Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Interview with Camille André

Camille André is a 23 year old student at Gobelins l'Ecole de l'Image, in Paris. She was in DMA Cinéma d'Animation at l'ESAAT in Roubaix from 2009 to 2011. She works for the animation industry and also does freelance illustrations.

Stickazine: What made you want to study at Les Gobelins?
CA: My dream is to direct my feature film project (that I started during the DMA Cinéma d'Animation) and I know how important the image and animation quality are. I was sure Gobelins was the best school to learn 2D animation in France.

Stickazine: What drives you to wake up every day and create art?
CA: Definitely working on a project, developing the story… If I don't have a story in my mind, it's very hard for me to draw, because it's as if I don't have a goal. The problem is that I can leave an idea and get bored very quickly (because I found another idea that motivates me more)

Stickazine: When did you first begin illustrating professionally?
CA: My very first commission for an illustration was from Ankama Roubaix for their card game WAKFU. It was in 2009.
I was approached by a publishing house in 2010. Now, I still work for them and I am working on a comic book project with a writer.

Stickazine: How do your personal experiences influence your work?
CA: I am more comfortable telling stories about a child who meets a strange creature. Usually this child has just one parent. The mother or the father are missing. I think this is in relation to my personal experience. Otherwise, I love nature. When I was a child, I lived in the countryside and my house was next to a forest. I hated walking when I was young, except when I went to the forest. I hoped to meet animals. I loved trees (oaks are the best), dead leaves…  I never really like sunny days. I preferred the night or rainy days. If there is a storm and thunder, that is the best show I can see. I love seeing nature in movement (sunny days are boring haha). I love representing this movement and the strength of nature in some of my illustrations.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

SVG: Combining technologies for the purpose of art

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) is a vector image format which Adobe developed a long time ago for Illustrator. It then became a W3C Recommendation in 2001 as a markup language. It enables a lot of flexibility and ease of use for animations and shapes on the web without the need of plugins (I love repeating that).

The only drawback is all the implementation debates it leads to. Plus, the quality of rendering varies a bit on different browsers. Presently, Google Chrome and Opera are the best SVG renderers and implementers. But, unlike WebGL, SVG is not dependant of HTML5 canvas. It has its own width and height attributes in the namespace declaration. It means you can make a web application in .svg with JavaScript and HTML in the same file. See as an example.

As far as webdesigning goes, it can perfectly replace a CSS layout or at least you can use much less of it. Here is a photographer's site where I typed only nine lines of CSS.

You can draw your favourite program and export for the web easily. It is more practical when you want to do something complex. For relatively simple shapes, you can directly type in your text editor as there are some primitives built in just for you. The advantage of the last method is that it's easier to manipulate them for animation.

Here are some useful links: 

Demos of all sorts: 

Vector drawings with Inkscape:

One of the most famous Illustrator-like, but it's free:

An excellent book for starting with SVG. Easy and good didactive approach.

by Federico Strazzullo -

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Le Métro Parisien

"Le métro parisien" (Paris subway) is a painting made of acrylic on canvas of 100x100cm.

The idea came a long time ago before making this painting. I was coming back to Paris in the R.E.R. I was waiting at the station for my train and was contemplating the Paris stations' map. There came the impression by itself that it looked like a spider net.

Why do we sometimes call the internet "the net"? Because obviously, it is a network of interconnected wires. So we are all like spiders making our connections, symbolically.

I have seen in the RATP design a way to swerve from its proper reality. The dominance of interconnected lines represent the subway lines associated to the spider net: all of us nested like insects and finding in others some behaviour patterns like the ones listening to music, groups talking, newspapers and book readers, etc.

The hexagon represents the city of Paris. Here I have chosen a yellow kind of similar to the maps, so as the schematic form. Inside the hexagon, the red tone symbolizes dirtiness, concept enhanced by the glued tickets that we can find on the ground.

I used a cloth to spread the red and most of the times, a ruler to trace the lines.

In the end, the green colour that surrounds the city represents the presence of more nature and calm, which is in contrast with the subway ambiance. The green instead is plain and translates the sensation of emptiness, also in contrast with the rest.

by Federico Strazzullo.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

When Things Go Wrong, Know to Put Off the Inevitable

Being a young artist is a long road towards fulfillment with lots of pitfalls. This article deals with refilling your energy. Autumn can tend to have an effect of depression on many of us because the days get shorter and shorter. It can lead to disagreements with the persons we love, and it's never easy to cope with.

Maybe you are a regular worker whose job puts you under a lot of pressure and you simply need to have a necessary break. Maybe you are a famous artist who is sick of running around to develop yourself. For both kinds, remember to cool down to avoid the Breakdown. There are so many solutions to refilling energy, like listening to your favorite music, going for a weekend to your favorite place (mountains, beach, country, etc), getting busy at home and escaping from the world... Etc. It's also a period where the end of the year approaches so it's good to gather with your family and best friends who warm you up and to maybe begin organizing some plans for Christmas. If you still have your parents close to you, sharing your apartment, and they always give you advice on what and not what to do and it gets on your nerves, make them understand that you need to be quiet and relaxed and that you need your own space.

Everything in life has its own cycles. Flowers burgeon during Spring and wither during Autumn. During Autumn, the snow covers the mountains, the cold wind of our coasts blows. Nature dies in a way and springs up again, and so are we. We don't have to fight against that when some of these cases occur, it would be like impeding our own human nature. When we are tired of everything, we have to put off the inevitable.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Art for Beginners and Despaired Ones: Relationships Are Key

Ayako Rokkau, Colours in my Hand (Delaive Gallery, Amsterdam) Art Cologne - April 12, 2011

  For young artists who don’t have much experience in the field, I would recommend getting to know some more experienced people. First, rely on teachers at school or associations. The best thing for sure are art schools where you usually have two categories: private schools and public ones. In private ones, you can start your training from scratch, even if you're not so skilled. If you have advanced skills, you can jump the first years. Otherwise, take part in a contest to enter a public school. But, as it is financed by the State, the level is high even for entering the first year. The advantage is that they cost much less in Europe.