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One week ago, on Monday 2nd, May, I learned I was received (as well as about thirty other people) at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Arts de Paris-Cergy (ENSAPC). Considering it had ended up being the art school I considered to be the most desirable for me (above the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Paris (ENSBA) and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD)), it marked the end of my school year.

And now, one week later, I feel like having a debriefing session.

2009-2010 was a rather bad year for me. Because of a conflict with my parents about my orientation, I was unable to attend an art school the way I wanted to, and ended up going to a computer science school without any real motivation instead (for the record, said computer science school - SUPINFO - is currently becoming a pretty bad school, driven by sponsoring programs more than by a sincere wish to teach proper informatics. Stay far from it as much as possible, it frankly isn't worth €5000 or even $5000 at the moment).
That year ended with me quiting in March; I had finally obtained a place at Prép'Art, a preparatory school which prepares to the entrance exams of most European art schools.

At this time (March 2010), my objective was to get in the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD), an excellent school which had an animation option, among loads of others, in order to eventually become a professional animation cinema director. And I started my 2010-2011 school year in September with the same state of mind.

Thing is, I hadn't expected art to change me nearly as much as it eventually did this year. I ended up questioning pretty much everything I knew about arts, and eventually life, thanks to the wonderful people I met.
Realizing that art and technique were two very different entities, and that although art was perfectly able to use technique, it didn't depend on it at all.
Realizing that aiming for a precise job (animation director) would eventually restrain me, stop me from doing what I really wanted to do - to narrate, to create, to explore and to question.
Realizing that diplomas aren't worth much in the artistic field, and that it would be my personality, my ability to express my ideas, that would make the difference in the long run.
Realizing that popularity wasn't as important as significance, that it was better to be a major influence for one person than a mere reference for dozens of people.
Realizing that I was perfectly able of doing great things and that such an ability didn't depend on technique, but on clarity. 
All in all, realizing that I could, from my point of view do much more than becoming a mere technician (essentially, what I feel the ENSAD would have made out of me - it isn't as much of an art school as it is an "arts appliqués" school, a school teaching artistic techniques).

I also realized something important about artists.
Most artists either focus on technique or ideas. Often, they despise their counterparts - technicians consider idea-artists to be unable to hold a pen (and usually consider this to be a fatal flaw - after all, they shouldn't call themselves artists if they don't know how to draw); idea-artists view technicians as unable to "level" their art, unable to reach what is called "high culture", stuck in the "low culture" field.
At first, I saw this separation as a problem. I didn't want to be unaccessible to "ordinary people" (who, with due respect, typically don't get the kind of contemporary art idea-artists currently produce (you need to know a few things about art history to really understand contemporary art) - which doesn't mean they cannot appreciate it, but I want my work to be understood), so aiming for high culture only was unacceptable for me. On the other hand, I did want my art to be respectable from an idea-artist point of view - able to promote itself from an "high culture" field (as much as I dislike the high culture versus low culture segregation, this segregation does exist in most idea-artist's minds). 
I eventually decided to take a third option, and it's become my project.
I now aim to become a "low-culture idea-artist". An artist working on fields typically used by pure technicians (narrative comics, light novels, anime and visual novels, to quote a few mediums), dealing with themes that are usually only seen in contemporary art (identity and gender deconstruction being an important focus of my personal researches).
I'm not the first one to do this. Artists such as Michael Leavitt took this kind of approach years before I did.
But that doesn't mean I won't be able to do it.

With all these realizations in mind, I started looking at what non-technical art schools did (the schools idea-artists are usually formed in). And I discovered the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts de Paris-Cergy (ENSAPC), thanks to one of my teachers.
Basically, it's a school which puts an huge emphasis on questioning - the art of asking questions, and of trying to answer them. Those who know me personally probably know I'm already someone who enjoys this art a lot; I was immediately interested.
Additionally, the ENSAPC presents itself as having a rather original way of treating technique. It goes further than just saying it's a tool - it doesn't hesitate to directly question its very usefulness, and focuses much more on ideas than on sheer skill. That's a way of seeing and doing things I didn't find in most other idea-artist schools (including the ENSBA)... So, the ENSAPC became my first choice among the schools I tried to enter. As a bonus, I actually live close to it, which was a supplementary motivation.

Which leads me to where I am now.
Prep'Art's staff is awesome. Special thanks to Julie Berthelon, Gaya Goldcymer, Benoit Gehanne, Isabelle Vorle and Stephanie Mercier (among many others) for helping me grow as an individual artist.

I'm currently making plans for the near future.
Right now, I'm brainstorming on a few short-term projects. Writing the 23rd chapter of DH Project, my four-and-a-half-years-old Pokémon fanfiction; starting a cross-over (possibly a massive one) involving Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Pokémon Special. 
Holding a game at The Liar Must Die, the RP forum I opened with Tempo at the beginning of the year.
Creating an awesome new Pokémon RP forum (this one's been projected for nearly one full year now).
Taking part in Obscur Echange, the annual exchange event flo's holding.
Finishing Persona 4 and Pokémon Black.
Starting to take commissions (because, like it or not, I'm starting to do things that I deem interesting from an artistic point of view).
Last but not least, possibly starting a light novel and/or a webcomic.

About next year...
Among other things, being at the ENSAPC means I'll be closer to home  than ever since 2007 (I'll need less than an hour to get to school, versus about ninety minutes last year).
I'll probably use this bonus time to start holding a RP gaming session with real life acquaintances, probably once a month.
I'll also, if everything works the way I'd like, start learning how to use a gun, and taking theater classes.
And, I'll start my MtF transition.

2010-11 was a good school year. Really.


Rebecca Kalista

Bonjour ! ~ Hello! +license

Je me présente, Kalista, apprentie sorcière et auteure amatrice. Enchantée de faire votre connaissance !
Selon mon humeur, j'écris en français ou en anglais.


Name's Kalista, I'm an apprentice witch and I write a little. Glad to meet you!
I write in English or in French, depending on my mood. There might be a few bilingual posts, but I realised a few months ago this tends to kill the magic, so... I'll probably avoid these.

Heres's some info about the CC license I'm using for this LiveJournal account:
Creative Commons License
Kalista's LiveJournal by Rebecca "Kalista" Scalese is distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported.
Based on rebecca-kalista.livejournal.com.
Contact http://kalistina.deviantart.com/ if you want to request further authorizations on this work.

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