Interested in purchasing artwork? Please leave comment with your email address. I'll contact you.
CV & work availabel at "Stylefile," "NAVA Sadami Gallery."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Networking, Illustrator's Essential Skills

Hi, Friends, thank you for a great patience and warm cheers! I've finished up the picture book illustration, so far. Helen Chamberlin and Ann James love my work so much. Soon, a courier sent by Publisher will pick up the packed work. A book designer and we'll work on layout and editing. Exciting! 

BTW, this blog post focuses on "successful networking," critically important skills for picture book illustrators and artists. Sounds strange? Is an "enough talent" alone enough? Think this truth that you cannot make a picture book all by yourself. A picture book illustrator must connect people and works together. The same is true of fine artists wishing to display work must find venues and need to sell it. Can you provide space, time and money all by yourself? In other words, if a person just wants to work alone, s/he would never get a chance to be an illustrator.

What is successful networking? In my view, good networking gets more nice friends and establishes mutual-help in business. Networking gives an artist a job opportunity and promotes your own work. In turn, an employer/publisher gains commercial benefits from your art work. Indeed, it's a two-way, a "give and take" system in human connection and win-win for both parties. Joining networking events gives us insightful knowledge and useful experiences, too. 
Presenter @ "Arts and Education Partnership Forum"
Dane Ropa, Deputy Principal, Balgowlah Boys Campus, 
Northern Beaches Secondary College
I've learned effective networking skills from uni life -- full of formal and informal events such as conferences, workshops and parties. I was too shy at events, but uni lecturers encouraged me to try them for social skills. As well as lecturers, an editor at Scholastic Australia, highly recommended me to attend networking events. My mentor, Ann James, too. Great advice. I started to observe how good networkers behave in events and found principal factors. 
Let's chat over main elements, in order to achieve successful networking,  
Networking skills are communication skills that connect others, promote yourself and market yourself. In a social context, good networkers are, "being friendly, approachable, open minded, good at listening = makes others comfy in a chat." In my observation, smart people chat around in a room. So, don't stay at a same spot or a person. Technically, effective networkers always have attractive business cards and reach at target people. A smart business card is a handy resume and an impressive ad flyer. Friends, make nice business cards! People often give positive feedback to well-designed business cards at once.

"Be prepared and well organised," is another important element. Have a compact showcase of your work. Seeing is believing. Good art work speaks loud your talents and skills. I bring sample works with me in a practical way. After looking at my sample work, some editors have given me projects immediately on spot, because editors are always searching for Illustrators matching their projects. Only distinguished art work convinces editors of your ability that will accomplish their picture book texts. Although a buyers market, celebrated artists have advantage in "need & provision" on market. Friends, let us be the best of best in our own genre and make ourselves standout on market. 
Libby Gleeson facilitator for ARTISTS BEYOND THE CLASSROOM: 
Furthermore, "set a target/goal and organise methods/devices" are crucial in networking skills. This is an example for networking. 
Last week, I joined a wonderful workshop, "Arts and Education Partnership Forum" held by Parramatta Council. Key panellers were from widely ranged first class guys! Such as academia, science, music education, Opera house Head of Children, Families & Education, contemporary art museums etc, etc and publishing industry. All presenters have been achieving wonderdul contributions to art and school. Their interesting talk inspired us, attendances. I've learned practical approaches to work with school. My most target group was publishing industry people : Australian legend author Libby Gleeson, Westwards and education's key person Judith Ridge, award-winning illustrators, Sarah Davis and Kylie Dunstan. Although we already know each other, catching up is very meaningful. Before a workshop started, we carefully looked at my *dummy* (= a small picture book). The publishing industry people gave me feedback and celebrated my work with Helen Chamberlin and Ann James. Kylie is working with Helen. I love her collage and stories. I asked Kylie to pass on my best wishes to OUR editor in Melbourne. 
During the forum, my sketches of presenters amused models and others, even an event organising team! Looking at a watercolour painging process is fun for anyone. We straight away got into a friendly mood and shared a nice time. All posted sketches are from the workshops! Libby called me, "Mate!" (* = intimate "Friend" in colloquial Australian English*) after looking at my sketch. Now, the attendances had enjoyed my drawing skills and illustration ability. We friendly exchanged business cards and smile. Some participants would looked forward to my this blog post. Nice! We get mutual connection, wider support and merits in social and commercial phases. 
Special thanks to the event team!

