(cont.) I became inspired again recently and I have been drawing and sketching everyday (for the past two years) as well as learning animation on my own. I am heavily influenced by your webcomic, but I just wanted to know if it was too late to pursue my dream without school and by myself at 28?
I started TJ and Amal at 31, with a weak art education and zero experience in comics, so you can probably guess where I stand on the matter!
I wish our culture didn’t place such heavy emphasis on “making it” in your teens and twenties; that the (justifiable!) attention paid to prodigies wouldn’t set “prodigy” as the norm. This kind of BS does everyone a disservice.
If you have a dream and the resources/ability to pursue it, there’s no reason to sit it out just because “everyone makes it by 25.” Because everyone DOESN’T make it by 25. Some do, some don’t, whatever.
What’s more, age can bring experience that will inform your work — work you couldn’t have made at 20 or 25.
Sometimes when I get discouraged about this stuff, it helps to remember an anecdote I read a few years ago—
A retiree mentions to her friend that she’s considering going back to college and finishing her degree.
"What, at 65?" says her friend, "You’ll be at least 40 years older than everyone else in class!"
To which the lady replies, “oh, so you think I should wait till I’m 70?”
There’s no going backwards.
I started Gastrophobia at 31! Sounds like that’s the magic number! Wait three years and you’ll finally be ready to play with the grown ups, kid.
I got a very early start, coming out with my first webcomics when I was still a teenager. And everyone always told me how young I was to be so successful. And now there’s a new crop of people younger than me who are huge successes, and sometimes I catch myself feeling like I’m slowing down, and these whippersnappers are gonna leave me in the dust. And then I give myself a mental face-slap and remind myself my life is nowhere close to over and I have so much time ahead of me to keep going, and that’s awesome.
I just started a burlesque career a couple years ago. There are plenty of performers who started even older than me. Who knows how I’ll reinvent myself in another ten years? So much potential. My age has nothing to do with it.
I’ve been on this website for almost four years and I still don’t know what snk means
Hey guys( well anyone who follows my comic). Black Gate will be back soon :) - it’s coming back on the 4th. Since my job obligations have let up I can get back to it.
Now that we had started working on the backgrounds, we needed to work on the Character Design. Of course, we had references with the books. But Daniel Pennac had invented a great number of characters in his script. That is when we asked Sei to work on those characters.
Sei was a young talented artist coming from Les Gobelins, an animation school in France. Her talent is as huge as the sound level of her laughs.
Adapting the characters of Ernest and Célestine was not an easy thing. The first reason was that Gabrielle Vincent didn’t always draw them in the same way. Here is an example of the evolution of Célestine over time. The first drawing comes from the first book, the last comes from the last book.
After a while, we started creating our own Célestine. Of course she was at first inspired by the book, but we needed to change some details. Her nose was slightly shorter, her eyes bigger… She became more and more expressive under our pencils until she finally became the little mouse that you can see today in the film.
Ernest was easier to work on. After a while we managed to create a nice design for him as well.
For each of these characters, we needed to give animators information that they would use to draw Ernest and Célestine. That information was quite important, as it helped the animators draw the little details that make Ernest or Celestine special.
After that, Sei had to work on the supporting characters. We always tried to find references in the books. Here is a character in “Ernest and Celestine in the Museum.” He is the manager of a museum, and was used to create George, the manager of the shop “Le Roi du Sucre” in the film.
Here is a photo of Ernest when he was young, found in “Ernest and Célestine go to the photographer.” It helped us create Leon, Georges’s son.
Other characters were created that had to be fully imagined by Sei. She took inspiration from Daniel Pennac’s writing and I tried to sketch how I was imagining them. Here are sketches of an old rat called The Grey One, the Head Dentist, and the Bear Police Chief.
Sei’s work is one of the most important steps of a film. The models need to be very charismatic and not too complicated so any animator can draw him or her. She worked about one complete year before we had a complete lineup of all the characters. She designed more than 170 characters and did an amazing job despite my worthless interventions…
So here we are with our character designs. Now let’s see more about the animation…