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June 3, 2006 - Article published in the newspaper New Mexico Herald, June 3, 2006.
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The article (in the original language)
Life is Just a Fantasy:
Camprubi?s Monde Fantastique


By Tony A.Archutela
Herald Reporter


For 29-years-old fantasy illustrator Krystal Camprubi, her second visit to America may prove to e the most rewarding.
Camprubi ?who hails from Nancy, France? first visited the United States as a 14-years-old girl whose interests included poetry and music, although she was already gravitating toward her ultimate artistic calling: painting and sketching.
Having launched her professional career as an illustrator just three years ago, Camprubi has become well known and sought after in France. She has also worked as an illustrator for a handful of publishing firms in Germany and Spain, and with the creation of her own publishing house, she now has her sights set on the American market.
A little less than a month ago, Camprubi flew out of Luxembourg, endured a seven-hour layover in Los Angeles and arrived at Albuquerque International Airport, where she was greeted by her aunt, Eliana Aubin of TorC.
Camprubi spent three weeks in TorC, during which time her aunt took her sightseeing to several regional must-see destinations, including White Sands National Monument, Old Mesilla, the Gila Cliff Dwellings and Chloride.
Las Saturday, Camprubi flew back to California and wills spend the next month refining her English-speaking skills at California University-Northridge.
For someone who has only visited America twice, Camprubi?s English speaking skills are quite impressive, but her goal is to reach a proficiency that will serve her well in the publishing world.
Camprubi will wrap up her stay in America at the weeklong Comic Convention in San Diego to make some professional contacts.
Camprubi will be joined in San Diego by her boyfriend, Julien, who is the mastermind behind her impressive, four-language website, www.krystal-camprubi.com.
When it comes to New Mexico, Camprubi says, ?I?m aware that I need much more than three weeks to discover your beautiful state.?
The same can be said about her impressive portfolio.
Camprubi relates that a susceptibility to stage fright prevented her from pursuing a career in music, but that doesn?t mean she?s abandoned the piano, harp or singing.
Nowadays, her visual artwork keeps her busy enough, but it?s still the music that nourishes her creative spirit.
?My dream of my life would be to be able to do a balance between music and drawing, because when you are an artist you are not only a painter or a musician, you are all in the same time,? Camprubi says. ?For me, it?s just a different alphabet, the feelings are the same. Without music, I feel I miss something, I?m not entirely myself.?
That Camprubi has thrived as a visual artist is not a surprise, considering her lineage. Her father ?Aubin?s brother? is an architect, and her mother studied at the internationally renowned Sorbonne in Paris. Both of her grandfathers were artists, as well (the father of Eliana was a sculptor).
The only question, then, is how did Camprubi arrive at her starting destination in the arts?
First of all, her hometown of Nancy is regarded of the birthplace of Art Nouveau.
Even before the poetic musings or the visions of playing a piano concert in front of a full house, there were the drawings, according to Camprubi.
?I knew it was something very important,? she says. ?I didn?t think it was possible for me to be an artist in a professional way. In fact, nobody told me that possible, that you may be able to get money with such a job.?
Camprubi says she relinquished a dream of earning a living in the arts ?to do something more serious?. That?s when she decided to study French literature and pursue a career as a teacher.
She was especially interested in the Middle Ages. ?I loved that period and I continue to love it.?
At age 25, Camprubi met Wojtek Siudmak, whom she described as ?one of my favorite painters?, at an arts festival in France. Camprubi showed Siudmak one of her works. ?It was my first ?serious?, personal painting.?
?He told me I can do my work in painting if I want,? Camprubi says.
In an e-mail setting up an interview with the Herald, Camprubi noted that during her fist visit as a 14-years-old, ?My outlook was the one of a child, and my feelings for your wonderful country have grown now that I?m an adult. I can really appreciate the kindness of people around here, really helpful and friendly. I?m fascinated by the story of the pioneers and the Indians. Those things are still so part of the daily like of this area. Thanks to the western movies, the history of the American Southwest has become legend for a lot of Europeans.?
As for her designs on breaking into the American marketplace, Camprubi notes, ?The USA is in fact the best country for the type of art that I practice. For Everyone, the USA is the country of superheroes, a country where people are not afraid to follow their dreams.?
To quote a memorable line from Casablanca, ?You?ll get along beautifully in America,? Ms. Camprubi.
In setting up her own publishing house, Camprubi says her goal is ?to produce illustrated books of very high quality, and to translate into English some short stories of talented French writers whose world could fit the American imagination.?
As an illustrator, Camprubi says another important aspect of self-publishing will be the chance to team up with a storywriter from the outset. The idea is for both the author and the visual artist to start out from scratch in a truly collaborative effort.
Camprubi explained that as an illustrator it?s her job to ?enter the world of the author,? something that she enjoys doing, but she wants to take in to the next level, which is ?to do something more balanced. My goal is to work with a French author, an English author, but in an equal ground?. One can be inspiration for other, like a game? We will go further in our worlds together.?
Camprubi says she was perhaps too young to appreciate the New Mexico landscape during her first visit, but this time around, she?s taking notes, especially the dimensional contrasts between objects in France and objects in America, from cars to houses to, especially in New Mexico, the sky. ?Everything is huge for me.?
During her stay here, Camprubi says she also visited a couple of art galleries locally ? Rio Bravo Fine Arts and Mud Mountain Studio
She says she was most struck by the art with a Native American influence. ?The lines are pure. Forceful.?
As a critic, both of her work and the art world at large, Camprubi says her primary touchstone is emotion. ?If it?s a beautiful image without feelings behind it, it?s nothing. On those pieces of arts from Indians, I can feel the perception of life and a way of life, and that?s most important for me. I would like to be able to put some of that really strong emotion into my art.?

Photo : DREAM WEAVER ?Krystal Camprubi is a Fantasy Illustrator who hails from Nancy, France, a medieval city located in the heart of the beautiful Lorraine region. Much of Camprubi?s art is inspired by the region?s beautiful mansions, museums and historic walks. This summer, the 29-years-old artist is spending time in New Mexico and California. Having visited several southwest New Mexico destinations ?including White Sands National Monument and the Gila Cliff Dwellings near Silver City? Camprubi? whose aunt, Eliana Aubin, resides in TorC? expects to return to her home country with a wealth of recollections on which to base future artworks. Here Camprubi sits in front of her website, www.krystal-camprubi.com
Herald photo/TONY A. ARCHULETA

Photo : POLYBOTTE, 16x10 inch oil on canvas by Krystal Camprubi. This work is from a series of illustrations on the tales of the East of France, on an initiative of La Puce a l?Oreille.
Courtesy Krystal Camprubi
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Attention: the website is originally in French. There may be grammar mistakes in our translation.
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