Although sweet Editor Helen says, "You (= illustrator Sadami ) are the star!" in this publishing project, my response is, "No. All of us's hard work, Author, Editor, Mentor, Book Designer etc, etc." Connect others and work others in a harmonious way, is essential.  

Without successful networking, neither chance nor opportunity will open a door for artists. In my view, luck does not exist in publishing industry, BUT good networking skills build luck for an illustrator/artist who can maximise 
opportunity and use it at best. So, Friends, go and join events! Don't be shy, but be prepared and enjoy experiences! Look at good networkers and enrich your knowledge and get more chance! Go, go, Friends!
Now, Easter Holiday. I'll enjoy staying with friends in a country side. No electricity, no internet connection, but kangaroos and wild creatures! I'll sketch Australian bush! So, please pardon my no response to your comments. Thank you for giving me a blog holiday leave and my hands get better, but the hands need a bit more holiday. You, too, please enjoy Easter Holiday and safe trip.  
Friends, Happy Painting!! 


Saturday, March 22, 2014

1) Helen Chamberlin, Publication 2) Bologna Children's Book Fair

Hi, Friends, thank you for a great support & patience. 
Good news, my hands are improving. Please give me more blog holiday leave. 
Now, Sadami update!

1) Helen Chamberlin, Publication

a) picture book 
Colour is at the final stage. 

My Editor Helen Chamberlin and I sent best wishes to My Mentor Ann James leaving for Bologna Children's Book Fair (Sunday March 23 - Thursday March 27). 
Ann and Helen always inspire me, support me and backup me. Well, I give you more info to know how fabulous my Editor is. This shy Editor, an Australia legend, has created so many awarded Australian picture books that have become classic today. Helen was awarded 2009 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) = The APA Pixie O’Harris Award for her distinguished and dedicated service to the development and reputation of Australian Children’s Books. (*APA = Australian Publishers Association)
Other awards are, 
2009, George Robertson Awards for her distinguished service to the Australian publishing industry.
2001, EUPHEMIA "Pheme" AWARD for her outstanding personal contribution to children's literature. 
How many people on earth could gain those awards in life? Helen did it. 

In Hachette / Lothian Books (1990  2008), she has fostered soooo many brilliant Australian illustrators that have become big names. Too many to write up examples though, "Shaun Tan" is best known and anyone knows their beautiful working relation. So, no surprise Helen got those amazing national awards.
After retiring, Helen was welcomed by Windy Hollow Books in 2009. She has been working there to present. 

Now, Friends, you've got how great my Editor Helen is! You have no wonder Helen and Ann got me Shaun Tan signed "Rules of Summer" for a birthday present last year. My Editor and Mentor are such accomplished key persons in Australian publishing industry!
This is a study for a central character.

Yes, Publisher Helen is one of the most highly respected persons in Australian publishing industry. She entered the publishing industry in 1971 as a trainee editor at Heinemann Educational Australia. She has worked in both education and trade picture book publishing. Originally, Helen was a secondary teacher of English and languages : German and French. Helen's language assets is astonishing. She also employs Italian. Helen and I have the same interest, "linguistics"! Also, I've started my illustrator career from education picture books. Last year, I finished up an ACER's commissioned work (*ACER=Australian Council Research Project), whilst working on a trade picture book under Helen's supervision. She very well understood my situations and kindly supported busy me. So sweet!  

