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Author: Ballou34

How can I (be) inspire(d)?

How can I (be) inspire(d)?

Cet article a été écrit et publié pour le blog Stuck In Plastic.


I started taking pictures of toys because of others.

At first, I had seen the work of Chris McVeigh, AvanautSmokebelch and Brett Wilson among others and what they created inspired me.

I wanted to do like them, but not exactly like them.
I was inspired but I did not want to copy.

I believe that our imagination does not have any limits so why going the simplest path and just copy the work of others.
We are creative people, so let’s create.

“There are really three parts to the creative process. First there is inspiration, then there is the execution, and finally there is the release.” – Eddie Van Halen

Let’s focus on the first part.
What are my inspirations?
How do I get my ideas?

What is my recipe for making pictures?
What are the ingredients that inspire me?

As I said in my last post, I can get photo ideas everywhere so I write them down not to forget them. My ideas arrive when I don’t expect them: at work during a boring meeting (the best time I get my mind to float away…), during my daily commutes, in my shower (I don’t have waterproof sticky notes, though), … 

As soon as my mind has a chance to escape, I can have inspiration coming in. (Exhale, inspire, breathe…)

Is that what an idea looks like? – (For this picture, I was inspired by one of my first picture, which is still one of my favorite: Wall-E)

 

My ideas often revolves around 3 majors points:

LocationCharactersMood (MY mood).

 

Location

The location is really important because it will dictate the story.

Should I take my pictures in studio or should I take them outside?
Using the same concept in different locations will not create necessarily the same stories.

If I am going outside, do I want the place where I am to be fully recognizable in the background or do I only want to use foreground details?

Do I only want to use the light and environment colors?

Light is a key element in any composition. I tend to prefer natural lighting. It gives a nice glow to your picture, especially at golden hour. It is also challenging because it is constantly changing. So, you always have to be on your toes, and a nice sunlight can inspire you a beautiful picture. Also, to be honest I still have to learn and improve how to light my scenes properly at home. I’ll try work on that this year (I promise).

When I am travelling, I am influenced by the place/country/culture of where I am. I have the opportunity to travel around the world for work, in various environments. So, when I know where I am going, I immediately think of the scenery I may encounter and what types of creations I could do. For example, if I know that I am going to a place with sandy beaches, I will more easily see my characters having a swim or lie down in the sand instead of skiing,… Except if this is for a comedic purpose and supports the story I want to tell. (I know that you can also do sand skiing… but you get my point)

I always plan my minifigures depending on the destination, either fitting perfectly in the environment or, on the opposite, being completely out of place. So, location is a great source of inspiration.

 

Characters

I find it easier to tell stories with characters. I have done pictures with accessories only and I liked them a lot, but I still often use minifigures in my pictures.

For those characters, looking back at my photo library, I noted that I have a tendency to often take them from the same universes. It is either the Lego classic spacemen from the 80’s, Star Wars characters, Batman and other super heroes, pirates, Indiana Jones, Pandas…

My inspirations are mainly coming from movies or comics. And when I use characters from a very well known universe, such as  Batman or stormtroopers, I like to give them a twist. Their worlds are so codified that I prefer to see them in “unusual” situations. Unusual for them, but sometimes very common for us.

As I use my own life to inspire my work, I will also use those characters to represent myself. Am I not a Batman in some way? Bruce Wayne in my everyday life and Batman when I carry a camera? (OK, I don’t really fight crime with it…)

Inspiring characters – (It is not visible in this picture, but it was actually taken at the BNF (Bibliothèque Nationale de France), the French national library, where books are full of characters that can inspire us all – You can also notice that I was inspired by my 100_shadows project)

 

Mood

Your mood always influences what you do and how you do it.

It is of course the case when you are doing photography or toy photography. Your mood will define intrinsically the feel of your picture. You will more easily tell a happy story through your picture when you are happy yourself. It is much more natural.

