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Channel Frederator Blog

The Art of Being Art

January 29th, 2009

Art Grootfontein
Art Grootfontein (photo by Stanley Portobello)

Animator (and Channel Frederator fan!) Art Grootfontein helps ring in ‘09 by glancing back at ‘08 through the eyes of bumbling spyparazzi Stanley Portobello in “Snap!shots of the Year”. Art is a busy cat who digs all kinds of animation… and thanks to us you won’t need a super-spy to tell you that.

Channel Frederator: Where did you study animation?

Art Grootfontein: I never studied animation… That’s why I only try to add a little move into illustrations! I studied at a French national school of design in Paris, but animation became a real passion a few years after I graduated. Actually, I learned animation watching how “real” animators and directors were doing it themselves.

CF: Who (or what) has influenced your work the most?

AG: There are many… but the biggest for me are John Sutherland, for his elegant fifties touch, Mary Blair for her extraordinary use of color, Saul Bass for his graphic rhythm, Lou Romano for his color scripts and graphical power, Mark Ackland for his design and timing, and Joel Trussel for his genius sense of efficient, yet moving animation (the last three guys are literally my mentors…). And hundreds of pictures, ads, animations I eat everyday on the internet.


CF: What is your favorite animation?

AG: I really like old cartoons from the Golden Age of animation, but I think my favorite animation is far more recent: Monsters Inc. from Pixar Animation Studios.

CF: Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?

AG: During the next coming weeks, I’ll be working on illustrating a children book. Regarding animation, I’m in contact with Ka-Ching Cartoons, a really interesting European animation studio, with whom I’ll probably work, and also Yukfoo Animation Studios, a New Zealand creative team I’d really like to work with too. These collaborations come in addition to my regular job as Art Director for a publishing group in France. And if I find some time, I’d be glad to work on another animated short with a sad little statue-man…

Art’s Art

CF: If you could “spyparazzi” any person or event, what would it be?

AG: Mmm… I’m not as intrepid as Stanley Portobello! I’d rather sit on my chair and tell him to go and take some good snap!shots for me… I’d probably send him around Burbank, trying to find where the Frederator magic comes from!

Thanks, Art! You’re pretty magical yourself.

You can check out “Snap!shots of the Year” right here on Channel Frederator!

– Bailee DesRocher

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