Helen's working history is full of prize-winning picture books and significantly glorious. Today, any big names in our industry celebrate me, "You're lucky. Helen is your editor! She's great. I look forward to your picture book." Helen has assisted many of those Australian "star" illustrators and authors. I'm certain illustrators and writers are dreaming to work with Helen. So, I've been extremely happy and very blessed that I have had the superb Editor and the wonderful Mentor Ann

In my ongoing colour, a double spread's colour rough is done = a half way through. WOW... amazing... from these (see below) tiny dummies to this final stage, we've climbed up to.

b) "Quotable Winston Churchill" becomes "e books" as well as print. 
From Running Press (American Publisher!) 
This tiny tome is filled with Winston Churchill's biography, his most inspirational quotes, and excerpts from some of his most famous speeches. 
My work is at the title page!

c) Human Rights Organisation's publishing project (soon will be published)
My images are included in their publication! Honoured and very happy. I hope my work will call public awareness for human rights. Later, I'd post more detailed information.  

2)Bologna Children's Book Fair (Sunday March 23 - Thursday March 27) 
Friends, it's time for the world biggest and prestigious kids' book fair!  
You can check your own country's information here, Exhibitors List 2014
My mentor Ann James (Book Illustrated) is heading for Bologna. She's leading an Australian team. Here's our section! YEY!!!

Hello! From Australia - Bologna Book Fair 2014

Ann James/Book Illustrated is updating LIVE news by this face book!  Exciting!
If you are near or visit Bologna, say hello to our Australia team!!

This is a study for a central character.
With my good news, I've popped up at local libraries. Librarians celebrate the ongoing illustration and other publications. So nice to share my joy with others, especially, who have encouraged me at a tough time.  They will HAPPILY give me further support, when I do book launch. 

Now, I'll take a break for blogging and concentrate on the projects, taking care of the hands. I really appreciate your warm cheers. 
I'll post on Editor Helen Chamberlin later with my sketches, focusing on her wonderful personality and how she helps me, an illustrator. Look forward to a post!
Friends, you, too, make your dreams come true and 
Happy Painting!!
In addition, I've lost 2 kg a bit in a healthy way. Stretching between desk work is good?!! 


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Holiday Leave for Blogging

Hi, Friends! We had a long weekend, Australia Day ( = happy birthday, dear Rhonda!). I have bad news and good news. Joints' pains in hands bother me. Need a break for typing. Keyboard work hurts hands. Hand specialists are helping me ( *two yrs ago, the doctor did my hand surgery! Great success.) So, please pardon my blog's holiday leave for a while and keep patience.

Good news is, I submitted "most colours" for the picture book project! Yey!! Author gave me wonderful advice to make these images. Now, my mentor says, "Great work Sadami, I like the feeling. I'll print them out and see how they work as a book. Have a break, treat yourself! RELAX!!" Yes, indeed, her say is right on a spot! My editor says, "Gorgeous. You are so advanced with it ( in the process of picture book illustration) " 
Next, a publishing team will give me feedback. Then, we will work on images more, if necessary. Friends, get surprised? Yes, creating a picture book takes such a long time and a lot of processes. 
Editor and Publishing team are very caring and so sweet. They kindly give me time as much as I need to get better. 

This break will be a good time to keep away from my own work. And come back to it to examine the images like a third party or in an objective view. I really look forward to feedback and to working with my wonderful publishing team!
One day,  I'll post on my editor, so sweet, very thoughtful and wise. She is already an Australia legend and highly respected in publishing industry.  Shhhhh?! Friends, I've already made her portrait in a loose style. She said with a wonderful humour, "I'm honoured!" and added, "20 yrs younger than me!" Well, Friends, I'll leave it to your decision if it looks younger or not. Look forward to my post on Editor with her portrait in the near future! ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ I feel I'm very blessed to work with brilliant Author, admirable Editor and superb Mentor.  

Now, my hands will take a rest. 
Thank you for understanding and I really appreciate your great cheers. Please pardon my few comments/responses or only short "texting" messages on your blogs. BUT I always enjoy your blog posts! 
Friends, take care. Happy Painting!!