For example, I took a picture of a mime in Paris. And when I looked back at my picture afterwards, I found it in the end “not particularly interesting”. What disturbed me was the fact that the mime was happy. And that day, with my state of mind at that time, it did not work for me. He had to be sad. It was too late to retake the picture as I was already back home, so I took one of is eyebrows and replaced his mouth with it. I call this picture “The hard life of the mime” and it is one of my favorite. I prefer him sad, because that was me at that time.

 

And finally Music. I know that it was not listed before as part of the three main steps of my inspiration process but when I go on my photowalks alone (like in most cases) or when I am at home working on a picture, I always put on some music. The playlist that I select depends on my mood, so it is linked a lot to my previous point. It will help me focus and get the appropriate feel for my picture.

If you want to know, my current playlist is composed of La la land soundtrack, Woodkid, Radiohead, Avicii, Electric Light Orchestra, Scissor Sisters, Abba… Very varied styles.

I believe that life is better with music.
So, I always have some music playing in the background of my thoughts.

Inspiration – What will be my next idea?

 

But, in the end, inspiration is a tough animal to tame. It does not let itself be caught easily. At first you struggle to find it, well hidden around you and the more you practice and play with it the easier it gets.

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.” – Pablo Picasso

It’s not always easy to start a photoshoot session. You struggle to find the first idea. But after a while, the (good) ideas start flowing and the process seems more natural. During your walk around, each gravel you find tells you a story. Each puddle you see makes a beautiful mirror into another universe.

Inspiration is a beautiful thing.
So, let be inspired, let inspire others and create.

I hope my story will inspire you.

~Juilen / @Ballou34

Some more reflection…

Some more reflection…

Cet article a été écrit et publié pour le blog Stuck In Plastic.


Before leaving the last station, I wanted to share with you one last thought on the subject. One last reflection about “Reflections“: my thought process when it comes to photographing toys.

To be perfectly honest, most of my pictures are made on the fly. Spur of the moment. When I am somewhere, I have some many minifigures with me and I come up with an idea, inspired by the location. Some ideas are good and some not so much.

But from time to time, an image or a concept pops into my mind. So I write it down. I am using for that some virtual sticky notes with Google keep (a free app on my phone), to trace my ideas. It all starts with a couple of words.

“A stormtrooper looking overboard a boat and seeing my sigfig for reflection”

My virtual sticky notes

Having the “sticky note” on my phone allows me, from time to time, to come back to that idea. And sometimes, I write more details about it.

“Black background. Reflective surface (plexiglas). Directional light from the right.”

And from time to time, I draw a sketch.

I know that I am not a good drawer. My drawings are terrible but they help me get a better idea of what I have in mind because if I am coming back to the sticky notes too long after I wrote them, I sometimes have difficulties understanding my own ideas…

So, on the sketch, I can either draw my vision of the final picture or the setup I would need. I also write a couple of notes and that’s it. I always take a picture of that sketch and I keep it on my phone. That way I can easily come back to the concept and think more about it. I also doodle other stuff that comes to mind and write words to help me focus and force myself to think more on the subject.

Sketches (You can notice an even worst sketch regarding another picture I made for the “Reflections” article)

After that, it’s time to get my gear ready. And take the picture.

My setup, at home. Sorry for the bad telephone picture…
The final picture – (Photoshop was used on this one to merge two pictures and add the smoke effect)

 

What about you?

What is your thought process?

Do you sketch your pictures beforehand?

Do you write down stories or situations to help you with your picture ideas?

First station: Reflections

First station: Reflections

Cet article a été écrit et publié pour le blog Stuck In Plastic.


When I was asked by Me2 to participate to his little adventure, it did not take me long to say Yes. He did not say much but he invited me to write twelve articles on twelve mysterious words.

I have no idea what I am getting into, but I will play along.

 ‘Life is a journey, not a destination’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don’t know where I am going, but let’s put on some music, some acoustic guitar.

