The thought has been traversing through the neurons of my brain for quite some time. Begin a blog where I could share the long path and experiences I have attained within my industry. Actually, no. I will not call it industry, for I refuse to consider creators as cogs of a larger machine. Because this is what we are, creators, innovators of the arts and quite often, sciences. It is our imagination that gives glimpses of endless possibilities for our advancement. We portray fantasy in an all too realistic world. We bring visions to life. We are a lot more than the accumulation of spreadsheets and document files.
Can you imagine a world without stories? Without music? Without paintings? Without architecture?
For me, the journey began early on, in a place where people considered it to be the outlet of individuals that could not follow sciences. A realm dominated by members of questionable ethics and sexual orientation. Yes, you read that right. I grew up in a judgmental little town where dreams didn’t matter. Only discipline and obedience. Living in a country that was fresh out of a military dictatorship – back in the 70s – left a mark in the way of life for most people.
It is one thing to watch such an era, a social life, and romanticize about it in a film; and another to actually live it and come to understand the limitations it can impose on an individual. For one thing however, discipline is a trait. Obedience is not. That is a word I would very much replace primarily with respect and secondarily with understanding. Naturally, it took a series of attempts and a great group of people that emerged throughout my life – some of which I considered mentors – to come to that realization.
So, there I was, in a place of conformity, being a model of a son who would sneak out at night; not to head out to parties or dates, but to escape to a small warehouse-like room where I would patiently record my favorite music from the radio, draw pictures and recite stories on my old tape recorder. Making sure I wasn’t too loud and alarm everyone of my being awake past midnight. Oh, and I would make sure my bed looked “loaded” enough, to simulate me sleeping, in case anyone of my family checked up on me, to make sure I was sticking to the strict schedule.
As a child, it all began with a dream. A dream that was ignited by a very unique feeling. The feeling I experienced when I created my first drawing, my computer program, and later on my first animation. Most of that – if not all – in secret. I was the conformist young man who would fill his books with drawings and blueprints, while being in love with mathematics and presenting theories about terraforming Mars to my astronomy teacher. It didn’t matter if he rejected them as impossible, 15 years later, NASA took the same approach. That piece of news alone inspired me, saying that there can be a way, which I had to – somehow – discover. So, there I was, an optimist in a world of overwhelming realism, who would soon discover the side-effects of negative thinking. An experience I will gladly share with you, in an attempt to unravel the potentials of the human being in a rather difficult and unforgiving world.
When you want something really bad, a way can always be found. If there was one thing that my growing up years taught me, is discipline. As for the rest, it took a long while to discard.
Believe it or not, the biggest step began when my father came to me one day and said: “Your older cousin, who won the first European Award in Mathematics, said we should buy you a computer.” That was back in 1984. This was the year my big journey began. No guidance, no clues, no idea to where I would have to go. So, I grabbed a few books to learn something outside the education system and off I went. A journey to the unknown, with a cheap Amstrad CPC464 and 40KB of free memory!