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Interview: Erica Hodne

Erica Hodne

Clean up Artist

CDQ 10 contributor and Clean up artist Erica Hodne talks about her strange, dream-like art, her influences and her feelings on using social media as an artist…

Erica's Website

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Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?

Erica

My name is Erica; I am a twenty five year old girl from Norway. I work in the animation industry and I have been working and studying in England for the past four years. I recently relocated to Oslo, Norway; where I will be working on an exciting new project.

2d illustration girl in ocean

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What would you say your principal influences have been?

Erica

Ever since I was a child I’ve loved animated movies; and, as with most of us, Disney and Dreamworks had a huge part in that. I think I always kind of knew that I wanted to work with drawing and animation in some way or another, but the exact moment that really changed my view on animation, and how I could make it a career, was when I watched The Pixar Story documentary sometime back in 2008. I don’t think I have seen it since then so I can’t really recommend it, but it inspired me a lot back then.

I can also remember the impact Spirited Away had on me the first time I watched that as child, I don’t think I have ever seen, or will ever see anything as magical as that film. Ever since then Studio Ghibli has had a special place in my heart as well, and I would say that they are my most prominent influences to date.

illustration horror supernatural girl

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Tell us about your work, what kind of things do you make, and how do you make it?

Erica

When I talk about my career to others I guess I define myself as an animator, but I do a lot more. Right now in the job I am starting I will have the title of Clean up artist on a feature film, which is very exciting to me because I have never done anything like it.

In my spare time I enjoy illustrating, or just drawing I guess, also I like to direct my own short films and tell stories. When I work on a short film my favorite program to use is TV paint. I feel like I have a lot of freedom there, it is almost like traditional, only digital; and very straight forward.

I feel like every person has their own way of going about making a film. I do the planning in storyboards and word maps, while others might write a script; personally, I like to visualize things before I write it down. My goal is to make things that I feel can mean something, or that have a message, or that can make someone feel something.

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Which piece of work are you most proud of? Why?

Erica

That is a tough question, but I have one illustration come to mind. It is an illustration of a group of animal-humanoid hybrids standing around a human baby. I called it “Shall we eat it?” It was inspired from a dream I had many years ago, where some monsters stole my baby sister, and when I found them and asked them not to make spaghetti out of her, they said that they needed to eat as well. I guess I just found it interesting, and I am kind of happy of how it turned out.

storyboarding sketch lineart

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Where do you draw your creative energy from?

Erica

I draw a lot of my creative energy from nature, it might sound cliché, but there is something very inspiring to take a walk in the forest and by the sea.  Great movies and books, and plays also give me a lot of energy to create. I guess if I see something that I find very beautiful or creative I want to make something as good for myself.

illustration baby surrounded by animals

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How important is social media to your working life? Do you think it’s an essential tool for artists today?

Erica

Social media isn't a huge part of my working life right now, but I am not very good at it either, I think I upload and update way too rarely. I would love for it to have a bigger part of my working life, and I absolutely think it is important, if I hadn't had a social media presence I wouldn't be doing this interview, so it definitely is a great place to share your work and your message.

2d asian Daruma doll inspired

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What can we expect to see from you next?

Erica

As I mentioned earlier I will be working for a company on a feature film, I am not sure if I am allowed to talk about it on here, but if you are curious I will definitely post about it on my social media when that time comes. Outside of that I am working on a short film about the state of the Earth and humanity right now. It is still in its early stages, but I hope to finish it as soon as possible.

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