Hop on this train (*) with me and let’s see where it will bring us.
A journey to the unknown.
First stop: Reflections.

Reflection

What an interesting word. I often make a mistake in writing it because we have the same word in French, not written in the same way: Reflection/Réflexion. But in both case, it has the same meanings: either a thought or a mirror image.

Let’s first reflect on this past year of plastic.

I really enjoyed 2016, on a personal and professional level. I had twice the opportunity to be published in the Bricks Culture magazine, thanks to this blog. I wrote two articles on this same blog and I met some of you in person during some toy photography meet-up, either in France or in Germany. I also did two exhibition where I had the opportunity to chat with people who enjoyed this type of art and people who were new to it. All in all, a great year.

But does any of this really matter?

‘One day, your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it is worth watching.’ – Unknown

Do I have an impact on other’s people life?

Well… It’s supposed to be the case at work. I work to improving aeronautic safety. But I still see people putting themselves in catastrophic situations not learning from the mistakes of others. So do I/we really have any impact. I am not sure and it frustrates me a lot.

Anyway, with toy photography, I know that I make an impact on people. I have seen it with my own eyes. When you meet people and see how they react to your work, you know that you are doing something good. Either during exhibition or reading those comments or even in the street, I always show what I am doing when people stop next to me wondering why I am lying on the ground. Those smiles and those discussions are worth it. I am proud of that.

Am I what I look like in the mirror ?

Does my art really reflect who I am?

I put a lot of effort in my pictures and I get inspired by my own life, by my own emotions/feelings when I take a picture. There’s a little of me in every picture. It’s not always easy to find it but it’s always hidden somewhere. To be honest, I am somehow of a shy person. I don’t express myself much and toy photography helps me share my feelings with the world.

Time to get some “me” time

It’s always good to look back but what will be the way forward? Let’s now dive into a reflection about the future.

Like this blog, I took the time at the beginning of 2017 to reflect and try to find where I wanted to go for this year. So, I played along and wrote some sticky notes. I have made them about several projects that I am hoping to achieve. Not necessarily about how to improve my work, but how to make it more “complete”.

I did not think of it at that time but maybe one of this goal should be to be more expressive about my opinions…

But, we will come back to that at the end of the road.

Next station: unknown, but let’s keep on going.

(*) I am more of a plane kind of guy but as I am writing those articles in the train during my morning commutes, I find the analogy more appropriate.

~Julien / Ballou34

Why? – The Origin story by Ballou34

Why? – The Origin story by Ballou34

Cet article a été écrit et publié pour les blog Stuck In Plastic et Toy Photographers.


Have you ever asked yourself why you were doing the things you do, the things that you like, the things that motivate you?

That is the question Shelly asked me. And to be honest, it is not an easy task.

It’s like asking Bruce Wayne why he became Batman or Anakin Skywalker why he became Darth Vader…

Origin stories

What is my origin story?

Maybe let’s start with some information about me. My name is Julien, I am 28 and I work in aeronautics, as an engineer, in France. So nothing directly related to photography or toys, for that matter.

I have been a big fan of Lego since my younger age and I came back to the brick a few years ago, collecting minifigures, mainly from the Star Wars and the Super Heroes universes.

At the same time, I have always enjoyed taking pictures, especially during my trips or during air shows. So I have a lot of pictures of aircraft, architecture and landscapes (some still available on my Flickr account). For me, photography is a way to escape from the daily world and flee all my problems. When I am taking pictures, I am focusing on the moment and nothing else matter.

What about Lego photography?

Well, I had been a follower of several of you for some time before I launched myself and I really enjoyed your pictures. And one day, it clicked. Why not make myself a picture with Lego? I have a camera and I have minifigures.

I started taking pictures at home, in my living room and after posting them online the feedback was so positive, it motivated me to continue. Quickly after my first pictures, I launched my first photo project, the #100_shadows project. With a goal of 100 pictures, it gave me purpose.

