Lucas Zanotto

Is 3D Animation the Future? A Q&A with Lucas Zanotto 

April 20, 2020 / Daniella Soloway / Design

If you know anything about 3D animation, then you’ve likely come across the work of Lucas Zanotto. Lucas is a truly multidisciplinary artist; he’s a talented designer, animator and director. From starting a company to winning awards (including the Apple Design Award and a Golden Lion in Cannes), he’s amassed a wide following of intrigued fans, including our team over here at Craft & Root. 

Recently, we partnered with Lucas to work on a major website redesign for our client Dore Partnership, an executive search firm. Together with his technical skills and our art direction, we brought Dore’s website to life with 3D animation. 

During the process, we were excited to learn more about his background, future plans and all the people and places in which he finds his inspiration. 

Here’s what we spoke about. 

DS: How did you get started in design and animation? 

LZ: I studied Industrial Design in Milan and then worked in the field for a few years. In my past, I have designed objects like skis, tennis rackets, toasters and chairs. So, I’ve come from a background of building. Along the way, I picked up filmmaking, animation, graphic design and most recently, 3D animation. It’s always been interesting to me to combine arts. 

DS: You’re very busy in so many different avenues. What’s your biggest challenge balancing it all? 

LZ: Time. Besides being bound by budgets, time is the biggest challenge. Everything has to move so quickly, especially with content creation and social media. 

DS: Would you say pressure comes from within or external factors?

LZ: Definitely within. I have an inner pressure to make things – it’s satisfying to me. 

DS: If we could go back in time to ask young Lucas what he wanted to be when he grew up, what would he say? 

LZ: When I was really little, I wanted to be a graphic designer or draw comics. I was also really into music, so I thought about doing that. I’ve always leaned towards creation. 

DS: Who inspires you?

LZ: Oh, that’s a long list. I really like old school designers.

My absolute favorite is an Italian by the name of Bruno Munari. He has a humorous way of looking at his own work; it’s like he’s laughing at himself, in a way. That’s kind of how I approach my work – not so serious nor super deep, just more fun and playful. It’s more about getting a smile. 

I’m also inspired by:

  • Dieter Rahms 
  • Alvar Allto
  • Enzo Mari 
  • Christofer Niemann 
  • Jean Jullien 
  • Michele Gondry 
  • Spike Jonez 

DS: What can we expect to see from you next? 

LZ: There’s always constant change in these types of crafts. I’m trying to move into live art installations. So, I have a recent project in China where I’ve put kinetic eyes on a building, and something in the works at a theme park over there, too. My goal is to continue evolving. 

DS: What’s your definition of success?

I used to think it was about having a job that makes money. Now, it’s about having a job that makes me happy. So, it means finding what makes you happy and doing that. Luckily, I’m very happy doing what I do!

DS: This is a question I’ve pulled from The Tim Ferriss Podcast  – if you had a billboard, what would you want it to say?

LZ: @lucas_zanotto

*He laughs* 

DS: Nice plug! Let me ask it in a different way – what piece of advice do you have to share with the world?

LZ: Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Everything is going to be fine. 

To learn more about Lucas Zanotto, check out his website and follow him @lucas_zanotto – in case you missed the billboard!