Paolo Giandoso : An Interview

Paolo has a beautiful painterly quality to his work. Over the years he has worked on some of the biggest and most iconic movies of the day. He still seems to have time to work on creative endeavors such as his Genesis 19:26 piece. 

You can check out more of his work HERE


1. Who are you and what do you do? 

My name is Paolo Giandoso.  Since 2012 I have been working as a concept artist for the VFX industry, which gave me the chance to participate in the productions of films like Pacific Rim 2: Maelstrom, Wonder Woman, Independence Day 2, Ant-Man and Avengers Age of Ultron. 

In my pictures I love to mix 2D digital techniques with the outputs of 3D programs.

2. What inspired the Genesis 19:26piece? 

 In the Bible, Lot's wife is a figure first mentioned in Genesis 19. Her name is not given, but in some Jewish traditions she is called Edith. In the tale, two angels arrived in the city of Sodom at eventide, and were invited to spend the night at Lot's home. As dawn was breaking, the angels urged him to get his family and flee, so as to avoid being caught in the impending disaster for the iniquity of the city. The command was given, "Flee for your life! Do not look behind you, nor stop anywhere in the Plain; flee to the hills, lest you be swept away."

           While Lot's family was escaping on the plain, disobeying the angels' warning, Lot's wife turned back. The sight of God, who was descending down to rain destruction upon Sodom and Gomorrah, turned her into a pillar of salt.         

I wanted to make a sculpture of this tale for a long time. It always seemed to me enchanting and at the same time horrifying and I love concepts that express contrasting and strong emotions. 

Luckily for me I had some time off in between jobs to spend at the Open Workshop in Viborg and I could finally sit down and take the image out of my head. 

At the beginning I was thinking about rendering some stills, but then the project evolved in a full animated turnaround.

3. Where do you find your inspiration for your ideas? 

When I was little I absorbed from my father a deep passion for classical mythology, Dante's Commedia, theater and Opera, and as most kids in Italy in the 80's, I went to Sunday School and studied Christian legends. I found out that there is a endless stream of powerful visual ideas that you can gather from these sources and that are not often the subject of concept art today. 

4. What's your favorite places to illustrate? 

I am in the process of creating my home office here in London. So far though, my favourite creative hub is in Viborg Denmark, at the Open Workshop, a free project development centre linked to my university. I just love how cozy and artist friendly that place is. My latest personal piece Genesis 19:26 and other of my works were done there.

5. What got you interested in drawing/digital painting? 

 I have been drawing since I was very little and I have always enjoyed that. I also loved reading comics and I felt that I wanted to draw my own stories and characters.  

But back in 1999, when I was 13, I saw for the first time on TV the opening cinematic of Final Fantasy VIII. I clearly remember I was shocked by how amazing the visuals and the animations looked and that I thought: What is that? How do I do that? I wanna be part of that". 

This was the beginning of my passion for digital concept art. Even if with time I have shifted my focus from the game industry to the cinema industry, that was definitively what sparked my interest and set me on the path I am on now. 

Fun questions: 

If you could have a super power what would it be? 

I guess healing and restoring people's youth.

If you were stranded on an island what five things would you bring with you? 

Water Supply, Charged Satellite Phone, GPS, Food Supplies, Knife

Are you a mac or pc kind of guy ?

Easy: 100% PC. And I hate Linux even more than Mac.

If you could meet any artist who would you meet? 

Caravaggio, Sergio Toppi, Sargent, Michelangelo, Monet. I'd love to learn from them. 

If art wasn't your career what would've you done? 

I would have continued playing Clarinet after obtaining my conservatory diploma. I really enjoyed playing but I decided to put music aside and focus on the visual arts instead. Painting is my true passion, nevertheless it was a tough decision to do and in an alternative universe I would have probably been a musician (albeit a quite mediocre one).