#100_Shadows (a small extract)

I also figured out that It could help me improve my technique as a photographer.

One thing you should know about me is that I am a self-taught photographer and I have always learned everything by myself (Photoshop, Lightroom, photography techniques…) and when I find something that motivates me (a project of some sort), I push myself beyond my limits to reach that goal.

So, to improve my Lego pictures, I started taking pictures manually (now I don’t use the Automatic mode of my camera anymore). I bought some gear (tripod, light, reflectors,..) and quickly learned how to use it.

I hate to push to the world pictures that I don’t like. I am very critical over my own work and I have difficulties to upload a picture when I am not a 100% satisfied but seeing the feedback and discussions we can have on social media, I may be too difficult with myself… If I were only listening to myself, you would not see a lot of my pictures. But with those exchanges and reading about other photographer troubles, I am learning a lot. That is something I found really interesting with this community. You can talk about your problems and learn something new everyday.

After learning to create a small studio with lighting, I decided to go further, to harvest the power of the sun and I left the comfort of my house to explore the world and take pictures outside. New challenges, new goals, new experiences.

Why?!

Back to the Why?

Legography, as a project, liberated me. In my daily life, I am someone who is really shy. But, since I started taking pictures of Lego, I don’t mind lying on the ground in the middle of a crowd to get my shot. People are looking at me, people are talking to me, but I don’t mind (a little bit at first…). I have even crossed borders to meet some of you during the last Stuck in Plastic toy Safari. This was such a great moment. I can’t wait to renew the experience.

Legography is also a way to tell story and share emotions. It is often easier for me to transpire my feelings through the medium of photography rather than in person (my shy side, once again). I can create characters and have them evolve in a unique environment. You don’t see the world with the same eyes when you spend so much time on the ground.

Legography, and toy photography in general is a medicine and every one can use it. Its good for you, either as a maker or a follower/watcher. When I make pictures or when I look at your creations, it quickly brings a smile on my face. I have some pictures from our toy safari picture exchange hanging on the wall in my office. When I have a bad day at work, I spend some time looking at them, remembering the good moments and I immediately feel better. And same as HerrSM, I believe that photography helps me not turning insane but he tells it much better than I can, in his own words.

Legography can also be a disease (but a good one – if you can consider a disease can be good) which can change people. I have seen photographers completely opening themselves through toy photography, and I am an example of that. Now, I have also friends and colleagues who carry toys with them and take pictures of them during their trips.

The picture maker

Toy photography being a cure, it is also contagious. “You”, the community, gave me the disease, and since then, I have myself spread it around. Let’s continue the contagion.

~ Julien / Ballou34

PS: Thank you Shelly for this opportunity to write once again for the Stuck In Plastic blog. It is always a pleasure to write for this wonderful community.

Hamburg – My first toy safari

Hamburg – My first toy safari

Cet article a été écrit et publié pour les blog Stuck In Plastic et Toy Photographers.


Last May, when Shelly published an article about the Seattle toy safari, I noticed a little note in italic at the end of the article saying:

If you can’t make this meet-up maybe you can make our fall gathering. We’re currently exploring dates in late September for another European meet-up, this time in Hamburg Germany.

What?! The next European toy safari will take place in Hamburg?! I have to be there!

I am Julien aka Ballou34, and I live in Paris, France, so it is not really difficult for me to fly to Germany (Little did I know that I would be in the US for work that same week, so instead of a 1h30 flight, I would have to survive 14 hours in airplanes and 7 hours of jet lag…).

At that time, I was a bit sad not being able to be in Seattle and I got even sadder when reading the nice articles about the Seattle toy safari and seeing the beautiful pictures from all the attendees.

Anyway, Hamburg would be a few months later.

But why would I want to fly a few several hours for a “toy safari”?

