Chris: Yeah, that’s interesting because your work certainly does not look mechanical and that would have been my suspicion that there’s a definite structure underneath, as far as the way your mind is working and that you’re actually thinking of it in perspective and in a structural way. Do you think of your color and lighting in your composition simultaneously or extract those two things in your process?
Pascal: Yeah, absolutely. I do extract them. Sometimes I’ll sit down and I’ll have a very clear idea of what I’m going to do and sometimes…like one time I was watching football and I was nervous and I started drawing the city, that’s the one you commented on once. And I really just did the structure and the lighting came completely after, and that was one with the lighting, like I created a composition that worked well with a particular lighting and sometimes I had the lighting before I actually had any type of idea of what I wanted to draw meaning that I know I wanted a certain type of lighting or I wanted to try something and I’ll just find an excuse to draw something to support that. Most of the time though, I know I want to tell a story because I have a hard time drawing without wanting to tell a story. But sometimes I don’t, but most of the time it’s that, so I work with many different ways. I have this desire to create, and also the desire to explore and understand things. So this is a mixture of how I approach things, but it’s definitely…there’s some structure to it and there’s also a lot of exploration that are unstructured because sometimes I feel structure just stops me from finding things, so I’ll purposely break my way of working or I’ll literally just throw color all over what I just did and build something out of nothing literally, just to get away from the structure, just to try and don’t get stuck in always the same thing. Because I did that for work already, not that I don’t like work but for work when people hire me, they hire me on something I’ve already done and I can do it. People don’t hire me to be like oh you’re going to do like goth images of 50,000 vampires dying in the desert. It’s like, I’ve never done anything like this or anything remotely like this, the clients are not likely to ask me to do that. But they’ll ask me to do relationships, they’ll ask me to do like something coloring or like that. So I try to explain different things from breaking my structures because I tend to like pretty straight structure is how I approach my work even though it doesn’t look like it.
Chris: Yeah, I just don’t ever move forward with drawing or an idea unless I’ve given my best effort to ruin it. I always try and…okay, if I’m happy with that, then I get suspicious and then I’m like…
Chris: …what am I doing that was predictable, what am I doing that my subconscious isn’t…that I’m just doing out of my subconscious and not out of my actual conscious mind and sometimes it’s like oh yeah, I am fully happy with it and there’s not an undercurrent of laziness or whatever, and then I’ll move forward. But almost always, I just go, how do we destroy this and then I end up often with a similar or the same idea but there’s just more power in it. It’s pushed further and there’s something more interesting in the actual final image.
Pascal: Absolutely. It’s funny because that’s exactly like design, when you get to designing the character that you have like three days to do it, the first like day, like the first hundred drawings you’re going to do are going to be everything that’s like on the top of your subconscious and that’s the same thing with colors. Like the first…and in composition as well…all types of art really, but the first stuff you do is what you have lying there at the top of your subconscious and then once you get this out, then you can start digging into something else. And you’re right, sometimes the first shot is your best shot, but most of the time there’s something there below that you didn’t know was there and you have to dig out.
Chris: Do you thumbnail?
Chris: Yeah, just kind of dive in and wrestle with it.
Pascal: Yeah, I find that one in the storyboards and things like that. I guess like this past week, I guess this past week all I did was thumbnails, but that’s pretty much what the job was, the sketches on paper was…I also did a few color pieces but most of the time, every design which is…that’s the whole thing about visual development, it’s like 80% of it doesn’t have to be beautiful images, it’s just getting the ideas out and kind of finding ideas and that’s the cool part. But when I did daily sketches, I don’t thumbnail…actually yes I do. The thumbnails are what you see, they’re…
Chris: Ivan Militick from the Magic Box, he wanted to know do you have any personal projects and I think what he means is more of a long-term project like a children’s book or something, a long-term project that you want to do but you haven’t had time yet.
Pascal: Yes, absolutely. We have a bunch of projects and I say we, it’s my wife and I. One of the things that I did when I first had my daughter was I refused to take all the bigger jobs. I started (inaudible) like thinking I could major in major commercials or refuse to take full-time jobs at animation companies or future film companies because I know because I’ve done it before, I know how time intensive it is. If I want to accomplish something epic and know that I’ll want to work for 10-15 hours a day and I’ll be frustrated if I don’t. So just for the sake of my own family and my children, I don’t want to do it just yet. So I’m pretty happy right now with the work that I do, I’m pretty happy with the fact that I get so much work doing things that I can still do during the day and not have to work on weekends or work a night and still be there for my kids. I have tons of projects, of course. Like I wrote scripts, I wrote treatments for movies, for games and when they are a little bit older, and they are actually getting to the point now where they’re going to go to school, like the kids and the boys. Three years they’ll go to school full time like literally and then I’ll be able to do more trips, go to more conventions and take on bigger projects. I’ve been offered to be a production designer in a movie not too long ago and I was like thinking about it, like you know it’s still a little too early to dive in and just take on something of that magnitude just yet, and I’m one of the lucky ones where I can actually…I have a choice. And if three years from now, if those doors close, then I’ll do something else.
Chris: Calvin wants to know your thoughts on going to a smaller art school and not just is that okay, but what advantages do you have if you went to a lesser known school?
Pascal: Well my point on this, the school isn’t a ticket, we are the ticket. You’re going to get out of the school whatever you put into the school. You can go to art center and not work at all and come out and no jobs, or no skills, no anything and waste three years of their life and you’re going to go to a small school and work your butt off and become the best artist that you can ever be. The most important thing about the physical school is the ability of the teachers, and what teachers do for you is they give you feedback. They’re not going to do the work for you, they’re not going to turn you into an artist. They’re not going to make you…you’re not a piece of coal that are going to turn into a diamond, you do that yourself and actually you just do it every single day whether you’re in school or not, you just grow. What teachers are going to do is they’re going to help you, guide you on your journey to become a better artist. Know that I’m not saying join to become an artist, but a better artist. Technically you go to an art school because you’re already an artist and you’re going to be a better artist than what you are and just grow and understand what you are and who you are. And that’s what the teachers do to help you with that. Art school for me, they’re there to help you grow as an artist, the big ones and the small ones don’t matter, the only thing that matters is what you put into it and how hard you’re going to work or how smart you’re going to use those tools, they’re tools basically. School are tools, they’re here for you to like help you grow, but if you don’t use them, if you let them do all the work for you, then it’s not going to work. I’ve seen some amazing students come out of our center that’s true, they have great technique, but you know, not all of them are great. Like last time I was at CTN and I saw twenty portfolios of our students, maybe one of them stood out. And I was thinking, oh my god, all those other twenty have the exact same portfolios, they’re going to be in trouble. They still have maybe two or three years of like you know, (inaudible) the best but then all of a sudden they’ll be something else that’s going to come out that’s going to have a new look, new style, new greater things going on about them. And that’s going to be the new “it” thing. But there’s always those like students that whether they come from art center or from (inaudible) State or from some small school in Mexico that are going to blow your minds because they’ve actually used the school to the best of their abilities. They’ve talked to their teachers, they’ve really thought about what they’re trying to do, they’ve really been able to separate their technique from the actual art and they’ve been able to like create something as opposed to just do the exercises.