Thursday, January 23, 2014

French Sketchbook


I wasn't quite sure what kind of stuff I might post today. Then I noticed a pile of old sketchbooks in a corner of my studio. One of them dates back to 1994 , when I spent some time in Paris to work with Disney's French studio on the Mickey short Runaway Brain. My fabulous apartment was on the Ile Saint- Louis with walking distance to just about everything. Occasionally I would take my sketchbook and walk along the Seine to the beautiful Musee d'Orsay. I sketched sculptures I saw  along the way, and then inside the museum. 
One day I noticed a little booth on the museum's lower level. A sign said that a special discount was available for professional artists who wanted to purchase an annual pass. So I told the lady behind the booth's open window, that I'd like to buy an annual pass. She asked me if I had any documentation that would indicate I was a "professional artist". I quickly pulled up my official Disney ID and explained that I was an animator. The lady held the ID card in front of her, paused for a moment, and then….busted up laughing, out loud!!  She literally couldn't control herself. I thought: What the…. when she turned to her buddy in the back of the booth and showed him my Disney ID. Then HE laughed hysterically, with her!
I stood there like an idiot, not knowing what's going on. So the lady finally calmed down to inform me  that the discount was only available to REAL artists who paint in oil or do watercolors. (My French was good enough to understand what she was saying). I briefly tried to explain that animators study art, too….but she wouldn't have it. I walked away fuming (she was still chuckling), but suddenly had a thought: Looking at my Disney ID the lady probably thought I worked at Disneyland Paris, and that I held a job as a costumed character, like Winnie the Pooh or Grumpy. 

Here are a few pages from my Paris sketchbook.














Go here, if you want to check out pages from my (mostly) Rome sketchbook:


20 comments:

  1. Wow, so great drawings and story! That situtation could become to some nice animated short :D

    What kind of art supplies you usually carry with you for sketching? Are they still "traditionals", or are they changed to digitalpad?

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  2. Wow. Sorry you had to experience such ignorance and rudeness on that lady's part. If only she knew how 'artistic' animators truly are!

    It sounds as if you had a wonderful time in Paris. It's a city on my bucket list.

    Beautiful sketches as always. :)

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  3. I smiled at your "special discount card" story ;)... It's actually one of the great offer when you're an art student there, being able to come and go in every museums, anytime, and not waiting in lines... I hope you were able to have it later on with a different proof ;).

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    1. No, I never got the discount, but it didn't keep me from returning to the Musee d'Orsay.

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  4. women drool(funny story)
    drawings scrumptious!!!

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  5. You should have shown them your sketchbook!!! I think the french have a soft spot for great draftsmanship. I think if you had shown it to them they would have understood. I worked in Paris as an aupere for 6 months, everyday after I brought the kids to school I would visit museums, picasso, Louvre, musee d'Orsay was my favoutite. I fell in love with Toulouse Lautrec there :)

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  6. Wow..The French being Rude and dismissive?...Go Figure...Imagine being an animator for Video Games and meeting a school teacher...to them we are like the Anti-Christ...hehe... great sketches!

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  7. That's one rude lady :) Your sketches are great! And I love the Musee d'Orsay too!

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  9. Thank you for sharing your amazing sketches! Looking forward to see more of them in the future.

    What we would without your blog! pure joy every time I open it!

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  11. That is a shame to hear of this scenario happening to you Andreas. I probably would've felt the same way too, not sure if I would return to the same place again after that (there's plenty of places I never return to after a stint like that). I know I would've felt rather offended by such a remark of my work, but I suppose one has to swallow his own pride once in a while.

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    1. In retrospect the episode makes me laugh. I once told Roy Disney what happened, and he thought it was the funniest thing he ever heard.

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  13. Fantastic work!
    Ok, i'm French so :
    Un travail prodigieux! Merci de partager ces oeuvres, dont les modèles sont assez familiers.. C'est très inspirant.
    Le travail sur le trait est fantastique. Ça me rappelle la maîtrise des peintres chinois ou japonais. La forme apparaît en un seul trait. On ne peut pas tricher. Très beau travail.
    L'anecdote d'Orsay est très amusante.

    Merci de publier qui régulièrement des informations, archives, des dessins d'une telle qualité. Vous nous donnez accès à un univers artistique qui, sans cela, resterait inconnu.
    Best regards!

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    1. Edit: "Merci de publier si régulièrement. .."

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  14. In French, an "animateur" is a presenter, so that may well have been the problem.
    Or the fact that most people don't think animation art is real art - they think it's just sloppy drawing.
    Your magnificent sketches prove the contrary.

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  15. here in france, when we say we want to work at Disney, they always think you want to work at disneyland:)

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