I had already participated in several Instagrammer meetup in Paris and each time it was a good experience. You meet some people you know from the Internet, some you don’t know, some who are into toy photography and some who are not into that but start enjoying it when you lend them a few minifigs. So it’s nice but it’s only a few hours of photography together.

For me a Stuck in Plastic toy safari is much more than that.

First of all, it is several days long (I stayed 4 days in Hamburg). So you have much more time to connect with people and you share lots of experience and great moments together.

We all have that passion for toy photography, so it is great to meet people coming from different background and different countries (5 in our case – Germany, England, Sweden, Belgium and France), with different ages sharing that same motivation. You don’t know them but when you start taking pictures together, the same light start to bright among the group and it’s beautiful. People start to help each other, share some toys and advice.

Of course, in a safari, there is also the location: Hamburg, a place I had never visited before but wanted to.

Doing toy photography with a group is a great opportunity to visit a city, especially with a host like Stephan/@herrsm who really likes his city and wants to share it to you.

Side note: If you ever are in Hamburg, go visit the “Miniature Wonderland”. Amazing experience!

You get to discover some interesting spots for pictures and you are pushed by the group to wake up early to enjoy the show that the sun offers. I knew that I would not rest during that week-end (and that was not the point). Hamburg is a great city, very dynamic and with some really interesting districts. I will come back there in the future.

The magic of waking up early

As a group, you take time taking picture in a same spot, so two things are interesting to see:

  • How people are using the space for their pictures
  • How to challenge yourself to use that same space in different manners

You learn a lot from your fellow attendees. Everyone has some tips and tricks to share with the group, and even when looking at people it gives you some ideas and techniques on how to improve your own work. Interestingly enough, camera gear in particular was not really a discussion subject as you can see people with all type of cameras (smartphones, DSLR,…).

It is also really great to see how people are carrying their Lego and what they are packing for a trip like that. Everyone has its own way of doing it depending on what they are used to.

Always pack good stuff

And of course, there are the meals. A nice time to drink some beer, to discuss on different subjects and to continue playing with toy,… It is the moment when everybody talks about everything and you learn a lot more about everybody.

Based on this wonderful experience, even when the “official” toy safari was finished, the last ones staying in Hamburg stuck together to try to extend this wonderful weekend, which showed how connected you can be after a toy safari.

So did I enjoy my toy safari?

I think it transpired through my text before. It is definitely a YES.

What surprised me was that you don’t really need introduction. You see those people who you know through their social media account and it is like you have known them for a while. Of course there is the surprise of seeing them in real life, but after that, you pull your camera and a Lego from your bag, you start taking pictures and you feel like being among friends. You are among friends.

One nice moment from this meet-up was the print exchange. We brought some pictures to give to the other attendees. For this occasion, everyone selected their best work or some pictures that meant a lot to them. It is a great way to keep souvenirs from you fellow attendees.

Hamburg will now have a special place in my heart

Should I come back to another toy safari?

To be honest, I cannot wait for the next one. I may even try to get to the American one.

It is such an intense experience. A lot of emotions happen in such a short period of time that you don’t want it to stop. Great friendships are formed.

I really hope to see this “fellowship of the Brick” (to coin a phrase by our host) really soon because we have spent some great time together and now, taking pictures by yourself does not really have the same flavor.

~ Julien / @Ballou34

Tête d’oignon

Tête d’oignon

L’enfant était assis, seul. Ses camarades l’avaient abandonné. Et le voilà, au milieu de la cour de récréation en train de pleurer à chaudes larmes. Des larmes de crocodile, des larmes de solitude. Lui, aux cheveux blonds très clairs avec son épi sur le haut du crâne avait été surnommé « tête d’oignon ». C’est vrai qu’il ressemblait à un oignon. Mais le pauvre, dès que quelqu’un se frottait à lui, pour se défendre, il pleurait, comme quand on joue avec le légume. Il était frêle l’oignon et il ne savait pas quoi répondre face à ses assaillants.

