's for sure! ~ F

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  8. My niece absolutely loves Word Girl. I passed on this interview to my sister. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Elaine, That's great! I hope your sister and niece enjoy reading Dave's interview. Thanks for stopping by : ) ~ F

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  9. I never had the talent for artistry, so I admire artists so much. Great interview.

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    1. Donna- I admire artists, too. We each have our talents! Glad you enjoyed the interview. :) ~F

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