Monday, January 31, 2011

We're moving!

Hi there!
Now, it's official! I won't have much free time for the next month or two: we're moving! And like every time, it's a last minute's call; it seems I enjoy strong turns! =P

When my spouse asked me, in January, if it was alright to organize the move for March, I said "Yes", telling myself that we would have 2-3 months... Small detail, we were at the END of January, and it's for March 1st; that's only 1 month!!! Ho-la-la!

We are going back close to where I grew up, meaning on the south shore of Montreal.


A nice project, really, but nothing to do with illustration or writing this time! I'll take the time to get myself installed there, to find a daycare for my daughter, then I'll go back to work. I'm really happy of all those changes; it'll be good for me, I think. Each time I did this kind of move, things stepped forward for the best for me, so I'm optimist! =D


See you soon!

Friday, January 21, 2011

One egg in each basket

As promised, I'm back with more "adventures" =P

Because I don't think I'll make a fortune with what-so-ever (well, one can always dream, but still, not too much illusions and false-hope, you know!!) ;o)  so here's the new match plan: "One egg in each basket". Allow me to explain:

1) Recapitulation
I quit my job in July 2010, to get myself updated with 3D software... and maybe also a few in 2D  (example: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Flash or Corel Painter). Which I did, using Digital-Tutors for the online tutorials and going at the NAD Center in December 2010, to receive a formation (in class) for Autodesk Softimage and Autodesk Mudbox.

In order to get a job in the computer graphic field afterward, I also need to do a portfolio, which is essential to every artists. I need to redo mine, because I haven't done any art or computer graphics for so long, that all what I have to show is very old... nothing new... and I'm rusty...

After what, holidays came and I took a Christmas break (I didn't really have a choice, since my daughter babysitter gave birth, followed with one month maternity leave).

2) The birth of an idea
When I was at the Softimage formation, I have met the other student in the class (we were only two and I didn't know him before the beginning of the formation). A very nice young man! During a lunch time, we were talking about what we are doing in life in 3D. He is working on architectural visualization, as for me, I tell about (with more details) what I've just recap'ed at the first paragraph.

He came back to me later... I think it was during the way back home, in the train (we were going in the same direction). He told me he thought of something I could do. He started by introducing that often in architectural visualization, some 3D models are missing to complete a scene... trees, a character walking his dog, some cars parked there, etc. and because of the deadlines, most of the time, they are going on website that sells those kinds of 3D models. So he suggested that while I was working on my portfolio, I could put some models for sell on those sites and maybe -- maybe -- I could do a little money, while I'm still home with no incomes.

Excellent idea!

3) To sow an idea
Christmas Day arrives. With my family, I'm at my father's place and I hand around a photo album where I put together my best shots taken during last summer vacation in France. My godmother, flipping the pages one by one, exclaims: "She takes so nice pictures, that child!" (and then follows a little friendly argue with her husband: "Yes, but she has a great camera!" -- "Yes, but even with a good camera, you must have talent! Me, I would not know what to do with such a camera!", etc..)

My dear loved one takes note... Back at home, he goes on the internet and start a search (like often). He's a geek (my loved geek ^_^ ), nothing special for me... But he comes back saying that he found something for me... He questioned what we call "stock photo" ... On my DeviantArt account (which I use as a portfolio online), I saw some photographers offering "stock photo" (for example), but they do it for free... so I never really looked into it... except perhaps for myself to find some photo references... still!

And yet, as my spouse informed himself (as he does all the time ... since we don't have "TV" (we have a TV, but you do not get TV channels ... we listen movies on DVD / Blu-ray or we play video games), one of my spouse hobby is surfing the Internet and read about topics of his interest), he discovered that no, in fact, one can make money with the "stock photo" (see article). And he said: "You could put your pictures on a site like those proposed in this article and maybe -- maybe -- make a bit of money out of it.

Over and through all that, I then received my little annual check (I forget about it every time! and which therefore comes as a surprise) from my copyrights! I don't even know if that's for my writing or artwork (or both?) (but I think this is for my illustrations) in "Brins d'Éternité" magazines (French link only)  (I illustrated the #13 and #14 at the time the printing of the cover was in black and white, and I wrote a short story in 2 parts in issue #16 and #17 (not yet translated in English)...).

4) The sprout of ideas
You know, there's two things I need to tell you at this point:

A) At 16, I remember a school friend was complaining about the "career choice class" by saying: "I'm 16! How can I have the slightest idea of what I want to do for the rest of my days... at 16?? " I didn't answer, but at that point of my life, for me, it was CERTAIN that I would be graduate to be a writer. It was CLEAR in my head, and for so long, that it was what I wanted to do in life ...

But then, there has been muddles... I went in Fine Arts and 3D Computer Graphics... People have always suggested to mix the two arts (storytelling and visual art) and yes, it would be interesting to do (but so much work for one person !!!). And then, finally, years after my 16, I realize that the hardest part, for me, is not "what I want to do"... but rather to sort and choose among my passions!

