lundi, juillet 18, 2011

Next step in sight

The second screening of the Film attracted a lot less spectators of course. But at least, this time, the DVD player didn't give up, and two people bought the DVD. Also collected some addresses of people interested to receive news about my work.
Next Wednesday I will go in the Val d'Ajol installing "my" corner within the next Exhibit. The Art'Expo is held every year since over 25 years now, in the Val d'Ajol. A town I lived in for a year, after moving to France from Germany.

I was part of that Exhibit in 1997. Back then it was a real great experience. I sold a lot of comics, made new contact and had a lot of fun. I really don't know if this success can be repeated, after all, that was 14 years ago and things may have changed. But I do look forward for it. If it weren't for the fact that I'm profoundly exhausted by all these busy days.
After that, I really will enjoy my vacation in Basel.

Made a little commercial:

samedi, juillet 16, 2011

Good Start - Bad End

Well, yesterday, I had it the other way.

It  was the first public viewing of the Vosgian Beast Film. It was displayed on a big flat screen TV in a Basement hall of the Tourist's Office and meant to be the Highlight of the Exhibit.

I really didn't look forward for it. My main concern was that there would be no one attending the show, hence I'd sit there, alone, like a complete Idiot.
When I arrived, the Lady of the Office greeted me with a "There are already a lot of people down there". I was very surprised. And indeed: the room was filled and people kept coming. When it was time to start the film, new people still came in and the Office's Lady had to look for additional chairs. The late-comers stepped on the feet of the audience already there, causing angry comments. For one I hated the thought that the watchers were distracted from the film by some late guys, in the other hand it created that special Film-Theater ambiance and I started to feel myself like a real Filmmaker - for the first time.

As the Film evolved, the audience got deeper and deeper into it, laughed at the gags and was more and more drawn into the action. I could feel the dynamics of an increasing fascination and it was a gorgeous experience.
A moment long I really thought that I finally made it.

And then - all of a sudden - Film stood still and died. The DVD player gave up. The Office's Lady rushed by, tried to restart it, but every attempt failed. Here and there some hints were given from the audience, but none worked. It was horrible. The whole good atmosphere turned into anger and disappointment. Finally, the Office's lady gave up and suggested that people should come back the next day at the same time. She then would have fetched a new Player. Some people agreed, others said that they would not have the time.
Of course, no one bought the DVD. Mood was too poisoned. And I didn't feel like insisting, even tough it would have been the solution for those who missed the end and would not be able to attend the second show. But that's how psychology works. Disappointed audience is not likely to buy.
The Office's lady was even more shocked, upset and angry than me. "I could throw this rotten player outside the window and then stomp on it for hours" she said.
Well, I somehow almost expected such an incident. It was too good to be true, anyway. My usual bad luck *had* to strike again. (If someone of you knows a spell which gets me rid once for all from that fucking bad luck - please let me know!!)
So I will go down today and see who really will come back for a second try.
The Office's Lady said that she will plan an additional viewing in fall, and then "bring extra DVD Players as reserve and also some additional speakers to enhance the sound." I, in the other turn, will be better prepared, i.e bring flyers with me to hand out to the audience, so that people will be able to order the DVD later...
Despite all that bad luck, I'd say that the experience was a good one, for it showed that the Film has the potential to be appreciated by a larger audience. Even if that will not buy me any food by now, it is for sure a good sign.

jeudi, juillet 14, 2011

Bad start - good End

Well, I already wrote about how much difficulties I encountered in my attempt to get Press involved into my efforts to make the DVD known.
On Monday Evening the Tourists Office called to tell me that the Journalist of the local Newspaper who until then successfully avoided all contact with me, would meet me on Tuesday at the office for an Interview. Apparently the pressure both from Mrs. and Mr. Whitebeard as well as the Tourist Office was too strong and she had no choice.
We met at the Office. Frankly, it was Antipathy at first sight.
I admit that I was not free of anger, for she had so obviously showed her Non-Interest all this time. So when I saw her first, coming into the office loudly gorging the rests of a Sandwich, I couldn't but think that she's dumb and gross.
She went to the Offices Employee and said something like "I'm here to see Diane Kennedy".
Fuck, My name is Diana not Diane.
I introduced myself and instead of really greeting me, she started to moan on how hot it was in the office and how much she suffered from that. It was 24 degree outside, just for your information...
So we went down in  a room in the basement which was supposed to be cooler.
I ordered myself not to show my anger, that doesn't make anything better.
When she complained that she would have so less time to write the article, I couldn't hold me back and said that if she responded a bit earlier to all my attempts in getting in touch with her, she would have plenty of time, let alone that she would have been able to watch the film.
She then explained me how busy she was because her daughter made her exams and then there was Vacation to be prepared and after all, she does this job because she would get nutty otherwise, as a grand-mother with nothing to do.
Well...I tried to stay calm.
She then asked me the usual shit-questions like where I learned to draw, why I settled down in the Vosges Mountains and so on.
When we got deeper into the subject, I tried to explain what I do and why and often had the impression that she was totally exceeded by what I said. Nevertheless, the atmosphere between us got better and we finished the interview in a quite nice mood.
Today, Mr. Whitebeard knocked at my door and showed me the Newspaper with the article in it. I didn't expect much.
But - to my very big surprise, it came out really good. Hey, not good - in fact,  its just great. Obviously the woman did some research after our meeting, got informed about the subjects we talked about and finished by writing something really informative and interesting. There was no single error or false info - I'm used to at least one in such articles.
Even the photo she took of me is good, I'm not looking like a total idiot on it ;-)
So there was an unexpected good end to a story with a bad start. I'm still not quite sure if she really understood my work or even likes it, but for sure, she is professional enough to make a good article about it.

