I got very lucky with my very first videogame job. I was hired straight out of school by a small company called ICE Multimedia that was located in Ste-Adele, north of Montreal. I worked on 8 kids games that got published while I was there and 4 more that got canned. I had no 2D art education, having just finished a diploma in 3D art. I had to teach myself animation and a lot more. Here are a few samples of work I did there. Those were team work, so I picked screens where I did a significant amount of work, but bits and bobs were done by other people. These were all done between 2000 and 2002.
I have a show starting at Centre Communautaire de loisir de la Côte des Neiges this Friday. I’m having a bit of opening fatigue, so this one will go openingless. Still, there will be a large selection of all original paintings on display.
J’ai une exposition qui commence au Centre Communautaire de loisir de la Côte des Neiges ce vendredi. J’ai eu un vernissage récemment alors je n’en aurai pas cette fois-ci. Il y aura quand même une grande sélection de peintures originales exposées.
Dates: From November 28th to December 18th. Du 28 novembre au 18 décembre.
Location: Centre Communautaire de loisir de la Côte-des-Neiges, 5347 ch de la Côte-des-Neiges, Montreal. http://www.cclcdn.qc.ca
I spent the past weekend at a friend’s cabin. It rained all day Saturday, resulting in our being stucked inside with 4 kids under 10 and 6 adults. Understandably, I was thankful to be able to sit outside by myself Sunday morning and paint this. I eventually had a visitor, but it still was a nice quiet time.
In 2003, I worked for a very small company called Fugitive Interactive on their first game. When I started working there, there was an artist and two programmers and no design doc. All we knew what that we were working on a beach volleyball game on Pocket PC (yep, it’s that old.) Back then I had just two and half years experience in the gaming industry, but that was still more than all the others together (who had a total of 0 years of experience.)
So I started to create an art bible, wrote the specs and documentation, tried to manage the staff. It wasn’t easy and we had to let the artist go because he wanted to work on paper and have me scan everything. Imagine my surprise when I got started and he gave me the animations as a stack on index cards. Oh, and he refused to do anything other than manga style. In the end, I did all the art myself, we had to change programmers a few times but the game came out. We even worked on another game after that.
So for this Throwback Thursday, here are a few screenshots from the game that I put in my portfolio after that. I’m a bit embarrassed by them today, but it could have been worse.
I just got back from Quebec City where I attended my first Boreal convention. Boreal is a French language literary convention with a focus on science-fiction, fantasy and other speculative genres. It has hopped about to different cities in Quebec, but this year it was in Quebec City.
Weirdly enough, due to my heavy networking on English language forums and attendance of events like Illuxcon and the IMC, most of my art and publishing contacts are American, or at least, not Quebecers. We have a thriving local industry and I wanted to learn more so I signed up! I also volunteered to take part in the programming and I ended up participating in three panels.
There is a side of me who feels like a fraud whenever I’m put in a position like that, but I manage to rationalize it. It turns out I had a ball. I really enjoyed myself and I was lucky to have fantastic co-panelists. One of the subjects was touchy (the one about misogyny) but I felt that there was respect all around, both at the panel table and in the audience. I also got to see Christian Sauvé’s conference about being a critic and a variety of panels, I visited the exhibitors room and met great people. I also had two original paintings with me, one of them being a cover for Solaris winter 2014, so I was told be a lot of people that they had recognized it, which always feels good, the other one was Un Bon Cygne.
It’s a fairly small scene but a lot of my fellow con-goers and all the staff and volunteers went out of their way to make me feel welcome.
As usual, my tips for anyone thinking of going to a small to medium-sized convention are the same:
- Do it.
- Wear your name tag, make sure it’s visible.
- Bring a portfolio and business cards, take them everywhere with you.
- Don’t be afraid to approach people and introduce yourself.
- When it’s lunchtime and a lot of people are milling about, it’s ok to ask perfect strangers if you can join them. Eating with someone is a great way to get to know them.
- Be nice and non-creepy.
Next weekend is Congrès Boréal, it’s a small literary sci-fi/fantasy convention that’s been around since 1979. It’s in Québec City and I will attend for the first time. I will bring two paintings: SteelButt Jack, the cover I did for Solaris, and Un Bon Cygne, a new one that I’m going to show in public for the first time.
But I’m not just going to hang art and hang out there. I’m part of 3 round tables, 2 in French, 1 in English. So on Friday night, I will be in the “Fantasy et science-fiction dans les médias audio-visuels” panel from 9p.m. to 10 p.m.
On Saturday I will be on the “Fantasy et autres cultures” panel from 11a.m. to 12a.m. and on Sunday I will take part in the “To Speak and Be Heard: Geek Culture and Misogyny” panel from 10a.m. to 11a.m. I hope that my years in the video game industry and my experience as a genre illustrator will give me a perspective that attendees find interesting. I will also be found sitting on other panels, hanging out with my peers and can even be convinced to give a few portfolio critiques if you bring your work for review.
Le Congrès Boréal aura lieu en fin de semaine prochaine, c’est un petit congrès littéraire sur la science-fiction et le fantastique et c’est en existence depuis 1979. C’est a Québec et j’y participerai pour la première fois. J’amènerai 2 peintures: Steelbutt Jack, la couverture que j’ai faite pour Solaris, et Un Bon Cygne, ma dernière oeuvre que je montrerai en public pour la première fois.
Mais je n’y serai pas que pour montrer de l’art et me divertir. Je prendrai part à 3 tables rondes, 2 en français et une en anglais. Vendredi soir, je serai à la table ronde “Fantasy et science-fiction dans les médias audio-visuels” de 21:00 à 22:00. Samedi, je serai à la table ronde “Fantasy et autres cultures” de 11:00 à 12:00 et dimanche, je participerai à celle intitulée “To Speak and Be Heard: Geek Culture and Misogyny” de 10:00 à 11:00. J’espère que mes années dans l’industrie du jeu vidéo et mon expérience comme illustratrice me donneront une perspective que les spectateurs trouveront intéressante. On me trouvera aussi dans l’auditoire d’autres tables rondes, à me mêler à mes pairs et je pourrais même être convaincue de donner quelques critiques de portfolio, si vous amenez vos œuvres avec vous.
When people think of geeks, they often think about people who play video games, read comic books and wear thick glasses. Even though being geek is now more mainstream and some people revel in telling everyone that they are geeks, the stereotypes haven’t changed that much.
That said, there are people who are geeks about anything. Firearms geeks, politic geeks, medieval music geeks. Art geeks.
And it’s so hard to find some types of geeks. Like art geeks. One of the biggest joy of going to events like Illuxcon and the Illustration Master Class is to hang out with art geeks. I really miss this when I’m home and it was one of my motivations for joining DrinkAndDrawMtl. You learn a lot from other artists, you can get contacts, tips, critiques, hear about good supply stores and discover new artists, but mostly it’s fun and motivating.
So if you are an art geek, speak up! If you are in Montreal, contact me! If not, start your own art geek gatherings!
In the 90’s, I was really into colored ink. It was almost all I did. I used Ecoline on watercolor paper, and later on illustration board. This is probably the best piece I have left from that time. It’s from 1997. The colors suffered a bit from the scanning, but I think it’s fair to say that Ecoline doesn’t suffer from the washed out colors problem that plagues watercolorists.