Et un jour, j’étais là, moi et mes rondeurs. Petit et gros, tant de qualités. Et les gamins s’en prirent à moi aussi. Narquois et violents, avec leurs langues acerbes. Mais moi j’étais fort et pris d’amitié avec l’oignon, nous avions formé, face à ces bêtes, le meilleur duo qu’il soit : « le gros plein de soupe et l’oignon ».


Texte écrit dans le cadre d’un atelier d’écriture en école d’ingénieur (2011). L’exercice consistait à écrire un texte à partir d’un dessin.

S.D.F.

S.D.F.

Je marche, sans savoir où aller. J’erre, sans savoir que penser. Habillé de cette vieille redingote en peau de bête, manteau épais et rembourré qui me réchauffera l’hiver. Mais aujourd’hui, c’est l’été. Les pigeons sont là, chapardant les morceaux de pain laissés par terre. Je remarque un moineau dans le coin. Il est timide, il n’ose pas avancer. Oui, pour lui c’est un véritable champ de bataille. C’est la guerre. Les passants et les pigeons, ces rats des airs, sont les ennemis. Dure rivalité quand on est si petit, mais il faut bien manger. Je m’avance vers lui pour l’aider, pour lui donner les quelques miettes de mon biscuit, mais trop tard, un humanoïde lui a fait peur, il est parti. Oui, j’ai bien dit humanoïde car selon moi, je ne fais pas parti de la même espèce. Eux ne me voient pas. Ils me passent devant sans même esquisser un regard, moi qui passe mon temps assis par terre dans cette gare, entre la boîte à photos et le boulanger. Oui, ces boîtes rectangulaires dans lesquels ces gens rentrent. Ils tirent le rideau, un flash et ils sortent. Certains sont contents de leur création, ils partent avec leur chef d’œuvre. D’autres, déçus, délaissent leurs portraits sur le sol. J’en profite, moi. Je les ramasse, ces images. Elles me permettront de mettre des visages sur les noms de mes amis que j’invente dans mes histoires.

Hum ! Cette odeur. Le boulanger vient de finir une fournée de croissants. Ca sent bon. J’attends un peu, bercé par la mélodie des parfums, puis je me lève. Certains croissants sont trop cuits. Ils sont brûlés, impropres à la consommation, comme ils disent. Pas pour moi. Je récupère ce trésor de saveurs laissé là, comme des orphelins au fond de la poubelle. Allez, je vais faire un tour.

Je continue ma promenade dans la gare, ce bâtiment, immense par ces proportions qui accueille en cette période de l’année des milliers de touristes. Ils prennent tous le train pour parcourir le monde, de wagon en wagon, de gare en gare. Ces trains sont tout de même impressionnants. Même moi, qui ai l’habitude de les côtoyer, je reste émerveillé à chaque fois. Un jour peut-être, moi aussi, je monterai dans une de ces machines, sans trop connaître sa destination, pour m’évader.

Tiens, ceux là se retrouvent après une longue séparation, on dirait. J’ai du mal à entendre ce qu’ils se disent même si je suis tout près. Ils sont couverts dans leur cocon par la voix au micro annonçant le prochain train au départ. Ah, non. C’est un retard. Nous passerons donc plus de temps ensemble, vous touristes passagers, et moi qui pour vous ne suis qu’un fantôme.

J’aime la gare. Tout y est si grand, si magique. Les gens sont pressés. C’est toujours comme ça. Quand on va quelque part, on n’a qu’une envie c’est de partir. L’homme a du mal à se sédentariser. Il faut bouger, à gauche, à droite, « regarde, là-bas, ça a l’air mieux ! ». Et pourtant, moi,  je reste, dans mon coin, seul avec mes rêves et mes personnages, dans ce microcosme des temps modernes. Oui, dans la gare, il y a tout : des endroits pour manger, des toilettes pour se désaltérer, des salles de lecture, même s’il faut payer pour lire les magasines, « ce n’est pas une bibliothèque ! », qu’elle crie la vieille derrière son guichet. On y croise des gens de tous horizons. Parlant des langues si mystiques que l’on pourrait les croire venus d’autres planètes.

