JW: How did you get into illustration and animation?
SEBALDO: I always made stuff as a kid and then studied graphics and advertising at uni. After finishing uni I’d have all these ideas for film and animations, but I didn’t have a job that allowed me to make them at the time. So I started just creating them in my room first by drawing sketches and then making them. I taught myself animation and used whatever I could afford; paper, expanding foam etc. So the two ran alongside each other at the same time.
JW: You’re originally from Yorkshire – did you study in London?
SEBALDO: I studied at Bucks in High Wycombe and then moved to London because people said I had to, and that I should, so I did. I started working for a film production company, creating films with them, but it was hard to stay there and make rent. I retreated to Yorkshire, and that’s when I actually started doing loads of animations, just in my parents’ garage.
When you stress about work and money, your artwork suffers, then you get stressed about your art. It’s about trying to link the art stuff with making a bit of money – I think I’m getting there slowly this time – that’s the perfect life.
JW: You’re back in London now and you’ve had this studio for a year, is that right?
SEBALDO: Yes, there are a few illustrators in here – I met Jack and Damien through my friend Toby, who’s also an illustrator, then everyone else I met in here. Kelly sits in here and designs pinhole cameras to sell, and there’s also chair designer too. There’s always stuff going on.
JW: Do you have lots of creative discussions here or is it not that sort of studio?
SEBALDO: We do chat a lot, I suppose it’s quite nice to have different people all working together, it’s a nice break from what you’re working on. When I talk to Giles about his chairs, it’s like ‘Oh I didn’t even know that existed!’, it’s good to see through those doors into other people’s worlds.
…a lot of stuff comes from the sketchbook, it’s like your brain being sick…
JW: Tell us about your Mussel Control project?
SEBALDO: Once upon a time I saw a jar with a mussel floating in it, preserved in there and to be honest I got a bit obsessed with it. I made him because I wanted to make the shape… then I had an idea about space mussels coming down to earth so I just started drawing the stills of the film I wanted to create. I imagined that the rocks they sit on were actually roll neck jumpers and then he developed into an army of French mussels.
JW: What else influences your work?
SEBALDO: I love music. Nick Cave essentially. I think music puts you into a different world, I’m also thinking of new stuff to make when I’m listening to it. When I was younger I really liked Michel Gondry’s films, the surreal aspect comes from that I guess. Otherwise, I go to Instagram. There are so many interesting artists sharing their work on there. I love gifs and the little memes people make. There are so many weirdos, I’m probably one of them, making stuff that before Instagram nobody saw. No one would have ever known.