Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Introduction - About my places

I beleive what is written on the page 'about' me is not enoug, so i will try and explain in detail about my past and my ambition for the future.

A little about my place, its society and system
My name is Cirpian Vasile Costas, i was born in a small mountain town of Campulung Moldovenesc in Romania. It was a very small town and pretty much nothing to do, the economic status was not very great, and anything that seemed standard for the rest of the county, for my community was seen as luxury.
I for one could not understand this distinction that the people around me did, and i was misunderstood as spoiled by them, i reached for what was useful and interesting, not because it was expensive. Comic books and graphic novels were some of these things, but the closest comic i could come to was a very old one about pirates.

Even though communism fell since 1989, its mentality survived along with the remaining elder generations. A decent overall behavior of the citezens was supposed to change, but it got stubborn, remained alive and even got passed to its children, to my generation. I often felt this as beeing unright and the result of the opression around me resulted in my pointless low self-esteem that manifested because of the poor judgment the older generation had, i could not see this until i got older.

The generation who grew during communism often seen art as useless, but were proud of the nation's long dead artists; they were preservers that seen the world they lived in as bad and their past as valuable (they hated my generation, and they cry for their past). A very religious nation out of closed mentality and not out of pure spirituality, they blamed and rejected any forms of new efficiency thinking it was of the devil.

When it comes to education children pretty much had to know what career they wanted to follow since the beginning of 9th grade. The irony of the elders encouriging us to take a carrer path was to pick one that is very useful and financially satisfying such as: medicine, engineering, architecture & construction or law studies - this way, there are so many young ones that follow these careers out of the financial result at the end rather than for their own satisfaction. The melancholic young ones are labeled as fools because they will choose a career that will lead them into poverty (art) and that they will never shine because there are too many who choose this path - on the contrary, there are too many that choose the careers mentioned above, the art students will never shine because no one will pay attention to them here.

The elder ones who were more open minded and admited they felt the opression of communism back in their days, label the closed minded ones as 'spartans'. Because they don't necesarely beleive in the satisfaction of a child as being essential in one's development but a flaw. For them, children should've been opressed all the time with their duties thinking that their compensation of fun and satisfaction would come naturally to them in their spare time. Untrue, what they were doing was psychologically unhealthy for their children and even for the society as well.

Old social habbits that were normal in the 1900's could still be spotted in smaller towns and villages even in the 1980-1990's. Such habbits include, parrents picking brides/grooms for their children, encouraging children to study at least 8 classes in school and then to retire from it, convincing them that they can win enough money out of farm work, have a narrow choice of career. And if they are encoureged to pick a positive path (such as to follow academic studies) they are stil ecnouraged in the 'spartan' way, to study 2 courses simultaniously if possible. But here is where the system also shares it's bad image not just society; students with a masters' degree are often rejected by corporates because they don't have experience but universities don't fully provide practical education either, only theoretical - and to compensate, students work in other domains for a time other than the one they were following.

How i managed to 'survive' in my system
At a very young age i was discouraged from watching cartoons and telivision, and i don't blame my parrents, telivision can be quite a source of mind poison, but i was discouraged even from watching the news. Interdiction without reason was very illogical to me, so i made my own selection and like any other child, i used to watch telivision without my parrents' notice.

I remember when i was still in kinder garden, and the only way to compensate for not watching cartoons was by drawing. It became a habbit, and from habbit to talent, a hidden one in fact; few knew about it and i did not value it.
6th grade and i was still 'compensating' until one of my teachers found out that all the drawings were mine. She encouraged me to develop it, and to join a graphic contest about Pi.
Later, i found myself and a colleague of mine creating our very own trading cards and comic books, since we couldn't afford to order some. This 'compensation' of mine grew stronger until finally my teacher suggested me to leave town after 8th grade and go to a high school of arts.
I was still dominated by society and elder's opinions back then. While i was registering to take the admission exam at the Ciprian Porumbescu High School of Arts of Suceava i had the option to follow the subject of Plastic Arts or Architecture & Design. I wanted to pick a balanced choice, that was both artistic and financially satisfying but at the same time i wanted to make my parrents proud, so i picked Architecture & Design.
The first 2 years in highschool were a dream come true, i had the chance to 'play' with both artistic concepts and realistic methods, this gave me a wider freedom in my style of work, you could say that i was following both subjects at the same time, until 11th grade. Then we were forced to specialize more and more on our subject, i became the only student in my class who was in touch with both architecture and design techniques and plastic ones. Back then is when the opression felt stronger.
I said to myself i would make my parrents proud, follow two subjects and try and make my colleagues amazed as well. But that was more of a conformist influence, i wanted to continue architecture because more of them wanted to continue this subject but only very few lived up to their promise, this amazed me.

While i was in high school i had a strange calling to 'the other side'. I felt the need to quit architecture and follow the arts path instead. It wasn't so simple, but i was trying my best to satisfy my calling as well. I suddenly began watching different movies that few were interested in, more ideological and less bound to the pop culture. From there i considered animations, it felt like a life time since i last seen one. I began watching more and more both short and feature films and animations, and it was not necesarely done during my spare time, but most of the time, and out of curiosity, i admit it kind of affected my studies for a bit but nothing serious.
I was close to the ending of high-school and i was looking back at all my works. I had a small regret, most of them were architectural, and the artistic ones were made in my spare time - they were only conceptual and in my heart they deserved more attention from others as well. I didn't had the time and i was too shy to ask sombody's opinion about my conceptual works, i had to discipline myself regarding them.

Lots of them were story based, and i was dreaming f one day giving them life. But i could not dissapoint my parrents. I continued Architecture at Coventry University in UK, and while there i was still bound to the dream of animation. It was harder, i couldn't be as versatile as i was in early high-school. Both animation and architecture needed dedication. I could not follow architecture anymore, on the 7th month spend there, i preserved all my artistic dreams for a while longer, to focus on my actual course work, only to drop out once i completed all the assignments.