Because I have been drawing since I can hold a pencil, I paint since I'm 8 years old, I write "in order to publish" since the age of 9, I started photography at 11 years (more seriously at about 19 years), I started photoshop around 17-19 and 3D graphics at 17. I have now 32. Err... 33 next week! =P

I would like not to have to choose between these arts that I love so much! I would like, however, be able to merge all these bands of myself, graphic arts, regardless of the technique, traditional drawing / painting, 2D / 3D computer graphics and mixed with "photomanipulation"... Finally (and this was one of my major thoughts of the holidays), my goal... what I WANT TO DO IN LIFE... is to tell stories and create beautiful images, create images that tell stories, stories that describe images, what I want is to convey the emotions, vision, concept, visual art and storytelling... The rest, the choice of software, choice of technique, medium, canvas... they are really banal details! I do not want to have to choose, ultimately, if I want to work in 3D, 2D, film or video games... it would be like... all that would be far from myself... (Though I'd be open to the idea of making a film or even, perhaps, a video game based on my ideas... if I can mix all my medium!) ;o)

B) Being at home with my daughter like that, since the fall (because she was often sick during this season of colds and the easy exchange of germs in daycare), and achieve personal project, I started to really like the idea to stay home and work as a freelance artist.

5) One egg in each basket
Which brings me back at the idea of the opening...
What if I was to decide not to choose? What if I would decide to choose (and embrace) all of those choices?

What if I would do a little of everything?

If I was writing, and (hopefully) published few titles, if I would achieve some fantasy and science-fiction book and magazines covers, if I could sell posters of those illustrations, if I could sell few 3D models, few "stock photo" and since I already opened an account, I see I could also do some "stock illustration" too (we agree that at those prices, we're talking about simple images, easy to do and to use!) ;o) and who knows, why not try to paint again and go for a selling gallery!?

One egg in each basket!

This is many projects, I know. They certainly would not all work, I know. But, may the best win! The chase for golden eggs, but... the hen is me! ^_^  And I would work from home and could take days off when my daughter is sick to have some time with her, build my own schedule (except when the publisher's deadline would come, I'm not that silly!) ;o) etc. etc. yes, the girl is "just a bit" away from Earth, the head in a "dreaming bubble", and she knows it, but there it is! =)

The idea is, mostly, that I don't think I'll make a fortune with any of all this, but if I could at least have a decent salary, with a bit of everything at the menu, why not?

So, starting when?
Well, not now... I still didn't solved that daycare thingy...  =(
To be continued! ^_^

Monday, January 17, 2011

Back from 2010 holidays

Hello everyone!
Following the classes I've got in December, so few things moved on the side of the 3D (to be more precise, nothing has been done; I only worked on ideas in my mind). The babysitter at the daycare gave birth right before the holidays and the service is closed for a month... (for many little reasons that become disturbing because there's too many, I took the decision not to use her service anymore... but that's another story!)

Briefly, after my classes (since December 18th), I'm home with my daughter, to share almost all my time with her (she is now 2 years and 3 months old). Of course, during the holidays, her dad had two weeks of vacations, which was even greater to be all three together, to see the family, friends, to go play outside in the snow, and all the rest!

You'll agree that I didn't have much time to do 3D since December 18th up to now. I didn't write my book either. I easily made peace with that. Anyway, at the moment, I'm not really in the mood of writing. On the other hand, I took a decision for the long fantasy series (an idea that came to me few months ago and I was hesitating to integrate it to the series. I decided to add it... which will extend a lot the preparation work for this story!), and which will make this series even more... monumental!

During the holidays, I felt the emergency to buy myself a hard cover book with blank drawing sheets inside and I've started to use it half like a journal (which helps me get over the "blank page syndrome" (...ok, bad translation here... hum... I mean a kind of "writer's block" for drawing/painting artists)... by scribbling some words, the page is no longer blank and it encourage me to draw) and half pocket book for drawings "research and experimentation".

In overall, I'm trying, through this drawing book, to do the syntheses of my taste, my style, the techniques I like to use, eventually the color pallets I'd like to work with. So, I sorted my old drawings, my old school works (when I was studying Art), sketch books and others... I revise them, I look to the shapes that come back over again, I'm looking for "what makes this my style", what I enjoy drawing, which subject I like... through the sketches and drawing that I'm transferring into my drawing book, I write notes and philosophy on Art, on those shapes I use or the theme I'm choosing. (ex: the circle or the spiral, two shapes that I particularly like... I would write "what are they signify to me, what do I see through those symbols, why do I like to use them...)

I'll eventually sketch again my old teenage drawings, those I still like, but that I would like to re-do with my adult hand. The idea is that I used to draw or paint a lot at a certain point of my life, and then I was interrupted, let say by life... What I'm trying to do, is to go back at the point I was, try to re-impregnate my own style, then to let it go to what I have become since that time. Back at the time I was drawing/painting a lot, I was in an existential crisis, I was bathing in self-destructive emotions and I saw life very differently. Those days are far behind me now.

Like I wrote that the beginning of this blog (there's almost a year now; you'll find the details in "Drawing or not?" and "Drawing or not? -- 2"), the fact that I've cured myself from this dark period left me not knowing what to express through the drawing and painting. Like mentioned in those old posts, there are other emotions to express through Art... but since I'm still talking about this a year later, with little things done in this way, it is clear to me that this is not so simple. It's a bit like relearn to draw (or should I say, relearn to know myself through a pencil or a brush). So there is the main goal of this pocket book and my "research and experimentation".

I'll give some news soon, because... I still have so many things to say still!!! ^_^
Many projects (and so little time for myself to achieve them, but it's not that bad, because right now, I having such a beautiful moments with my daughter! I take this opportunity while it last!)

See you soon!