It still sounds funny for me, but I started to pyrograph only because I was and still is a fan.
This is Neige, the mastermind behind the French band Alcest. He is not only a great musician, but also a handsome man. So many fan art with him existed already, and I decided that my works can't possibly become the worst of all.
I tried and tried and tried and was never satisfied. Of course this pyrography was not the first which I ever made, and it took at least three years to achieve something like that. But this is the one which I like most of all my attempts to depict him. All my experiments with skin, clothes and hair finally seemed to pay off.
But this is how all it started.
It was a rainy day in October 2012, and I was for several reasons very depressed. I locked myself in my room with my dog and was listening to music and surfing in the internet. I don't know how it works, but Alcest music had and still has a very uplifting effect on me. Several photos of Neige caught my eye, and I decided to draw him. After I spoiled two or three sheets of parer, it was quite clear what a hopeless artist I was, but I wasn't going to give up. As a kid I used to play with an old pyrography device, which once belonged to by dad. That device was still there coverd with dust, but working, but there was no sign of plywood anywhere in the flat. Without further thinking I took a huge piece of plywood right from the garbage outside and washed it carefully in the bathroom.
The process of pyrographing and listening to music surpassed all my expectations. This was so uplifting and fulfilling! I immediatelly knew that I found myself. Although the result was quite bad, as you can see.
After several days I looked at this pyrography one more time and decided that I should try to depict Neige better.
It was my first attempt to do a face, and at that time I thought that I really achieved something good, but it was not good at all. In fact it doesn't even look like Neige when I look at it now, but back then it took several days again to realise it.
And this is what actually helped me to realise.
This is Winterhalter, the drummer of Alcest. I tried to depict him just once, but it looked already much better than my second Neige attempt. But of course it was still not good.
So I decided to try Neige one more time.
I finished this pyrography right on my birthday and thought that it looked great. But, of course there was nothing great in it, although it was definitelly one more step forward.
Right after that I decided to depict Neige with the guitar.
It didn't look good at all and my Neige ended up having 6 fingers on one of his hands. At least the guitar was more or less ok.
Anyway after that I became much more confident and started burning other people and animals and posting my works in the internet. But about two months later I returned to Neige.
I was very much pleased with this work at that time. It was the first time when he became really recognisable. And it really looked a bit alive. But, of course it wasn't very good still.
One day I was watching this video and it inspired me to do one more pyrography of Neige.
That was the first time when I was using a video as a reference. It was very risky, but I just couldn't help it, his face vas very expressive. I worked on the eyes for a very long time and was very happy with the result. The mike was also quite ok. But anyway I was still very far from perfection.
After that I took a long break from pyrographing Neige, but, as Alcest started recording their album Shelter in Iceland, I decided to do it again.
I didn't like this one at all, Neige didn't look much like himself, although I did learn to do everything less flat. These weird things on the background are supposed to be mountains. I've never tried to depict mountains again since then, so I don't know if I made any progress.
It was clear that I should try Neige one more time to get better.
I was making some progress with skin, but not with hair. And ears were still a big problem. But I tried to depict the sea for the first time and it was not as bad as I was afraid it would be.
In December 2013 something totally unexpected happened. I got the opportunity to do an interview with Neige via skype! I tried to be as professional as I could, but a crazy fan was very hard to hide. After that I was looking forward to the Alcest gig in February 2014 in Moscow, so it called for another pyrography.
This one showed a real progress. Hair were better structured, the face was totally recognisable, the sweater was well structured too. I wasn't ashamed to present this to Neige himself at the concert.
Right at the last moment I was asked to do one more interview with Neige before the concert and of course I was very happy to do it. It was a dream come true to finally meet him in person. His music and his face inspired me for my main passion! I was shaking like crazy and he saw it, but he was very polite and supportive.
And Neige really liked my work! Later he told me that he had it in his living room and even his parents liked it. That was a huge confirmation that I was doing everything right, so I continued pyrographing.
I couldn't help returning to Neige in the beginning of 2015. It was always a pleasure to pyrograph him and was and still is a perfect progress indicator.
This time it was much better than I expected. Everything appeared to be exactly as I wanted, I was getting closer to photo realism, hair were just great.
Of course it was not the last one. I made several more after that, the little birch slices with all four band members I managed to present again, and the guys from Alcest seemed to like them. All the good pyrographies I did by now started with that stange one which I made on the plywood from the garbage listening to Alcest. I'm sure that I'm going to do many more pyrographies of Neige, because his music is still totally inspiring.