What's this illustration for?
This is concept art for a 10 second animation that I did for a music documentary. It's meant to introduce the band Aleks and the Ramps, and it's inspired by the black and white cartoons of the Golden Age of Animation.
Do you have to wait for a flash of inspiration - how do you start?
I generally start by focusing on one element of an illustration and developing that - drawing different designs and concepts for that element, and that forms the basis for the rest of the illustration. In particular, I spend a lot of time designing and working on a character, and the rest of the illustration - background, surroundings, linework, color etc, is based around how it fits that one character.
How did you get your start as an illustrator?
I used to be a stop-motion animator at the Victorian College of the Arts under the Animation course, and it was there that I discovered the joys of 2D animation. I was intrigued by it and keen to discover more, so I decided to develop my drawing skills, studying anatomy and developing a distinctive style so I could create a 2D animated short film. Eventually I liked drawing well enough that I decided to pursue illustration as part of my career as well as animation.
Who or what has influenced your work?
My work has been mainly influenced by comics from the 1930s, 40s and 50s, for their simplicity, emphasis on telling a clear, distinct story and their ability to capture a character's personality by how they're designed. They also utilise a thick-and-thin linework which I try to embody in my own style. My favourite artists from that period are Dick Sprang, CC Beck, Jack Cole, Chester Gould, Will Eisner, Carmine Infantino, Milton Caniff, Winsor McCay, among many others. I also like the simple, geometric designs that were used in the Fleischer and Disney cartoons of the 30s.
What's your favourite media for creating pictures?
My work is mostly digital, using Adobe Illustrator. My main joy comes from drawing the initial pencil drawings, as I'm able to fully flesh out and sketch the main concept of an illustration and see how it works, but I also like being able to control the linework in Adobe Illustrator, adjusting the vector points to achieve the perfect, thick-and-thin line for any illustration.
Do you experience illustrator's block - if so, what do you do about it?
Not a huge amount, but sometimes it helps to just start drawing something, anything, even if you're unsure of what you want. Eventually, you find something which you can use, and the rest of the illustration results from that.
What's the worst thing about being a freelancer?
Sometimes it can be hard to find the motivation to complete a job on certain days, depending on one's mood and state of being. It takes a lot of organisation and self-discipline to get things done.
And the best?
Being your own boss, able to work in comfortable surroundings, amongst people and things that continually inspire and motivate you to work. Being able to devote yourself to create unique and interesting characters and situations is a big plus.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I'm doing animation for a music video for Melbourne rock band Hail Hemi, and I'm also working on a bi-weekly web comic "The Adventures of White Wolf!", which is a tribute to the comic strips of the 40s and 50s that I've mentioned above, as well as a thoughtful analysis on living with mental illness. I also plan to make a new animated 2D film in the next couple of months.
Where can we see more of your work?
You can check out my art, animations and everything else at my website: http://www.frankcandiloro.com . You can also see The Adventures of White Wolf every two weeks at this address: