Remember feeling free to dream? Or, having that spirit that seemed unbreakable, where no mountain was too high to climb, no goal beyond reach?… I must say, after speaking with Alan Derosier it was easy to find. This is a guy who is doing the work to pay the bills, while also devoting his life to what truly inspires him: All things PORSCHE.
Let’s be honest, just the name “Porsche” triggers excitement and a thrust of imagination in all of us. Whether you imagine railing the torquey beast around a curve at a crazy fast speed while the throttle just humbly rumbling, asks you, ‘is that all you’ve got?’
Or perhaps it’s just standing in the presence of a classic, curvy 356 with its rounded edges and understated aerodynamics that set the precedence for the unmistakable look that belongs to Porsche and Porsche alone.
Alan’s fascination with Porsche led him to invest thousands of hours of his own time just visualizing, designing, and rendering a modernized version of his fantasy ride: the 1966 Porsche 308, best known for its performance at LeMans. He formed a team that was uniquely qualified to create such a precise and quality model that it honored the Porsche legacy. This is his story, and it is far from over:
Ananda: When and how did your fascination with Porsche begin?
Alan Derosier: It started when I was two or three years old. I used to draw a lot. Then when I was around eight, I became very interested in cars, particularly in Porsches. I would visit my grandparents in Germany every year and that was my big chance to see them out on the road. I started connecting my skills and hobby of drawing with my interest in cars. I wanted to become a car designer.
Ananda: Then what?
Alan: Well, I moved to Italy in 2009 or so, studied for two years, and was offered an internship in Japan to work for Toyota/Isuzu. At the end of the internship I was offered a job so I stayed there and worked for a few years. Then I decided to take up employment at Chery in Shanghai.
Ananda: Well, that’s a great start! Education, followed by practical experience and finally a job doing what you love: designing cars.
Alan: Yes, but I still had a dream to create a Porsche project in my free time. This dream was always there, but it takes a number of people and a broad set of talent to develop a complete concept. I’m a designer, I’m an artist, but I don’t know how to model. I know a bit of Alias, but I would not say that I am highly skilled.
While working at Chery I met Marcos, who was an experienced modeler. I could tell that he had a strong work ethic and that his work was of very high quality so I asked if he would join me for the project, and he accepted. I had been looking for someone to team up with for years, but it wasn’t until I met Marcos that there was ever an individual I felt was qualified. He always put his best work forward, manipulating the lighting and surfaces to be just right. He was passionate, and that was what the project needed most.
Ananda: So, how did you go about working together?
Alan: We started after work. We asked our boss if it would be ok to stay late and work on a side project, and he was agreeable. I must say that this is not the norm in the automotive industry as it is a very competitive environment, but he wanted to see us succeed, and so he supported our effort.
We would work on the Porsche every day after work for a year. Originally we thought a few months is all it would take, then we were so wrong. We met Martin, who is a Maya modeler, also working at Chery. He is also a Porsche fanatic so we were delighted when he accepted our invitation.
The Porsche started to look cooler and cooler. It was time to consider the interior.
Ananda: Interiors are definitely different.
Alan: Yes, indeed. So that is where Guillermo came in. He is a French designer, had experience at Volkswagen and it was evident he had the skills we needed. So Guillermo helped design the interior.
We kept going, getting more and more serious. Marcos did side work producing website photos using HDR. So, we knew we had to get some for our renderings. We managed to get some shots at the end of a race on the track. We did one lap by foot, and took all the turns and pictures in HDR.
Ananda: Wow, you really were determined to take this as far as you could.
Alan: Yes, we were.
Ananda: So, how did Porsche catch wind of this?
Alan: We didn’t present it to Porsche, they actually saw our website and contacted us.
Ananda: Wait, so you are just hanging out and randomly get a call from Porsche?
Alan: Pretty much. We were up late, working on the car, still working on the new images. I was on the phone with Marcos while I was checking our email and I told him we got a message from Porsche. He thought I was joking.
Ananda: That must have made for a fun night.
Alan: Yes, we were so excited. We just celebrated for the rest of the night.
Ananda: Well, it took quite a bit of commitment to get to this point.
Alan: Yes it did. We spent a lot of late nights, many times we were up until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, then back at work by 8:30 to do our real job.
Ananda: So, how did you manage that? I mean, this project was your life.
Ananda: So, what’s next?
Alan: Well, I would love to do a new one. I already have other ideas for a new one. It would be great to keep this team together.
Ananda: I appreciate you bringing that up. So often the ones with the vision, the ones creating the models and refining every detail to the very end are not individually recognized.
Alan: That’s right. I understand that this project would not have happened if it weren’t for the talent and dedication of each member of the team, as well as the willingness of my employer to work on this.
Ananda: Alan, if you had advice for others in a similar situation, looking to produce the works that they imagine and further their careers, what would it be?
Alan: If you have a dream, something you want to achieve, and think it’s impossible… I can tell you through this experience, you can achieve anything you want… You can create the right situation, find the right people. Also, expect what you wish to happen will happen. While I was happy that Porsche contacted us, I was not surprised. I expected them to… and they did.
There you have it… how a young, ambitious, talented and hard-working individual like Alan Derosier can turn dreams into reality. What dreams do you have? What dreams will you turn into reality?