- Amerikan Made Prints
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- Drawn and Quarterly
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Dave Pasciuto has been working professionally in the entertainment industry for over twelve years on various projects for film, broadcast, video games, web, print and illustration. Dave worked as a senior designer and animator for Reality Check Studios on many projects for CBS, ABC and ESPN, including: the Super Bowl XXXVIII Stadium Open, Hellboy, X-Men 2 and Terminator 3 commercial spots, Jersey Girl, Harold and Kumar goes to White Castle and 50 First Dates effects and compositing. Also Toon Disney Rebrand and HBO's Inside the NFL for New Wave Entertainment.
Prior to his film and broadcast work, Dave spent eight years in the video game industry as a lead artist for several popular titles including: Electronic Arts NBA Live ’96, '99 and 2000, PGA Tour ’96, '98 and over eleven other "old school" games for the Sega Genesis and GameGear. He has also designed over 25 websites including projects for First Media Works, ClearChannel Radio and The Gnomon Workshop. Currently Dave has returned to the video game industry and is working at Electonic Arts Chicago as an Environment Artist on Fight Night, Round 3.
When did you first decide to become a graphic designer/ illustrator?
Ya know there wasn't a point in time where the sky flashed and lightning came down and BAM! There it was clear as day. I was never like, "I’m gunna be an illustrator!" I was put here with a gift-and I always knew it. It was what I was supposed to do without question. It was all I COULD do, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be given that gift. Art has always been a part of my life since I was a little punk ass bitch.
I have also been very lucky to have parents that supported the arts- even though I’m a product of an art teacher and a truck driver- best of both worlds baby! :P Mom was always teaching me things-like sculpting a tree blindfolded or etching or printmaking...Dad was bringing me in the truck, letting me switch gears and I remember a guy on the CB talking’ about sticking’ a rainbow up someone’s @$$. I thought it was funny. Heh. Wait, what was the question again?
Was there a pivotal moment?
Nope. Not at all. I never thought about becoming anything else other than what I was. I believe that everyone is given something special. Some play music, some people can talk, some are athletic- mine happened to turn out to be art for some reason. My path was chosen for me, cos I never though about being or doing anything else. I dunno…my career choice was simple. I never had to figure out what I liked to do- so I saved lots of money on education I guess.
Who or what inspires you?
I’m inspired by traveling, the arts, culture and researching other things besides the design industry- that’s how things repeat- I’m not interested in that crap. But I really get inspired about things at the wrong time for the wrong project. Ill be working on one thing, and *pop* Ill get tons of ideas for something else I’m working on-which sucks, cos then I’m working on 2 things at once because I cant let that sauce go to waste. I also get inspired by the “why” and “how” things work. For example- reflections and caustics- we all know what they are, but HOW do they happen and WHY do they exist. Lighting has always fascinated me as well.
Also music, art and music are much related- I’m always listening to music and certain songs or genres trigger different moods which affects my art.
Where does your training come from? Self-taught? College/Art School?
When I was growing up, having a Mom for an artist gave me a huge jump on my artistic education. I was cutting woodblocks, sculpting and using pen and ink by the time I was 10.
Most kids were using crayons and crap, I had markers. I also had some great art teachers in
Public school- I was super lucky there. Mr. Fritz in Junior High really took an interest in me and a few friends and helped cultivate what we loved to do. Hell! My first paying gig was in 6th grade painting murals for the school at $4.26 an hour, that was back in like 85 or something- LOL I remember padding my hours too! Damn I was evil. : P
My first “real” education was at Gnomon in Hollywood and extension classes when I was 28, but that was for more 3d and to do Feature Movie work, but up until then it was education of working on the job-Which is better and a more accurate education model than school. Most teachers never worked a day in the “real” world, so the system sorta gets skewed there.
How do you keep "fresh" within your industry?
Freshness is extremely hard to keep in the entertainment industry. The world is so saturated by everything. Everything is becoming a blur. You can’t design or create something that CAN’T be
compared to something else that has been done. I mean were all inspired by the same stuff…
So how could it NOT influence what we do? I find that fine art and underground artists are more out of touch with the design world, so there is a refreshing flavor to it, I also constantly sketch-which I feel is my “own.”
What are some of your current projects?
Well at my job, I’m an Environment Artist for Electronic Arts, working on Fight Night Round 3 for Next Gen systems, XBOX 360 and Playstation 3. I have to say they are amazingly impressive, and these systems are finally bringing the “art” back into games.
Outside on my own time, there is http://www.3leggedmen.com/, which is just a stupid fun T-shirt endeavor; I also am putting together a 32 page sketchbook, which is a montage of my art and words. Its entitled “Spilled Imaginos, Volume One.” Those are the most current that will be finished by next summer. But other stuff is on the list, but I gotta have some order in the chaos.
Which of your projects are you the most proud of? And why?
The ones I’m most proud of are personal works, cos I know I didn’t have to listen to some “art director” or deal with any sorta limitations. I just run with what I think. I’m really proud of the sketchbook stuff I’m doing. It’s so raw and it’s just me “spilling” shit out, so there’s a lot of truth and conviction in it. I guess it’s the artist in me trying to be let out. LOL Jeez, what a bunch of crap. : P
I’m proud of everything though; I’ve worked with some amazing talent, and have picked up a wealth of knowledge along the way from others. I’m lucky to get paid at something I love to do.
Are there any areas, techniques, mediums, projects in your field that you? Have yet to try?
There are thousands of techniques to do anything; all of them help give insight to something else that you’re doing. I’ve used most mediums. Oil painting has interested me, Mom used to use them- I found them stinky and hard to work with. I loved watercolors, so I wanna get back to traditional painting. I also haven’t worked in the comic book industry yet, I think I’ve got them all covered except that one. Id love to color a comic, or even ink one, but that’s another project.
Any advice to the novice designer/ illustrator?
No one should tell you to draw or do assignments. If you truly love to draw, do art, design or whatever- you’ll just do it all the time- then you know you’re passionate about it. That’s half the battle. If you never draw or design unless you HAVE to, then it’s not your calling. Honestly.
Also learn traditional foundation FIRST, design is all based off of traditional arts. Once you know those principles-then design is A LOT easier to understand and EVERYTHING makes sense. I’m a purist, so stay away from computers until you have to use them. They’re evil.
What makes a designed piece or illustration successful?
If the piece is executed well, and it’s easy to “read.” Ya take one look at it, and you understand the concept or the message. If you can’t figure that out, then it’s unsuccessful. Your eye should be able to pick up exactly what’s happening in the ad, photo or illustration. You shouldn’t have to think “is that an elbow or an ass?” Or better yet, “what’s he doing with his ass?” : P
What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid burn-out?
Everyone needs an outlet. I have my sketchbook, and I play competitive volleyball- every dude needs some way to release pent up aggression and emotion. Same with females, we all know that it feels great after a workout or beatin’ someone down playin’ football or a sport. You need to get away from stuff we do to clear our head, most of the time you come back and see everything in a new light.
And finally, what is the best thing on prime-time TV right now?
I don’t watch that much TV really, but I was a fan of “The Surreal Life” and “Tommy goes to College” is pretty funny. I know he’s boned that tutor of his. LOL I really love to escape in movies-oh ya and porn. LOL j/k err… ya. :P
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