Interview with Jibe

by Wishbone (April 2000)

Note : it's my first translated interview, please don't flame me for the mistakes :)

Please introduce yourself for our fantastic readers.

I'm Julien Blanc, 18, France. I'm studying Arts. I joined the group ZeN (March '99) and left for Condense (November '99) as 2D artist. I began to make some 3D and soon after we began the "Freestyle" demo with Syndrome.

How did you come up with your handle ?

Jibe because Julien B... so Jibé then Jibe :). I learned later it means sarcasm in French.

Jibe is a nice guy. Just look at his friendly cow!      Are you a sarcastic guy ? :)

I'm a happy person! and I only make fun of my friends :)

So, you're quite optimistic in your life...

Yes and I think it's strongly expressed in my pics, especially in the cow and pig pictures.

Where do you get the inspiration from ?

When there's no imposing theme (I talk about demos which need homogeneity), I draw freely.
I often start with masses of colors in which I try to define shapes.
I'm a happy guy and I like kidding! it's the reason why we often see flowers and animals in my pics :)
The artists who inspired me are Toast and Os Gemeos and among the sceners, it's Ra and Niko for their logos.

How did you discover the demoscene ?

As soon as I'd got my amiga, I watched the demo corners in magazines, it was so fascinating!
I dreamed to be a part of this scene; Niko, Ra and Made's pics was so beautiful!
The two first prods I saw were "Blur" and "Fade" of Sonik.

What did you motive to become a graphician ?

Well... I drawed on paper since I was a child ! I redrawed the characters of videogames I saw in magazines.
I was attracted by the fact to draw pictures which it'll use in demos, mainly after seeing "Arte". And I think the competition is good to improve one's self.

Why did you end up making gfx rather than music, coding?

I tried to code on Amiga when I was 14 but I wasn't persevering and I wasn't a genius in mathematics (although lots of coders say me it's not necessary to be a math genius). About the music, I regret not become a musician especially when I heard Maf and Traven's music.

Which hardware/software do you use for drawing ?

I came later in the scene and like others gfx-guyz who draw in 24bit, I use principally Aura and Photoshop and a Wacom A6! I regret to miss the old days of DPaint :( sometimes I tried some pixelling with GFX2 but it's hard :)

You prefer OldSchool to NewSchool ?

Contrarily to lots of new gfx-artists, "YES"! Even if the Oldschool pics were in general copies. I think the pics's quality was better. I think it was more technical, look at the logos. Nowadays, logos in demos are quite rare. But I think gfx-art like coding must make evolutions and some graphicians like Saffron are on top and contribute to this evolution. It's a good way but I regret the vanishing of pixelling and logos. (I was born too late :)

How do you see this evolution ?

Hard to say because these days, demos are mainly composed of 3D worlds or abstract scenes (Swedish, Scandinavian,... groups), we see in it less and less fullscreen pics. Now, lots of graphicians use graphic tablets, they have more possibility to express themself and research their style. I notice lots of graphicians draw rather for them than their group, so they have no constraints.

Do you draw for you or your group ? :)

Well... these times, I'm trying to make some 3D so I have less time for 2D, otherwise I draw for my group. Anyway, I choose to do what I like but when I begin something I want to finish it for not doing a crappy thing for the demo (I regret to not have the time to draw only for me).

How long does it take to draw a good picture for you?

Agh!! it's quick because when I begin, I must finish! It takes me between 2 and 5 hours. I think it's not a good thing because I never get a perfect/finished pic! But now, I try to have ambitious objectives and take more time for a pic. And so, I didn't draw lots of "real" pics.

What are the most important aspects of making a great image ?

Everything is important, it depends on what you wanna get! For me, I like transitions beteween shapes and colors. It needs a correlation between the different elements which composed the scene.
I don't like cut shapes as we drew each element on a layer and next to superpose them. Look at Saffron's pictures, all in it are in fusion! Characters are linked to the background and I think there is a research into the harmony of colors. In Leo's world of Made, there are different depths and however there are correlation between light and colors.

Perfect vision or pure freestyle?      When drawing, do you have a perfect vision in your mind or do you draw more freely ?