Monday, January 20, 2014

Tips for Loose Up Watercolour = Show, Don't Tell

Hi, Friends, are you enjoying drawing? This week, I'll chat over "Show, don't tell." It is famous advice for writing. We know the difference between writing that involves the audience by showing what’s happening in stories and simple telling/reporting information that holds the reader back. I keep "Show, don't tell" as a guide for my art work. 

Technically, this is my way to loose up work. 
1. Value study of selected theme. One topic per work.
2. Simple drawing. Lines are the fewer, the better.
3. Colour use, as above. Limited palette. Play up contrast and play with paints/water.
NOTE: If you're confident to use many colours, go for it! The point is how to handle value with colours.
4. Quick brush strokes, the fewer, the better = enjoy washes.
5. Play with water and paints. Use "plenty" of water.

Below, when I started sketching the busker at market, I thought, "Wooops, did I make a too strong contrast and a too thick colour?" But it went not bad! The player's face expression was my main interest. His fingers and body movement were my second interest. I sang and dance together with the band, whilst sketching!
In my view, the beauty of a loose up watercolour style is the beauty of omission that comes from ambiguity created in soft edges. Technically, in order to loose up work, an artist is very selective of visual information. I choose one topic/interesting thing and omit or delete a rest of others in sketch and work. Too busy information never works for a loose style. When I wonder if I should put more or not, I stop brushes. It's hard and a great temptaion, but I try not to do overwork. The simpler, the better. No trick. (*I hope even little kids understand my work!) Brush strokes and colour use are the fewer, the better. Value study is the key for a successful loose up style. When I get stuck, I always sketch in black and white and check my value.

Below, my sketches of other buskers in the band.
That's enough for my painting. You'll find very a few lines. I always sketch only necessary points. Later, the band members said, 'Wow, it's me!" "Hey, that's you!" and we had a cheerful laugh together. Nice! Have fun is very important for happy watercolour!
Interestingly, once, my Mentor Ann James said, "You're a painter, rather than a drawer." I think she understands my playing with colour paints in water and her say implies I put on weigh on paints more than lines in watercolour painting.  Also, I've realised that my eye remembers value and does correct drawing mistakes in colour painting! Does it make sense? My colour use and value compensates my drawing mistakes and amends drawings. Yes, my brush strokes fix drawing lines.  So, I do not care drawing mistakes and move on colour asap, before a subject has gone out of my sight. A work results in freshness, my most strength. 

I also assume a loose watercolour style provokes viewers imagination and involves viewers like "Show, don't tell" suggests. When I play up one interesting topic, I leave work to readers imagination. We know when artists tap viewers imagination, work will become rich than simple facts. When artists try hard to "explain" about something in art work, art work results in very poor and not so interesting nor touchy.  

I'm exploring watercolour, whilst working on the picture book project and so ons. Now, the picture book project's colour is more than a half way through. I want this picture book to stand between imagination and reality or come and go between mood/emotion and fact.  It's very challenging for me. Oh, I've made lots of messes in a studio. It's really good to check them again to create good illustrations. It's worth trying experiments. Of course, I sometimes feel down and out. But your warm cheers through this blog really lift me up. Yes, your cheers always remind me, "Joy must come first."

Thank you, Friends!!!
You, too, enjoy drawing. I'd send you my warm cheers, too! I hope we will enjoy "swimming" DEEPLY in watercolour.
Friends, Happy Painting!!



Monday, January 13, 2014

Sydney Festival Inspired Seduced Elated in Summer

Hi, Friends, are you in winter or summer? 
Come join Sydney Festival (9 - 26 Jan) This art festival celebrates visual art, music, dance, performance or whole art areas. Event locations are varied in Sydney. Many programs are in City and Parramatta.

Some events and programs are free and very fascinating : Project 28 : Roman Ondak ( we, laypersons mark our "names" on a wall that makes art and eternity!), Sacrilege (Interpreted "Stonehenge" in a contemporary way --"JUMPING CASTLE"!!),  Rubber Duck (5 story-high, not Ernie's one!) and Library (secondhand books exchange!). Which event do you like?