J’aime la gare. On s’y sent moins seul. Et pourtant dans un endroit si convivial, on y voit aussi le malheur, la pauvreté, comme moi, la tristesse des séparations, parfois même la mort.

« Hé, fais un peu attention ! ». Cet homme me bouscule, sans s’excuser. Il ne détourne même pas le regard au son de ma voix. Il est vrai que je me perdais dans mes pensées, mais quand même… Je m’arrête. Les véhicules électriques qui transportent les bagages vers les trains ont failli m’écraser les pieds. Il y a trop d’agitation. Je retourne dans ma tanière, à l’abri du photomaton. C’est l’heure des trains en direction du sud.

Tiens, si je faisais une sieste. Oui, pourquoi pas. J’ai été réveillé plusieurs fois cette nuit par la femme au micro. Je vais rêver de ces destinations ensoleillées, de ces plages de sable fin, bercées par la douce ondine des vagues. La mer, bleue, et moi nageant en son sein, battant l’océan des mes quatre petites pattes.

Mince. La balayeuse. Il me faut bouger. Vite je saute et fuis devant la machine infernale. C’est tout de même pas facile la vie en gare quand on est un rat, sans direction fixe.


Texte écrit dans le cadre d’un atelier d’écriture en école d’ingénieur (2011).

La fin d’un voyage

La fin d’un voyage

Je montai dans un train à quai sans connaître sa destination. Il s’agissait d’un de ces vieux trains souvenir de l’âge d’or du rail. Avec sa locomotive à charbon à l’avant, laissant dans l’air un parfum typique que portaient sur eux ces chevaliers des temps modernes, sur leur monture d’acier, conducteur d’une époque oubliée. Je m’assis dans le wagon.

Les autres voyageurs étaient comme moi : peu de bagages, souvent seuls, quelques-uns en couple. Eux connaissaient sans doute la destination, vu leurs mines réjouies et leur air insouciant. Je n’étais quand même pas très sûr qu’une de ces personnes sache où l’on allait. C’est d’ailleurs le chef du train lui-même qui m’avait dit : « C’était mon dernier voyage. Pour moi, ça s’arrête ici. Bonne continuation. ». Et il était descendu du train, en même temps qu’une petite fille qui avait l’air très malade. Le voyage se déroula mollement. Sauf au moment où ce monsieur qui était assis devant moi, la quarantaine, disparut. Oui, il disparut, volatilisé.

Où était-il passé ? Je remarquais alors qu’un des jeunes couples avait été remplacé par deux vieilles personnes. Que se passait-il ? Moi même, j’étais pris de spasmes, mon dos me faisait affreusement souffrir, et ma vision baissait à vue d’œil. Mes cheveux et poils viraient au blanc, ma peau se raidissait.

J’avais de plus en plus de mal à respirer. Était-ce dû à ces cigarettes, cadeau de la guerre que je continuais à fumer régulièrement ? Le train s’engouffra dans un tunnel. Tout y était sombre puis la lumière, un flash au milieu de la nuit. Puis à nouveau, un tunnel, un flash de lumière, et encore, un tunnel et un flash. Puis plus rien, le noir absolu. Mon cœur stoppa.

Dans la chambre de l’hôpital, les médecins arrêtèrent après plusieurs minutes. Il était trop tard. Le cancer avait atteint les poumons. C’était irréversible. Trop tard. Une infirmière rangea le défibrillateur posé sur la table.

Je m’appelais Florimond et le train de ma vie s’arrêta en gare à l’âge de 89 ans. C’était un Mardi…


Texte écrit dans le cadre d’un atelier d’écriture en école d’ingénieur (2011).

