Home Animation Tips and Tricks Q&A with Artist Mike Mattesi, Creator of FORCE Drawing

Q&A with Artist Mike Mattesi, Creator of FORCE Drawing

We felt inspired chatting with Mike Mattesi of FORCE Drawing, as he shared his journey and his tips for beginning artists. Did you know that drawing skills can be helpful for animators and that anyone can learn to draw?? Read our conversation below to learn more.

Figure sketches by Mike Mattesi
Figure sketches by Mike Mattesi

Animation Mentor: Can you tell us about FORCE Drawing? Where did the concept come from?

Mike Mattesi: My personal love of film, comics and entertainment inspired me to draw excitement and drama! This interest connected me to the teachers I had and the career path that lead to FORCE. FORCE evolved from a combination of many things starting with my mentors—they shaped my thoughts and skills and taught me to see and think about the world around me.

Mike Mattesi FORCE Drawing Books
Mike’s FORCE Drawing Books

Then, my experience in 2D animation at Walt Disney Animation presented me with drawings moving and acting over time. Finally, I taught drawing for about a decade, experimenting with how to approach FORCE drawing. I created a system for it and experimented across many classes until it all worked.

AM: What type of drawing skills would benefit a 3D animator?

MM: I think of drawing as a language, a way of seeing and thinking about the world, and I believe this serves everyone! Specifically for 3D animators, seeing and understanding the abstraction of FORCE is extremely helpful for animating. Drawing FORCES creates an opportunity to understand and plan the actions of characters to generate great performances. It allows you to see these actions in abstract terms instead of getting mired in the details.

Drawing FORCES creates an opportunity to understand and plan the actions of characters to generate great performances. It allows you to see these actions in abstract terms instead of getting mired in the details.

AM: Do you have any tips for building those skills?

MM: Become an observer of life and study it, be curious about it—the physics of the world combined with the drama of human existence. Why do we do the things we do and act the way we do? Discover the answers and use them in your work.

 

AM: What is the most common misconception people have about drawing? How can they overcome it?

MM: Most people think they do not have the talent to draw. Anyone can draw! First try blind drawing: draw while looking at your subject, not the paper, and align your eyes, mind, and hand. Be patient, take your time, and do not worry about the outcome of the drawing but instead the exercise of tying the prior three elements together into one. In time, you will learn to see, then you can look back at the page. The first step is training your mind to accept what you can see with your eyes.

The first step is training your mind to accept what you can see with your eyes.

Mike Mattesi figure drawing
Expressive figures drawn by Mike

AM: What’s your favorite animated movie that you’ve worked on?

MM: I worked on one film, The Lion King, when it comes to films. I also worked on many advertisements, TV show openings, and video games…lots of video games. Not to mention, three of my own businesses and five books. Curious to see what the next ten years hold. 😉

 

To learn more about Mike and FORCE Drawing, visit his website.


Have you heard about our workshops?
 

Designed for artists of all levels, from beginning storyboarders, to intermediate modelers, to advanced animators, our workshops offer new skills for everyone!

To start, check out 2D Animation for Beginners taught by Disney veteran Jay Jackson, or Storyboarding Fundamentals with the talented Mike Kunkel.

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