Interview with
    Antony Squizzato

    by Wishbone (October 1999)

Antony's Eye

    Hello Antony, let's start with a description of yourself and your current situation.

    Antony Squizzato, 24, I live in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
    I run a design studio called Periscope. The company was built in March 1999 and is mainly designing new media projects and advertising & print graphics. We have merged with a local communication agency and from time to time we are working with external freelance people.

    Is it a profitable business?

    Well, I think it is a rather good start with Periscope... we are having a lot of contacts in many places are starting to release our first serious big projects... we are trying to improve the organization system of the company, and having some commercial targets (new media and advertising is a rather wide world) You can still visit our website to check our latest onlined sites.
    Here is for ex. some latest released works from us :
    *Print campaign for a museum.
    *Institutionnal sites with up to 500 pages, java search engines, database processing.
    *Flashed sites, flash animation movies, online shocked and java games, featuring original music.
    *the Y2k periscope T-shirts.
    *Sunflower website :)

    Bad thing is we have a lot of pressure from clients that ask us everything they have in mind without any knowledge of what is possible, and also very BORING html when it comes to decline the same art direction over more than 250 pages...

    Tell us your "love story" with computers.

    Started with an old Alice TRS-80 4kb mem. machine, then Atari machines, then Amigas + PCs. Quite long time ago... just because i was curious and friends around me where showing me exciting moving pixels on their screens, which was impressive for a 10 years kid. You know, when you are a kid, you always want more attractive shoes and games than guy from next house.

    How and when did you become involved in the scene?

    Building several crews on ST, and also being involved in the cracking & hacking scene because of bbs and modems. Having to dig holes in my garden not the police to steal my cracked Amiga games. Then visiting the classical french parties, illegal ones moving to more legality... ages of cyclone party, iris, first attempts of TP... exciting scandinavian scenes... etc...

    How did you join Dreamdealers and Pulse?

    I joined Drd in 89 or 90. It was the beginning of the group and well, they needed a graphician.

    I founded Pulse with Lca & Shad so I did not join the group... i found the name "pulse" during holidays in spain (1994)... then Wojtek and the mad polish Monks quickly joined us... at first the french section was a bit more experimented than the polish section (I think Wojtek would agree with that)... but with time, the polish started to produce very high quality works, with people like Lazur, Camel, Technomancer, Scorpik, Falcon... and the hyperactive Wojtek P. alias Unreal. French people started to be less and less active (Niko stopped scening, Lca moved to the US,...). Today, I don't know if any new demos from Pulse will be produced..

    Mad Cow Killer How did you become a graphician?

    Some people asked me to paint logos for crack intros, charsets, etc... it was competitive and exciting, more technical than creative, but with a good atmosphere at the early years.

    Are you still in touch with the Demoscene?

    Not really. I'm not that active (i don't get involved into big demo projects these days) but i'm still curious to see what is released, and people in groups like Tpolm are cool. I'm keeping the contact with my old demo friends to hear what they are becoming in their life.

    So, you would be ready to get involved into big demo project?

    Well, i guess not, but sometimes i draw a few pictures for some friends doing demos in various groups (such as tpolm, pulse, sunflower,...)

    What are your favourite demos/intros from the present scene?

    I like demos from tpolm, halcyon, sunflower, purple. I also enjoy good old demos like orange.

    Which software do you use for drawing?

    Aura, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Fontographer, Lightwave and 3dsmax mainly.

    How long does it take to draw a good picture for you?

    Not that much. I don't like working ages on a picture, since i have no time for that and since i think only ideas and style matter.

    When drawing, do you have a perfect vision in your mind or do you let your image evolve in whatever direction you may feel like it?

    I'm first sketching it anywhere, then drawing it back on a screen (at this stage it still can change) then finally going to color work. It's classical technique but surely most efficient one. Sometimes it is good to change your whole picture concept. It's like in life, you will never know what you will exactly be in the coming days, except if you have a very boring one... people that don't evolve or see their errors do not really interest me. Doubting is good.

    Please describe in steps how do you create an image.

    As told a bit before : 1.sketching, 2. inking, 3. color work.

    What are the most important aspects of making a great image (colors, composition, atmosphere, other aspects)?

    I first enjoy people who have style, from which you can say 'it's from...' because it shows their personality and sensitive side. I enjoy colors a lot. Good color work makes the difference. I enjoy people that can combine techniques and supports. Most of my favourite artists are people designing illustration for kids, some in the advertising, or painters like Paul Klee or Pablo Picasso.

