Working in Tel Aviv and London, animator Daniela Sherer's work is friendly and minimalist.
Projects include music videos and short independent films to animated sequences for features and animation for the stage.
Her wonderful animated films have won awards and have been exhibited in festivals worldwide, such as Annecy, Hiroshima, Zagreb, OIAF and Stuttgart ITFS.
We decided it was about time to pick her brains for all sorts of important information, from how she became an animator to controversial, 'savoury vs sweet snack?' saga.
Tell us a bit about yourself, and how you became an animator?
I'm an obsessive drawer, and have always thought the most exciting thing would be to make those drawings move - this general idea pushed me in the direction of animation. I've studied animation both in LA at USC (BA) and at the RCA in London (MA). Pursuing this profession has sort of allowed me to experience living and working in different places in the world, and my interest in filmmaking has only increased since.
I'm now an indie animator and also an animation college lecturer. Usually, I can be found working away and making stuff from my home-studio in Tel Aviv.
How would you describe your style?
It's alway a bit tricky for me to describe my style, only because it's what comes most naturally to me when I draw or animate.
I guess I would describe it as hand-drawn geometric and often minimalistic animation. I often like to use few colours and simple characters, but to give them the full traditional animation treatment.
Whats been your favourite project so far, and why?
For some reason my favourite one is "He Was A Sweet Man", a short I actually made as a student. Not sure why, I just have a strong nostalgic feeling about it - it was a kind of eureka moment in terms of filmmaking.
Do you work with music on? What’s the very last track you just played… be honest.
I do! Last track I played was "Third of May" by Fleet Foxes.
What’s your creative process when it comes to illustrating/animating?
After gathering all the info from the client, or coming up with a rough idea or script for an indie project, the first thing I do is get a blank piece of paper and start jotting down ideas super loosely (both with drawings and in words). I don't want to censor my thoughts or overthink - I just draw everything that comes to mind. Later, I pick the sketches/ideas that I feel are the strongest and refine those. I pick the colours and a compositions I like.
If it's an animation, I then create a storyboard and begin animating. As this animation process progresses, I place sounds and music -- which another professional crafts -- into my edit. I continue to edit and work on the the animated shots until the piece feels right.
Where or who do you find inspiration from?
I usually get inspired from reading - I feel like it can trigger the imagination like no other source. Even if I don't manage to read a lot every day, I try to get a large variety of reading materials (books, the news, magazines, etc.)
As for images, I feel like instagram is such a fantastic platform to get inspiration from. I follow my fave illustrators and designers. A never-ending source of art, really.
Also, just relatively mundane events from everyday life can be really inspiring - the way people move or talk or dress on the street. There's a cafe I like to sit around at and just draw and think, it's definitely one of my top (physical) spots to where I find inspiration.
What are your favourite things to draw and why?
- Characters chilling about - particularly relaxing to draw.
- Palm trees - I live in Tel Aviv and am surrounded by them, they keep popping up in my sketchbooks.
- Hands, fingers and eyes - I find those convey a lot of emotion.
- General abstract shapes - it's interesting to see what compositions you get.
You’re on a deserted island – what 3 things can you not live without?
Wifi, really excellent coffee (I assume there's a moka pot on the Island) and a yoga mat
Have you got any exciting projects coming up?
I'm super excited to be creating a short for an Adult Swim show, which will air sometime in the summer. I'm also currently working on a music video for Tom Rosenthal, a London based musician.
Was there a single moment you decided “I want to be an illustrator/animator someday” and if so, when was it?
As a kindergartner I wanted to become a painter when I grew up. Perhaps that's the moment in time when the idea of drawing for a living began (?).
What’s your spirit animal?
It’s mid-afternoon, you crave a snack: Savoury vs Sweet
Hmm...sweet. Creativity needs sugar sometimes.
We couldn't agree more Daniela.