First, "Project 28, Roman Ondak (artist's name)" that has fascinated me most ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ. Friends, don't we wish to mark our existance as eternity in universe? If so, this creative public art is yours. Anyone can leave a name and a date on walls set in Parramatta Town Hall. I wondered how the artist would decide my name's position on a wall? Friends, by an individual "hight," staff puts a name on a wall. According to the project team, hight is "Measuring the Universe." Neither assets, race, gender, age, religion, social class nor any social filters set in society.

I also ponder about Nazi concentration camps that completely denied both individuality and humanity of Jewish people. Individuals were recongnised only by numbers, not names. This beautiful work already has fascinated visitors at some of the world's greatest museums and galleries.

So wise and clever! 
Interestingly, our own hight looks individual, in fact, it is quite similar among adults. Consequetnly, the art becomes collective and inclusive. Our names come together at a very similar position. How thoughtful the artist is! All participants look very happy and often take photos of their names. Of course, you can interpretate this art work freely and differently. What do you think or feel, Friends? The art work makes me think of eternity, our existance, similarity/equality and difference/individuality on the earth and in universe. The staff and volunteers invite me to come again to see the finsihed work at the end of the Festival. Sure! I will!

Second, Sacrilege or Stonehenge, but a huge "JUMPING CASTLE" in a festival village in Hyde Park at the heart of Sydney City. This stunningly big jumping castle faces St Mary Cathedral. The artist might think of the same common element, "spirituality" between Stonehenge and a big gothic church. What a unique and great humour!! ~(*o*)~ Who can connect Stonehenge to a jumping castle, so much our everyday stuff? Oh, creativity is amazing. I always wanted to sketch Stonehenge. Now, my dream has come true! Children get excited so much and enjoy bouncing. But after the playing time, all participants get so exhausted. Jumping seems energy consuming work! Friends, you have to come and see and jump!

Third, Rubber Duck comes back and up on Parramatta River. This rediculously enormous Rubber Duck makes us smile by its mismatch between seirousness and humour in art. It always reminds me of Ernie in Sesami street. But who can imagine this size? -- only artists can do ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ. Many people come around and look at it, enjoying picnic in Parramatta park.

Last, "Library" in a festival village in Hyde Park under beautiful and cool shades. Sydney Council runs this project. They set freebie secondhand books on shelves and visitors can pick up books. One person one book. Children's picture books are very popular and quickly gone! Many people enjoy reading books that makes me very happy. Around a library, people play chess and kids play wooden blocks (what a healthy and safe idea!). Cheerful voices and laugh often come up. Lovely, so lovely. 
Librarians/staff are looking forward to my blog post. ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ·.•*•♫°•♫·.•ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ
**Special thanks for Festival Team and City of Sydney Library. They have kindly put "Sadami's Graffiti" on City of Sydney Library Facebook.

Oh, yes, in Hyde Park, a guitarist plays beatuiful classic music for visitors before a fountain. We really love his live music.

I'd say special thanks for volunteers and staff and all backstage players who have been carrying out this wonderful festival for us.
Friends, if you can, come over Sydney and let's have fun together and join art work!! Or do you have any event like Sydney festival? Let me hear about yours.

Finally, my colour for the picture book is going steadly. Editor and Mentor patiently encourage me. We happily discuss about my submitting work. Thank you, Friends, your cheers always lift me up and I can come to this stage.
You, too, enjoy drawing.
Friends, Happy Painting!!  


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Resolutions & Life Drawings

Hi, Friends, Happy New Year! Thank you for visiting my blog in 2014. Did you have a wonderful Christmas and a new year's eve? I had! Now, 2014 has started! 
"You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth." – Evan Esar.
OK, my new year resolution -- practical and realistic.
1)  Complete the picture book
We'll get on work from a next week.  Editor said like a last whip, "Sadami, if you have a question, ask your Mentor! (whilst her Christmas leave)", but Editor never forgot to give me sweet, adding, "Have lots of swims and Happy New Year. Love." What a lovely Editor! Good Girl, Sadami has been working on colour!