    Cyber Elephant

    You have your own style too!
    Contrarily to lots of graphicians, it seems you never deal with pictures of Naked Babes, monsters,...

    Well, I did that too, some years ago, naked chicks, some Lovecraft and Giger dragons, Boris stuff, and started to enjoy copying people like Rodney Matthews or even Dali.
    Today, I'm not redrawing anymore, but i'm trying to use the tools that could fit any project. It's good to redraw to learn techniques... but not for a living... it enables to understand lights, pixel ditherings and optimization, how to produce effects...

    Well, i never see them... maybe i wasn't born at this period :)
    Btw, painters and illustrations for kids influenced a lot your work, but do you get the inspiration from other things?

    Yes. Everything. I have an obsession of discovering new stuff, new artists,... I like to read, to listen, to watch, to feel...

    Who are your favourite graphicians?

    On the scene :
    Ra, Niko, tmb designs, the guys from sonik clique (Amiga), Fletch, the melon graphicians, my dearest Haplo, well, also today's people like the tpolm ones or Visualize.

    Not on the scene :
    People in the design scene like Niko Stumpo, guys from pet-alien, futurefarmers, me company, Matt Owens, t26, well, the roots...

    What do you find the most difficult to draw?

    It's not difficult to draw when you feel inside what you are doing. A musician won't say "it's difficult to play this sequence" even if it is a very complex one... because he would feel pleasure with it. The most difficult to draw is when people want you to make stuff that does not fit your mind.

    Attaks Do you use any special techniques? Please describe which drawing tools and techniques do you use mostly.

    I use computer techniques like Wacom artpads, scanners, 3D software. I have a special dithering technique with little twirls under Aura, using ink, which i would not have time enough to use these days... because it would not fit corporate or dpi-greedy print works. I enjoy a lot acrylic painting, watercolor, montages...

    Which of your own images do you consider as the best one and which was the most difficult to draw?

    I don't know. Lately I produced some vector designs I am rather proud of...
    I also enjoy developping my twisty-ditherting style with pixels, I also enjoy some of my latest 3D works like the ones for "les pastilles du bassin de vichy" which are present on the web + postcards.

    You make 3D too.

    I use lightwave and max. I like modeling with lightwave.
    I produced many pictures and a few animation works like my short movie "we know who shot kennedy" produced with my old k6 200. Today I have 3 pcs and one imac... and can move from max to lightwave or amapi to bryce... it's good to change and to mix stuff.

    What does the scene mean to you, and which aspects do you like/dislike about it?

    Scene was a good way of learning how to work fast and among talented people. It gave me a good network of friends that share some common interests (passion of building non-material animations, ideas to explore machines and techniques up to their limits,...)

    I like the idea the have a common culture and sometimes meeting people that could match with that.

    What I dislike is what a lot of sceners are not really able to be active people in the real world... and only being able to be 'themselves' behind a screen... also some sceners do not want to discover others worlds than computers and get narrow minded and frustated because of that. They could become technical specialists and forget their imagination... it's a shame to watch all the same 3D renders with "my room", "my desk", or a tie fighter.

    The scene changed a lot during the last two years... it's not false to say that we lost the old spirit, with ideas of respect, competition, excitation... etc...

    And here, we have a few question from GFXZ visitors.

    Partikle/Astral asks :

    - Can you draw/paint for real on real paper?

    Well, yes. I did some story boarding and stuff for advertising campaigns on paper last year. I also paint a lot of big acrylic canvas which where shown in a few local places (also the walls of periscope). Watch to enclosed pictures to see some of my paintings. I try to always have some notepad + paperpen with me

    - Are your real life painting techniques any similar to your computer painting techniques?

    Not at all. Sensation of building someting alive are a bit the same but the sense of touching raw materials is different. Both are exciting.

    And Sunday asks :

    - Why do you prefer(if you do) using the computer to paint with and not "normal" techniques?

    cf: above. I also mixed some paper and computer works... like in the picture at > flower... the 3D ground was painted with inks + photo montage.

    This is the end, would you like to say Hello to anyone?

    Hi to all guys in tpolm, sunflower, pulse, dreamdealers, melon dezign.

    Any final words?

    Well, I am building a gallery featuring special works on my artworks have to be released according to pre-given constraints (colors, size)... and would preferably include flash. It will feature various people like art directors, illustrators, sculptors... etc... project should be on air in december/january.
    You can get in touch at if you feel interested.

    Enjoy the given photos of the periscope office !


    Thank you for your time and best plans for Periscope!

    Contact Antony Squizzato

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