Will be a precious step-stone for me.

dimanche, juillet 10, 2011

Farewell to Georgie

While I am writing this, I still can't believe that that I have to write it.

A few hours ago all was still normal.
I was working in the kitchen. The cats were playing in the house, running up and downstairs. Suddenly, I heard a loud moaning. I first thought that there was a fight, because it sounded a bit like the groan a cat makes when facing a stranger cat. I looked at the staircase from where the noise came. Winzy was there, looking at something upstairs. His hair wasn't fuzzed up, so I realized that it was not him moaning nor was he angry. I climbed upstairs and saw little Georgie lying down on the floor, gasping and trembling, with eyes that stare trough me. I took him in my arms, cried, called for mom, carried him into the living room, where I sat down with him, holding him tight. He did a last few breaths and then died in my arms.

I can't describe the shock. He was perfectly fine this morning and all these days before. Not a single sign of illness. His hair was silky and shiny as always and his behavior perfectly normal. It looks like he was playing - like every morning - and during play, had a sudden heart failure.
Georgie was 11, this would equal to 60 years of a human.
Really, it reminds me of these cases we probably all heard of :   60 year old man, perfectly healthy, who did his daily run, wasn't overweighted and didn't smoke dies of a sudden heart-attack. And its so unexpected and a shock for all. I guess this just happens. With humans and cats.

I am aware of the fact that Georgie had a good fate. He didn't suffer long, he enjoyed life until his last moments. He never experienced how it is to loose his physical strength, to weaken and get down slowly.
Still, it hurts terribly.

I got Georgie as a tiny little kitten together with his sister Millie in 2000. The kittens took the place of the then departed Johnny Oddeye, a Cat I had for 15 years.
Georgie was always very kind, playful and sort of the family clown. I barely ever saw him angry or in whatever negative mood. With the ecxeption of  Gribis death, when he was obviously  mourning. Now we are mourning for him. This is the least thing I thought would happen today. Good Bye, Georgie, you will be missed so very very much...

samedi, juillet 09, 2011

New Plans

Tomorrow I will go to the Tourists Office in order to install the Exhibit. Not that I am expecting the slightest thing from that by now. Posters were sent out to lots of Shops and offices, but NO ONE did hang it out - unlike the posters for the exhibit that comes after mine, which you can already see here and there.

I am deeply frustrated by the huge blocking wall I encounter from the instances which are supposed to support me.
"Me" meaning a local artist who did a work about local folklore.
At least, Our Neighbors, Mrs. and Mr. Whitebeard did make a positive exception. I offered them a copy of the DVD days ago, as thanks for all the help during the time I had no car. Today, they came to me and said that they watched the movie with their daughter-in-law and she was so pleased that she wanted to buy a copy. Mrs. Whitebeard then asked if the Journalist of the local Paper will do an article. I told her what happened and that the Journalist was merely blocking all my attempts of getting in touch with her. Mrs. Whitebeard then said that she will contact her too and try to convince her to do an article.

This is very nice and I really appreciate it. To be honest, all while I know that Mrs. Whitebeard is a very decent person, I didn't knew she could go this much for my art.

Anyway, as I said, I don't have the slightest expectations anymore in that tourist office Exhibit, the obstacles are too great. So I made further plans. I will attend the Comic Festival in Arlon, Belgium in October this year. This will give me something to look forward and hoping for.

mercredi, juillet 06, 2011

This gonna be a busy month

I'm just coming back from Basel.
Usually it takes me one or two days of rest to get over the stress of that journey - but tomorrow, I have to go off again, to a Kinesiology seance, for my back.
And Sunday I'll have to go to the tourist office, preparing the Exhibit that will take place there during the next week. After that I will have one week of Exhibition in the Val d'Ajol.
These Exhibits always give me mixed feelings. For one, I do a lot to get them, for I know how important exposure is and in the other hand I hate going amongst people, for I am deeply sociophobic. So July 15, when the Film will be publicly displayed is just a horrible thought for me.

Speaking of horrible: the tourist's office made a promotional poster for the exhibit and the film show. Well, they gave it to a a "Graphic students in internship".
That is what came out:

If you can read french, the first thing you probably noticed is the huge amount of spelling errors. Beginning with the"Diana Kenedy" in the upper-left corner.  But that is just the beginning. There a LOT more spelling errors in this little text.
You don't need to read french to see the bad composition of the poster as such, the shitty fonts used, the image of the beast drowning in the black background... There isn't said with ONE word that the whole exhibit is about a film, so the the "public display" phrase will make no sense to the watcher who doesn't know.

What truly annoys me is that the folks at the Tourists office were okay with this crappy work. Do I deserve this less?
I did of course protest and sent them an example on how I would have done the poster If I was asked to do it:
It may not be a big deal either, but at least it says what it is about and keeps spelling errors within a reasonable amount.
At least, they agreed that my poster is better and decided to use it instead of the crap made by the student.

However, the "Diana Kenedy" Error on the students work did remind me the strange sign I saw in October 2011, you may remember.

I don't really have big expectations in these Exhibitions. People around here seem mostly to be exceeded and somehow clueless by and about my work, especially the film. I contacted over 10 newspaper and radio stations about the exhibit and got not a single one response. I mean they usually make big articles about stuff a lot more trivial, but my work seem to be of absolutely no interest. 

Minggy, the little red kitten we adopted a week ago is doing very fine. There's no hissing anymore, he plays with the old cats now. He is especially good friends with Benni: