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Sean Charmatz is featured as artist and speaker at this years Pictoplasma Berlin. He has worked in the animation industry since 2005 and has most notably served as a writer and director on ‘Spongebob Squarepants,’ in addition to designing, storyboarding, and developing shows for Disney and Dreamworks. In his spare time, Charmatz produces what he calls ‘explorations’ for his social media accounts. These experimental images and animations combine his talent for design and storytelling with found objects observed in everyday life – and have proven to be highly viral! We had the chance to get a short Q+A before he talks more elaborated facts at the Pictoplasma Berlin festival.

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How did you get attracted to character design in the first place... was it a love for comics or cartoons or to breathe life into flat/3D figures?
I love the magic of bringing life to drawings. It is so fun to take nothing (blank piece of paper) and turn it into something that has feelings and moves.

What was your favorite animated character or series when you grew up?
I loved Garfield, Farside comics, Beavis and Butthead, Calvin and Hobbes, and Ren and Stimpy when I was young and drawing a lot.

Are your characters allowed to live their own life or do you rather like to control their outcome? Are they allowed to be turned into a product or to promote a product? 
I'm open to any possibility if it feels right. Selling products with design and character is a cool challenge that I am excited to do more of. 

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Just recently it was examined that giving names and character to things and beings is an elaborated form of intelligence. Would you say that you have an affinity to Japanese Shintoism, you know, implying that everything has soul?
I can't explain why I make the things I do. I just make things that make me happy and I wish existed.

How do you feel about analog and CGI , what is more fun for you? Is there still a strict line to draw between the outcome of these two art forms or are they casually connected in your creative universe by now? 
I like all forms of character content. I am open to both of these and any new approaches that come along. There are exciting possibilities with every style and genre. I never want to limit myself or put myself in a box.

How do you think characters will develop? At the moment we see the trend that they get more and more abstract and androgynous... 
I think characters will continue to stretch in all directions, both dipping into the past and leaping into the more abstract and unknown.

Have you ever been approached by robotmakers to create a character? 
Nope. Never.

What are the cards holding for the rest of the year for you? 
Working in TV and feature animation professionally and continuing to make my own work outside of the corporate entertainment world. I also look forward to continuing to evolve as an artist and venturing into new places creatively.

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