2) Book Launch
My dream is to have a picture book's book launch at uni and else where. I'd invite wonderful supporters to say special thanks. 

3) Enjoy Upcoming Projects
Yes, already interesting projects have come to me in 2013.
4) Enjoy Figurative Work in Sketch & Watercolour
My most favorite genre is figures. We all know "being honest with ourselves" is essential to make a good work.  Go, figures, make snap-shot-like portraits more.

5) Try Competitions More 
I tried only a few competitions last year, really. The picture book project has occupied me. This year, I'd try a bit more, say, at least, five. 

6) Walk Well 
No, not a cat walk. 
Yes, I've been challenging walking without a stick. Although balancing is not easy, I'm optimistic and positive. Then, dress up! I want to put on sexy shoes!  
But my dear and very wise blog friend said, "No, Sadami, you do not look sexy(*Ouch!), but cute - and believe me, cute lasts all your life while sexy fades pretty quickly :)  So you are much better being cute!" ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ·.•*•♫°•♫·.•ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ
Ooooohhhh!!!!! I did not know it. That's true! OK, this year, I'd go on this way, go cute! Lalalala~~!

All my resolutions are achievable. You do not find such as "bring back the moon," "lose **kgs/weight," or "conquer Mount Everest." It means there should be solutions and strategies for my objections. (BTW, Friends, is a successful diet much harder than climbing up Everest, don't you think so?~(*o*)~)  

Friends, what is your goal in 2014?
Finally, I'd share this say with you.

"Life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment,
and life's greatest rewards are reserved for those who
demonstrate a never-ending commitment to life.
As simplistic as this may seems,
it is the common denominator separating
those who live their dreams from
those who live in regret."
---Anthony Robbins
May 2014 will be a wonderful and fruitful year for you, I pray with all my heart.
Dear Friends, Happy Painting, 2014!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Through 1st Round World Watercolour Competition!

Hi, Friends, very good news, my Christmas present for you all. I'm ONE of 600 artists selected from all over the world! WOW!! I got through the first round for the world biggest international watercolour competition held by "The Art of Watercolour" magazine!!!

The submitted works are two. The letter does not tell which got through. 

The notice is below. 
"Dear Artist friend,
The first selection stage of the World Watercolour Competition is now over. You were approximately 2,000 artists from 80 countries to take part in the competition.

The significant number of participants shows how much you were involved in this event aiming at highlighting watercolour and watercolour artists throughout the world. We deeply thank you for it.

After the first validation of the registration forms, we are pleased to inform you that you have successfully passed the first selection stage of the World Watercolour Competition organised by the magazine The Art of Watercolour."

Here's the info. I'm certain many blog friends have seen this ad on net, haven't you?

This is the wesbite on the comp. Big prizes, offered articles+exhibition for winners.

Q&A = entry condition
yes, they do until 4 rounds.

In addition, the competition entry condition is very tolerant.
1) any subject, any style will do
2) watercolour dominant but also with any medium use will do
3) works created in the past five yrs
4) 2 paintings
5) anyone can submit work
6) no fee for a first round
I'm certain so many, really tens of millions watercolourists, armatures, other medium artists tried. 

Oh, too good to be true. Pinch me! Ouch!! Yep, true! 
Then, a second round will soon start in a next year. Only 250 will be left for a second stage.

What a wonderful way to end the year and start 2014. 
This achievement encourages me so much. (*They do selection until five rounds. So, I do not expect I will get through them. But very happy, I'm one of 600 prestigious and honoured artists in the world!)

I've been working on the picture book project as you know. But I want to work on figures, too in 2014. 

Friends, thank you for your warm cheers that have enabled me to go forward in 2013. Oh, I cannot depict with a language how much blogger Friends, YOU have backed up me. My achievements are, in fact, yours, too. BTW, I have a sore right hand and will consult a specialist in 2014. So, please allow me to take a rest well and keep patience for a new post in 2014.  
Wish you a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!
Friends, Happy, Happy Painting!