1. Name: Lou Romano
2. Age: 36
3. Profession: Animation Art Direction & Illustration
4. Artistic training: I studied Character Animation & Film at Cal Arts (1990-92).
5. Work done you're most proud of: In terms of professional work so far, probably The Incredibles. That's the project I feel I've had the most cohesive influence on from visual development to finished film. Overall, I think the design integrity remained intact throughout.
6. Work done you're least proud of: I did efx-assistant work on Cats Don't Dance(1997). I wasn't very inspired doing work on that film, mostly tones and shadows. I animated one scene of some cupcakes falling on the floor. The film is mediocre and at the time I really wanted to get into visual development.
7. The project you are currently working on and the next one, if any: Right now I'm doing a little freelance and working on an illustration & film project based on stories by Edgar Allan Poe.
8. You are inspired by: Many things. Classical music & literature / modern art & illustration / film and stage-related crafts, like makeup and efx design, minature work, puppetry / fantasy / ancient cultures...It's a continuously growing list.
9. Favourite artist: Actually two artists (I can't help thinking of as one) Alice & Martin Provensen.
10. Pencil & paper, or mouse: I like using both. I'm slower working with traditional media like, gouache & acrylic, than I amon the computer. But, I enjoy both. There is something more gratifying about painting on board or canvas than just working digitally, however. The hand-made process is irreplaceable.
11. Music you listen to while working: Mostly Classical. (Samuel Barber, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Igor Stravinsky) are a few of the composers I come back to again and again. Some musicals and operas. Also, a lot of film soundtracks. I don't really keep up with current music, but there is some old Pop/Rock that I like (Talking Heads).
12. Curious habits while working: I always make a mess of my clothes. Even if I wear an apron I get paint on my clothes.
13. Crazy stuff on your desktop: My desktop is always completely black. It's less distracting for me while working.
14. To work, night or day? I like working at night.
15. Three movies to spend a Sunday relaxed at home: (Clash of the Titans / The Empire Strikes Back / The 7th Voyage of Sinbad)
16. Classic animation favorite: Lately, I've been watching The Sword In The Stone (1963) a lot.
17. Ancient Art or Modern: Art and crafts of ancient cultures (Greek and Celtic) are my favorites. But, I also love modern art from the 20th century (Pablo Picasso / Ben Shahn / Henry Moore). Advertising art and illustration from the mid-20th century is some of my favorite work, too.
18. Comedy or Drama: I like dramas, mostly.
19. The thoughest moment of your professional career: Animating cupcakes falling on the floor on Cats Don't Dance. That was a real low point for me.
20. And the sweetest moment: The Incredibles premiere in Hollywood, at The El Capitan Theatre. That was a high point.
21. What do you see yourself doing in 20 years? I would like to be making my own animated films and paintings.
22. Finally... tell us which has been the best advice you've been given both professional and personal: The best advice I ever heard was during an award acceptance speech. The lifetime recipient was Production Designer Roy Christopher who has been designing The Academy Awards show off and on for over 20 years. His advice was simple but great: BE BOLD!
His blog: louromano.blogspot.com