artists > Pierre De Celles
Following his own words, Pierre De Celles "... was born early in the morning of December 14, 1951 in Montreal, Canada. My mother was superstitious and did not want me to be born on the 13th, thinking it would bring me bad luck, so she held out until one minute passed midnight to give birth. I never understood that, since her brother (my uncle) was born on the 13th and he was the luckiest man I ever knew!".
Uninspired by the stiff school system of his times, like many men and women of his generation left school to try to find his own way; Pierre De Celles adolescence is a glaring example of the 1960ties counterculture movement and aspirations — including ideals of peace, free love, compassion and human fellowship, harmony with nature, communal living, artistic experimentation, sharing of resources — with its urgency to redefine social life ethos and boundaries.
He knew that what he wanted was to be an artist, a draftsman, a painter; with no formal training he started to learn by himself, practicing relentlessly while working hard: he was a newspaper courier, a milkman helper, worked in a pie factory, at 'Ogilvy' department store, etc.,until he landed with a job in an animation studio.
Quoting him: "... I knew that making an animated commercial for cheese was not exactly Art, I did not look down at it, but tried to absorb the experience and profit from the challenge, it was to my benefit anyways... And after work I could do my own drawings, experiments, express my own ideas, and just do my art. So I had two lives, my personal Art and my professional animation work, if I may use this metaphor, allowed me to lead a of sort of Yin -Yang life, fully complementary.
Pierre De Celles Animation career span over 40 years and several countries (Canada, Taiwan, South Korea, USA, Japan, China) and he has been involved in projects with Wang's Production, Taiwan, Warner Brothers Studio USA, Marvel Production USA, DIC Entertainment France (then USA), Atlantic/Kushner-Locke Inc. USA, Hanna-Barbera Productions Inc. among others.
While working for "Cuckoo's nest" in Taiwan Pierre De Celles was asked to train 4 young assistants to become animators in 3 months, whom turned out as top animators and, eventually, directors. This was actually the very first step of new course in his life, a new career: art teacher and mentor.
While working in SuZhou, China, Pierre De Celles trained young artists in animation layout and drawing and animation, again with very good results. Over the years was invited time and again to Colleges and Festivals to give lectures, and he did teach in various colleges in Hangzhou,Changchun and Shanghai; his great practical experience in real film production and his own artistic talent was put to a test: has he declared "... the challenge was to teach in a much smaller time frame then the years it took me to learn, to teach with my own drawing and animation exercises, and to make sure that students have to live thru situations and experiences close to the real world of the production industry, creating a kind of a "virtual reality" learning experience as opposed to just theory teaching. I did carefully planning but always left space for improvisation. One day, in Changchun I just took my students to ice skating during our class time, they asked me why, … and what did it have to do with animation? I answered "You need to learn about 'Gravity'" and they did but not as much as the teacher himself ( I had not skated for 25 years ) I must have fallen 20 times on the ice, which was bad as the skates, but that is no excuse. I made them watch live-action and animated films then we would have a forum about them and review them, analyze them, and have arguments,etc.. We did go see exhibitions, go draw in the park, got them exposed to various Classical music, Jazz, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles...Yes, teaching is fun if one is free to share with the pupils his human experience...Again, teaching is not different from doing Art, one has to be honest and sincere, that is all."
The book "Pierre De Celles Drawing Cartoons" was published in China by "The ShangHai People's Fine Arts Publishing House" in 2002.
Brochure: Introduction of Pierre De Celles (Pdf 1.3 Mb) > Download