It depends :) I haven't really got any methods. Sometimes I have an accurate idea and I try to draw it but it always changes a bit. Sometimes, I begin from spots set here and there and I define some shapes according to my inspiration. Then, I make a pure freestyle! (this was the case for the cow and pig pictures).

About "Freestyle", how did you come up with this demo ?

At the beginning, we had to make a brief demo for the "DKS party", Acetone and me just joined Condense and we wanted to make a fun demo without a particular scenario. That is where the name Freestyle came from :)
It was at this moment I started modelling. I modelled the little girl and the jumpy mushrooms, it became the first scene of "Freestyle"! The day before DKS, the demo wasn't finished and Xbarr^Syndome helped us. Traven composed the music after seeing a screenshot with the jumpy mushrooms. It set up the atmosphere. So, we finished the demo at the DKS still with Xbarr. Finally, the freestyle atmosphere became a linear demo. The pics drawed in a freestyle spirit weren't suitable with the demo.

Drawing inspiration from another universe. The Tim Burton universe...      The characters seem to be inspired of Tim Burton's universe, no ?

( Jibe unmasked :) I confess I'm very admiratif of Tim Burton's creations (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The nightmare before Christmas, Sleepy Hollow). It's a weird atmosphere within there is so lot to do (I love).

Do you plan a sequel for "Freestyle" ?

When we made Freestyle, we didn't think about a sequel. We made this demo in hurry (4 days) therefore, we think there are lots of things to improve with these characters and this universe we created! We're thinking about a sequel but we aren't sure to make it.

Do you plan to give up 2D for 3D ?

No, I don't!!!! :) But we're in a world where 3D is more and more present and I must adapt myself. 3D is a bit difficult for me because it's more "mathematic". I regret not being better in 3D because we could use it to create our own small universes within which our characters could move, etc... it's another approach... :)

BTW, what do you think about the present scene with its 3D abundance?

That's eclectic and that's a good thing!! There are several kind of 3D: Abstract 3D which is beautiful and designed (Wonder, Contour) and 3D cinematic (genocyd, toys, incoming future, freestyle, etc...). I like them and in these two cases, we can have the best as well as the worst...

Are you a regular party visitor ?

No, I haven't got a car yet :( I missed the LTP party :(((( But this year coming will be more hardcore for parties! I plan to go to LTP, VIP and THE PARTY!, why not?

Will you take part in the gfx compos ?

I told my friends, to prove my respect to pixelling, that I plan to take part to the 16 colors compo :) But I don't stop truecolor, I just pixel for compo :)

Do you agree with the party results ?

Oulà! Votes aren't significant. Friendship warps the results (and I don't talk about scans...).

Is there anything which could be difficult to you to draw (hairs,...) ?

Yeah, sure, it's not obvious how to draw all the things especially if we draw from our mind. I confess it's difficult for me to draw real hairs. Some people use photos as references, that's allowed to get more realistic things, especially for proportions and lightings. On my side, I don't look for realism (at the moment), so my characters aren't very anatomically correct (the skeleton is impossible to reconstitute :)

Are your pics "No Copy" ?


Are you proud of that ? :)

:) in a sense yes.
If people don't like, I have the no-copy apology but some Newschool graphicians use this argument and DARE to criticize Ra, Made and others oldschool graphicians the fact they did copy, that's inadmissible.

What are your favourite demos ?

I like "Shad" as well as "Wonder", "Contour", "State of mind", "73 million seconde + Tour" and "ARTE!!!!!!!!"

What are the last prods you worked on ?

I drawed a pic for the art/zik disk "virtuelt kaleidokop". Now, I make some stuffs but it's not released yet.

What are your projects for the future ?

I'm finishing my studying year and I plan to go in Paris to work in the videogames industry and I hope to have the time to continue make demos because I just joined the scene!!!

Are you in touch with videogames companies ?

Not really but I've lots of friends-sceners who work in but I prefer not much to say, it brings bad luck :)

So good luck! final words ? hello to somebody ?

Yessssss! Xbarr (my ninja turtle), Traven, Made, Acetone, No recess, Gozer, Nytrik, Alexkidd, Mc fly, Mile all my friends and the woman of my life I think to meet each time :)

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