Modern Day Cartoons: Insights with Arthur Fong
DeviantART community, I am very honored and very pleased to announce that for today, we will be having Arthur Fong, a visual development artist at DreamWorks Animation Studios. He is part of the team who made us giggle with The Croods and made us feel with so much awe in The Rise of the Guardians especially to all the Jack Frost Fans out there. The interview will be all about some insights on the modern day cartoons and to see how the persons behind the cartoon shows that we love work and how they put so much effort in making us smiles each time we watch such great movies and shows.
© All images and artwork are copyrighted Arthur Fong
Images were grabbed from Arthur's website (with permission)
- Good day Arthur! First of all, thank you so much for giving us this wonderful opportunity of having you for this interview. I’m very sure that the deviantART community is very excited to read your insights, experiences and sharings to us
Arthur Fong: Thank you for having me!
- As a person, do you also love watching cartoon shows/movies? What’s your most favorite cartoon show ever since and why?
Arthur Fong: My Mom loves to tell me the story of how I got lost at the mall at the age of 2. She panicked, called security, ran everywhere, just to finally find me sitting in front of a television set, watching who knows what type of horrible infomercial they had at the mall. But yes, I love cartoons and always have even as I got older. One cartoon I obsessed over as a kid was Pokémon (gotta catch'em all!).
- People tend to compare modern day cartoons to the cartoon shows that they used to watch in their younger years and the former tends to be viewed in a negative light. What do you think is pushing them to have such ideas towards some cartoon shows that we have now?
Arthur Fong: My opinion is based off of absolutely nothing, but I feel technology has played a huge role in changing the animation industry. When cartoons still had to be drawn on paper and painted on cels, it was still considered a form of art that audiences can appreciate. With the age of computer animation, there is no longer a need for someone who is passionate and skillful enough to craft such a cartoon, only someone who understands the software. The art form is not completely lost today, but we do see far less of it.
- For many people, cartoon shows can give them lots of inspirations and can even influence them as they continue life. In your own opinion, what do you think is the best influence that a cartoon show can offer to its viewers?
Arthur Fong: Most cartoon shows are already doing a great job of influencing children and/or adults in a positive way. "Adventure Time" is a great example of something so whacky even adults can enjoy (some adults), but still teaches the basic lessons of: lying is bad, sharing is good, conquer your fears, etc.
- From your personal experiences, what is the greatest impact that a cartoon show gave so much in your life that you are still cherishing now?
Arthur Fong: That Belle can love a Beast. And I continue to wait for my Belle.
- What is the life behind one of the biggest producers of animated movies that we have in our time? What were your feelings when you first stepped in Dream Works, not as someone who will be watching their animated movies, but as someone who will be working with them for the billions of cartoon lovers all over the world?
Arthur Fong: Oh you know, coffee breaks and Street Fighter. Actually I'm completely terrified. And still as terrified as I was when I first step foot onto the studio. It is impossible to even begin to explain the type of talent within the walls of DreamWorks Animation. But I do not let that affect my work. Instead, I am inspire to grow as an artist and reminded I still have so much to learn.
- How do you see and envision the animated movies and shows 10 years from now?
Arthur Fong: I do think we will be seeing less and less 2D animated movies and shows in the future (at least produced in the United States or at a large studio). Right now, there are only a few studios dominating the animation industry, but because of the pace technology is growing, I wouldn't be surprised to see a rise in smaller studios that can produce the same quality of work in the years to come.
- I’m pretty sure that most of the people who work in the cartoon industry were influenced with their love for cartoons which helped them choose a career in line with that. And somewhere out there, there are some people who also share the same love and passion and who have big dreams in stepping into the cartoon/animation industry one day (some of them might be reading this too!). Any thoughts and words of inspiration that you can give to them?
Arthur Fong: Don't force it. The more badly you want it, the more likely you will miss greater opportunities that may be knocking on your door. I told myself at the age of 12 that I will become an animator at Disney. In the next 8 years, I did absolutely nothing related to animation. And all it took was a few signs to point me back in the right direction. But along the entire way, any job I took up, whether it's folding clothes at a retail store, wiping tables clean at a restaurant, sanding fiberglass at an autobody shop, I always gave 110%. So when the dream opportunity came for me to prove myself, I've already developed a dynamite work ethic.
- Any tips and tricks that you can share to everyone that you usually do in order to keep your creative juices flowing?
Arthur Fong: You won't become a great artist by spending 12 hours in front of a computer or in a room playing video games all day. Go out and socialize, travel, see the world, breathe nature, listen to people, volunteer, try new food, seek new adventures, be a friend, be a foe, pretty much anything but art. The more you experience life, the more your stories and ideas will translate fluidly into your work.
- Any last words that you wanted to share?
Arthur Fong: I wish I started a deviantART account long ago. It’s too late I guess. I post most of my work and updates on both my Facebook and Blogger. Stop by and say hello! Thanks for reading my nonsense!