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Question 19: Which of your pieces are you most satisfied with, and why is that so?
One piece that I like a lot and it’s the opening page of my portfolio of art irons, that’s Fer à cheval, (Horseshoe and simultaneously Riding Iron). That’s a piece that came together quickly. I just had to cut out pieces of metal, the wings, click-click, the base of a metal horse I had found, and then glue it all together, and click. That was it. That one didn’t take long, but usually my sculptures take much longer to make, and a lot more thought. But sometimes you know, you get the gift of an idea: you have the right pieces, the right idea, the right iron, everything is in place; those are magical moments. It’s a piece that I really like. In animation film, the work that I’m most satisfied with is PSSST, my latest film, which is currently being shown around the world. It was made with very, very limited means. It was a collaboration with (percussionist) Michel Deschênes. We had spoken several times of doing something together, and just then, we were both at a similar point in our respective careers. Pairing up to create was something we wanted to do and we were ready to do it. My creativity has something in common with his. He’s always messing around and finding new things, and so am I but in the visual arts. I felt that the artistic match was perfect, and I’m very satisfied with the results considering the meagre funds we had for the film. And sending the film around the world, I find that’s quite a feat for me. I’m very happy with that. But there are other films. Maille Maille/Stitches in Time, that was another film that was surprising. The film was rejected by the production firm but was made despite that, and was then given to me because, I’m going to name names, NFB didn’t want it. I sent it to the Halifax Festival and it won an award for excellence. You can imagine no one was expecting that. The next day, the man handling distribution for NFB called me to apologise, to say it was an error, that the movie should have had a French and English title, there were no words so there was nothing to translate, that it had to have the NFB logo, that they were going to distribute it. OK, then. That’s one of the nice surprises that I have had. It makes you want to keep on going. Things like that have taught me in my life that even if the answer is no to a given project, it’s not because it’s worthless. Sometimes it’s the circumstances, sometimes it’s the jury committee that doesn’t like it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. You just have to keep on keeping on no matter what. And sometimes that’s hard, to keep on going after you’ve been told no, and to give it up, but you mustn’t.