Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My workshop

After the move, after placing the essential of our belongings, there were still (necessarily) boxes left. My computer was installed, my daughter (re)started to go at a daycare... and I had a rage...

Even if I'm going, among others, to illustrated by computer graphics, I feel like doing "traditional" (drawing/painting) as well. A good friend would say, "Well, c'mon! Do it!" Ok, but ... it takes some space (and I have lots of arts materials and more!)

To date, my home-workshops have always been within another room (in the corner of my bedroom, the living room, my office...) The most important thing to note is that once a project is ongoing, it is possible that multiple sessions of drawing or painting will be required to complete the picture. Cleaning the equipment (to prevent it from being damaged, among other things), takes about 15 minutes at the end of each session.

In the past, after the cleaning, I was letting all sit there until the next session. This is normal. But eventually it became... cumbersome... Remember that it was in my bedroom or living room... or office, whatever, it's a room where I was living "differently" and the way it always looked like a "mess", the workshop sharing room in another room became less and less pleasant.

So, I started to pack my workshop (to avoid the mess)... which required approximately 30 minutes extra at the end of a session, plus another 30 minutes for me to reinstall it, at the next session... plus 15 minutes of cleaning...

It has become ONE (but not only) of the reasons for which the workshop, one day or another, has been fully stored in the locker forever since.

But here, it's been years since I wish to get back to traditional art and recently (since the beginning of preparations for the move, somewhere in late-January), it became an obsession, a burning need, to let the workshop out of the closet!

Where it gets complicated is that our new property has NO extra room. And I do not want to live again with a corner of my house looking like a messy hell workshop and where, potentially, my daughter could play with objects that are not meant for young children! I need a separate room with a door!

By cons... in addition to the locker, we have a mini-room upstairs, which normally serves as a storage (with a door). It is small, 1.50 x 1.90 meters (5 x 6.3 feet ) ... and that's all I could have. There were boxes and stuff piled up in this room when I got the idea...

So I've thought, and thought, and thought. As I was clearing the space, emptying boxes and placing our stuff, I looked, I measured, I thought about it over and over again... "And if I did it like that ...? No, it does not work, it's too tight ... But if I moved there instead, and that ... yes it could work! ...Except that... "

I had to face the obvious: we need space for storing anyway... But I haven't given up! There are solutions to those who seek!

With good planning, measurement, plans and all that stuff, I made a 2-in-1. Many shelves in height, my drawing table tight in between (luckily, it's large!), I did make everything fin into a very small room =)

And today, I worked for the first time in my new workshop. =D

I am now going on an update for drawing (by hand); more about that another time!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Good news!!

 Broken Wings, 2006

A quick message to mention that on  Deviant Art website (a kind of "facebook" for artists, if you like, where I have a page that I use as my portfolio), I had the honor to see my drawing/painting "Broken Wings" accepted into "EliteArtists" group.

The group system is new for me on DeviantArt. Overall, it's me who submitted the request, without being certain that I "would be at the right level" to figure in such a group... but there it is! =)  I am!!

Which gives me more confidence for my project to launch myself as a freelance artist, as an book illustrator painting artist. I'll also give myself time to write.


I'll also add:
I looked for a daycare for my daughter (who'll be 2 years and 5 months this week-end), in order to get back to work (working at home that is). I found a place that... hum... didn't "clicked", I wasn't feeling in trust with the lady... I had to drop it. Furthermore, her group was mostly composed of very young, so the age difference would have been too great with the one of my daughter. She wouldn't have had friends there.

I was disappointed, because it was so close from where we live that I could have go there by foot (which is relatively exceptional in this region, where there's a lot less daycare services than Laval, where we were before we move).
So I start over again my searches... and I found another place, yet again close enough to get there by foot! But this time, it was "love at first sight"! This daycare is way better, the lady makes the kids play outside about everyday (her group has no babies, so she can allow it, especially during winter when it's very cold; it's not really compatible with "not yet walking kids") and visibly, she has more experience in education and with young kids. Simply to visit her daycare, with kids between 2 and 5 years old, there were 3 or 4 who were already interested to play with my daughter.

On the other side, we were three to present ourselves for two offered places and because it's a home daycare, it's not "first come, first served"; she is the one choosing the kids according to the rest of the group. So, I was waiting that she meets all parents and kids to get some news...

I got it today also: we got the place! Another great news!!
I'm not sure yet when we'll start, but I'll certainly be able to get back to work shortly! =)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Boreal Congres 2011 approches!

By this fine afternoon of March (the day after a 50 cm snowstorm)...

 Picture of my new terrace, today

 ...and a moment where my daughter was willing to rest, I was lurking on the web to get to the blog of the young literary director of the fanzine Brins d'éternité, Guillaume Voisine (and publisher of my short story in two parts "La Fontaine d'Onyx" Part I & Part II (in French only, not yet translated) written in 2006-2007), on a post "Aux urnes"...that brought me back to reality: Boreal!

For my non-writers friends, each year is held the Boreal Congress (French link) (Since 1979, Boreal Congress welcomes lovers, connoisseurs and creators of the fantastic, of fantasy and science fiction. On this occasion, the public is invited to meet authors both professional and beginner, as well as publishers and literary editors passionate of fantasy genres.)

I found this conference a few years ago, following a book rejection by a publisher (I was invited in the refusal letter to attend to it), and it has been the trigger for many meeting.
My first Boreal goes bacl to 2005, I think.

I, who studied in 3D computer graphics, I had attended mainly to international high technologies movies and new generation animation conferences, with giant screens everywhere, the most amazing videos at every corner and a pack of rather snobbish people who came from around the globe.

My first impression of Boreal was its simplicity. It's a Quebec literary event, so necessarily, smaller and a lot less sponsored. The second thing that struck me was how the Quebec writers of science fiction, fantasy and fantastic (SFFF) are easy to reach!

Because I was among the new faces and potentially, a beginner of the next generation for the SFFF literature, I was greeted almost like a queen with the others of my group! It was easy to ask questions openly, to be heard and the receive as many detailed answers than people interested to answer!

 It was at my first Boreal that I met Francine Pelletier, who slipped at one point in a panel that she was working at the editorial board of the publisher Alire (where I tried to get published, among others) ... Between two days of conference, I returned home to take my rejection letter, and realize that it was signed by her!

So, right the next day, I went to met her to get a private talk about the weak elements of my book, to understand how to get better in writing in the objective that one day, I get published.

I also met Élisabeth Vonarburg, then the following year (2006 I think), follow my first writing workshop, which was like a springboard for the development of my writing! Boreal 2007, I met in person Jean-Claude Dunyach, I first met through the forum Bragelonne edition, where he was publisher of the science fiction collection for a period of time.

Then, I was studying in herbal medicine in addition to working and being pregnant, then I was breastfeeding my baby daughter, then it was in Quebec city instead of Montreal... Brief, in the few last years, I have lost the thread! It is time to get back to it and I'll go! =D