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.

Stickazine: Have any people in your life affected your art? Are you usually encouraged to create?
CA: I think everybody in my life influenced my art. I was encouraged a lot when I was young. And people continue to encourage me. I think it's great because I am not sure everybody has this chance. A lot of people give up if they aren't supported.

Stickazine: What/who inspires you most? Do you have a mentor or someone you look up to?
CA: If I had to chose one, I think it would be Hayao Miyazaki. Maybe it's because I love the way he represents nature in his movies. But I like the way he insists on some trivial and daily scene… for example in "Kiki’s Delivery Service", or "Spirited Away", or "Howl's Moving Castle" (Lunch time with the eggs and bacon).

Stickazine: Do you feel more freedom when creating outside of a school context?
CA: Yes indeed, but I think it's normal to feel more freedom when you are allowed to do what you want when you want. It's not always the case in school. But, I’m not saying it's bad, because in a certain way, school frustrates me and I think frustration is a good way to stimulate creativity.

Stickazine: At what point do you believe a piece is “finished”?
CA: I think it's finished when I am starting to hesitate if I have to continue or finish here.
I think it depends a lot on what I want to do… Sometimes I have a precise picture in my mind, with a precise sensation, emotion… I stop when I see that what I am drawing matches what I see and feel in my mind. Sometimes I just focus on narration, so I stop when people understand the story.

Stickazine: How do you deal with artblock?
CA: When it happens, I try to do something else. I don't just draw, I like writing and reading, playing video games… Sometimes I go to the library looking for inspiration. I don't think it's good to force your mind to draw, because there are a lot of chances you will not be satisfied with what you do, and then you lose confidence. If you can't today, or tomorrow, it's not bad… Maybe you should do something else. That's what I think.

Stickazine: What goals do you wish to attain in your professional life?
CA: Achieve my dreams, direct my feature film. I wish to live properly from my art.

Stickazine: Looking back, what are some of your favorite pieces of work?
CA: I think I will be more global, but my favorite one is my project "Le Mille Visage", because it's very personal.

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