Paul Lalo is a Brisbane based freelance animator. After growing up in France, New Caledonia and many other places, Paul and his family moved to Brisbane. He studied animation at Griffith QCA and is able to freelance on many projects from his home.
Paul is also doing great things for the Australian animation industry. In 2009, Paul started a website to showcase Australian animation – called Ozanimate. There’s now a few regular contributors to the site, interviewing and showcasing local projects and animators. He also teaches Animation subjects at Griffith University College of Art and Film School.
And here’s Paul’s FANTASTIC showreel…
How have you got to where you are today?
Born in France, I grew up in my Father’s home office (literally!) while we moved around the globe with my parents and my three other siblings. Dad is an amazing illustrator and has been freelancing for over 40 years now.
I remember when he first switched to digital; he bought a 21″ gateway monitor (the beast took half of the desk) and one of the first Wacom tablets with a copy of Corel Painter which came in an actual can of paint as part of the packaging!
Another big influence is the local library where I used to spend hours reading French comics and copying characters like Lucky Luke and Asterix. I carried on drawing through school on desks or even classroom walls and throughout high school where I studied Art, Art History and Photography.
After a while of doing Art Schools, I realised that I needed to specialize in something more substantial and so came the idea to try out Animation. I then moved to Australia from New Caledonia to study at QCA.
It’s funny because I wasn’t an Animation geek back then, in fact I didn’t know much about it at all! But quickly fell in love with the medium, Uni times were fantastic and the people I met there are still great friends and now valuable colleagues.
In a few words, describe yourself…
Tall, Quiet and Passionate.
What are you spending your time on at the moment?
At the moment I’m juggling heaps of different jobs, where I play different roles and get to collaborate with a bunch of talented artists. I have just finished an Animation for an interesting non-for-profit Environmental Company called Treehenge. I have also moved house recently so spending time on setting up a nice office space.
Do you have a ritual for getting into the creative mindset? Or a creative process?
When you are freelancing full time, you have to develop a lot of self-discipline… Like getting dressed and ready for work as you would for any other regular job, this helps getting you into the ‘zone’.
I like to check out the fresh work out there and get inspired before I start out the day. When I don’t work, I’ll go out as far away as I can from the computer and play outside in the sun, climb trees, do handstands…
What or who inspires you?
The list is huge but if I was to summarize it, I’d say: My family, my friends and peers (who are shaping the industry here and abroad with their amazing work), Sempé, Bill Waterson, Michael Dudok de Wit, Sylvain Chomet, Michel Ocelot, Les Gobelins, Pascal Campion, Steven Spielberg, …
What are you most proud of?
The great thing about animation, illustration or art in general, is that you are constantly improving, learning new things and refining your craft. This also makes it difficult to be proud of anything that you do — as you tend to be more critical than satisfied. Never be satisfied!
Besides the obvious financial reward, you definitely need an emotional reward to keep you going. For me, it’s small things, like sitting with an audience when they watch my film and hear/see their emotion/response. Or even seeing the cool work of a student I’ve helped.
I’m also really happy with the growth of Ozanimate. We now have a few contributors on board and we like to think we are really helping our industry.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?