Chris: The beautiful thing about this is that this sounds so cheesy but it’s true that the answer is inside you. It’s already there, you know? It’s your unique combination of experiences and tastes, and that’s why I tweet these ambiguous tweets like, “Let your freak flag fly,” because I’m trying to fan that flame of individuality that’s going to hopefully infuse your paintings or drawings or whatever your art happens to be.
Pascal: I think that everybody has had experiences in their lives that are very personal, that everybody can relate to. It’s like the universal personal thing where everybody’s fallen in love, but everybody’s fallen in love in a very different way than anybody else. And that’s the simplest thing, if you can stay true to the feelings you have and bring those out, then you will actually reach someone. To me, it doesn’t matter how you do it, it has to do it in a way that actually gets the point across, and not just the point but the emotions as well. That’s where the technique is important, in order to really refine the technique doesn’t need to be anything else than what you need to get the message across. Sometimes people just learn so much technique, then they have so many tools to say you know one thing, then they oversay it and then you don’t ask them anymore. So it’s like language, if I ask you, “How are you doing, Chris?” and you tell, “I’m doing great!” that’s enough, but if you go on for like a half an hour telling me all the different ways of how great you are….hmm this is a little weird, I’m a little bored now and I just want to get going. Too much technique is too much verbiage basically, and it’s like long sentences when you only need three words to get the point across.
Chris: It’s showing off, it’s a bunch of showing off at that point.
Pascal: That’s exactly what it is. Yeah, you’re doing a monologue.
Chris: Shawna and JC Tenny who actually just posted this week at ChrisOatley.com about her personal project. She would like to know what you think about the dynamics of working in children’s books versus the animation industry. What do you like about both industries and do you freelance in both?
Pascal: I do freelance in both, it’s not a major difference. There are similarities but there are major differences. One major difference I’ve noticed in publishing is the speed. In publishing, I mean I had literally over a year to do this one book which to me I was just shocked because coming from commercials where everything is due like yesterday, where a children’s book is moving like a glacier’s speed, it’s just very slow. And then when you send them something and you expect feedback and it’s not going to come back for a couple weeks, you’re way of working is completely different. The nitty gritty is like the pay is also completely different, and you’re not doing the children’s book for the pay, you’re just doing it for the love of it. As far as (inaudible) expense go, the pay for a children’s book does not compare in any way to anything from animation, or commercials, or any other jobs I’ve ever had. The actual work itself is a little bit different, simply because you have more time to do it, other than that you’re still trying to tell the story or at least for me I’m still telling a story. I’m still using pretty much the same tools, the same means, the more people I get a little bit more (inaudible) to the images than I would do for animation. And since I don’t really care whether it’s animation or publishing, I experiment a lot within the actual images I send for publishing.
Chris: When does that children’s book come out? Do you knowwhen we’ll be able to get our hands on it?
Pascal: It comes out I think, it’s a Christmas book so it’s going to come out probably around the Christmas time.
Chris: Ah right, cool. Do you craft it any differently, you were talking about drawing earlier, or anything like that or does it still look like…would we be able to look at it and go oh, I bet that’s Pascal Campion?
Pascal: When you see it’s like, the images don’t like my own sketches, because when I do the sketches I have a very particular approach to the storytelling and this particular one it’s more like you’re following a source (inaudible) in the story and I had close ups and different shots. My daily sketches tend to have a fall away shot simply because I (inaudible) this is my royal claim to do whatever I want to do. And (inaudible), they’re much like an animation, my way of telling the story is a little bit more personal and a little bit more like tailored to the story and (inaudible) a little bit more dramatic in places. But the style of it is still there, yeah.
Chris: While we’re on the topic of your daily sketches, I’m curious, do you keep a lot of ideas or do you just get a fresh idea every day?
Pascal: I think a fresh idea every day, that’s why sometimes you have like (inaudible) repeat himself quite often and sometimes like you have totally off the wall ideas. And sometimes I’m thinking to myself like oh, I should do it and then when I go to it I just don’t feel like doing this, I do something else or I forget about it. I don’t keep a log, but then again, when I do my daily sketches, the whole idea behind it stay (inaudible) because I don’t always get that chance in work. Work is like you get 20-30% creativity and the rest of it is fixes and re-draws and changing this and changing that. When I do sketches, I just sit down every day and create anew every day. And once it’s done, it’s done. This is nominally liberating exercise, everything goes and then I vote to test out so many different things, like ideas and you know…sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t work but it doesn’t matter because there will be another one tomorrow I’m working on that might not work. And once again, that’s for me, it’s great when people see it and like them and share them and things like this, but it’s just really a way for me to explore, and have fun. I started drawing because I liked it, so I want to keep it like that.
Chris: Have you considered joining up with the Sketch Daily’s Twitter craze that is happening, I’m curious?
Pascal: No, I follow them and I like them. They’re much a daily (inaudible), I follow them and I like them. I’m not participating because I don’t want to compete, my daily sketches are not there for competition because I actually just like doing it. I feel like those group things are great, and I always started with like the best invention in the world and then literally someone is going to be better than another and another. Someone is going to have more love than another and then it’s going to have this like site competition which is…I guess if people can do that, it’s great but it’s definitely more (inaudible) for some people. I don’t function like that, the competition thing just turns me off a little bit because you know, I admire all the people in there, I see all the sketches and I’m like oh my god, that’s great. (inaudible) it was like oh my god, some of those are amazing! They are so cool and I love seeing that. And I just don’t want to have to like compete with that, I just want to be able to enjoy them without having to think to myself oh my god, this guy’s better than me or this guy, I can totally take them. And I don’t have to do that, I just want to be able to enjoy it for this, a fun fun thing.
Chris: Man, that’s awesome. That’s important to just encourage a lot of the listeners to just take pause and let that sink in that you have permission to not compete. That is a paradigm, that is an option.
Pascal: One thing about competition that I have to say and that’s just my take on it but I do think one of the reasons here in the states, because of the competitive spirit we have in the states, it is one of the reasons that artwork tends…all artworks tend to look alike. It’s because we compare ourselves to other artists and we try to do better than them and to do better than them we are trying to get the same standards. And by doing the same standards, we tend to like stop trying to like explore different things. So for instance, such as the comic book superheroes and they all tend to look alike. To some external reader, they are all exactly the same, to the personal artist they are vastly different, one from the other. The reason is because we have the same standards. Well if you want to draw really well, you’re going to base it off this particular (inaudible) or John Burn character or whatever from that era and that’s way true stuff so I’m going to do better than that stuff. As opposed to like if you don’t compete with people you’re a little bit more free to explore things that no one else has explored. So obviously, you can’t compare to someone else, you’re not going to be better or worse than someone else, you’re going to be different. Eventually there’s this bit of sense of like freedom and expression is lost a little bit here in the states, when I look at portfolios I see that a lot. Everyone’s trying to be Nick Maley or everybody’s trying to be like Laurie Boeder or Brittany Lee, and it’s because all of a sudden they feel like they want to be as good as that as opposed to be like the best you can be which the best you can be has nothing to do with what Brittany’s doing or what Nick Maley is doing. (inaudible) How much heart you can put into your drawing, how much of yourself you can bring, how far you can take something and create something. To me, competition is good in some areas, but not in all areas. That’s just my take on it, that’s all.