Point de vue

Point de vue

Je me réveille, la nuit a été dure. J’ai du mal à me rappeler où je suis. Je regarde à gauche, à droite. C’est bizarre, le monde est monochrome. Pas de couleur, seul le noir. Auraient-elles fait grève ? Après quelques minutes dans ce monde étrange, je comprends. Je ne suis qu’un point sur un « i » au milieu d’une page. Une tâche d’encre au milieu d’un texte. Même pas une lettre entière : un point. Autour de moi, un monticule d’écritures. Je crie: « Hé ho y’a quelqu’un ? ». Un long écho. Puis le silence. Un long silence. Serais-je donc seul ? Mais surtout comment ai-je pu atterrir ici ? Je dois être endormi. Mais comment se pincer pour sortir du rêve quand on n’a pas de bras ?

N’ayant rien d’autre à faire dans ce monde en deux dimensions fait de lignes et de points, je décide donc d’aller enquêter pour essayer d’en apprendre plus. Alors ni une, ni deux, je pars en promenade mais… comme un point, quoi. Je saute tant bien que mal, de caractère en caractère, de lettre en lettre, avançant doucement sur la feuille. Parfois point virgule, parfois demi tréma sur un « e » ou un « u », parfois coupant une phrase en son milieu, je fais mon petit bonhomme de chemin. Quand soudain une voix au loin qui m’appelle par mon prénom. Suis-je fou ? Serais-je en train d’imaginer des bruits ? Quelle question stupide. Je suis un point qui pense, qui parle et qui bouge, donc bien sûr que je suis fou. Si il existait un asile pour caractère typographique, j’aurai déjà été admis, c’est sûr. D’ailleurs, c’est drôle, mais je viens de dépasser les trois lettres qui forment le mot fou.

Mince. C’est la fin de la ligne. Que dois-je faire. Continuer sur la table ? Non, je vais poursuivre l’histoire et passer à la ligne suivante. C’est décidé, je descends pour voir. Je saute, c’est la chute. Comment me rattraper ? Je m’étire tant bien que mal formant un tiret à mi hauteur avec la ligne suivante, et crée suffisamment de frottements pour ralentir et tenter une approche à vue. Mais la réception va être périlleuse. Voilà que je rebondis sur une lettre. C’est le « c » du mot enfance qui a amorti ma chute. Ouf, je suis sauf. Cette chute m’a tout de même donné le tournis, et je me mets à voir trouble. Je vois des flashs de lumières et des petits astérisques tourner autour de ma tête. Est-ce ma tête ou mon corps ? Etant si petit, cela revient au même. J’attends quelques instants que ma tête arrête de tourner, enfin, … mon corps. Et me voilà reparti, de consonne en voyelle, de majuscule en minuscule, quand soudain,… nouvelle péripétie du récit, celui qui a écrit ce texte a laissé trop d’espaces entre les mots. Ce fossé est beaucoup trop large pour un point comme moi. Je n’arriverai jamais au mot suivant, et en bas, je n’arrive pas à voir ce qu’il y a. Je décide donc de prendre mon courage à deux mains, enfin, c’est une façon de parler, je ne suis qu’un point. Je saute. La chute est longue. J’ai envie de crier, mais aucun son ne sort. J’ai compris, il n’y a plus de mots, en dessous c’est la fin, la page blanche.

Je me réveille, la nuit a été dure. J’ai du mal à me rappeler où je suis. Tous les visages sont tournés vers moi. Je me suis endormi en cours et l’animatrice de l’atelier d’écriture a appelé mon nom pour me réveiller. Mince, maintenant, il faut que j’invente une histoire, mais de quoi vais-je bien pouvoir parler ?


Texte écrit dans le cadre d’un atelier d’écriture en école d’ingénieur (2011). L’exercice consistait à intégrer des mots imposés dans le corps du texte. Les mots (identifiés en gras dans le texte) nous étaient donnés au cours de la rédaction.