Interested in purchasing art work? Please leave a comment with your email address. I'll contact you. Illustration work is available at ASA "Style File."

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Market exchange loneliness with smile

The sky was clear up and sunshine was beautiful. Wow, I felt like catching light. I visited a market. It was a treasure hunting and nice to see familiar people there. I have not come to the market for a while, as I was busy.
A market is a crossing point of cultures and people from all over the world. No exaggeration. It's my privilege of living in Sydney that I can encounter different cultures and any people on the earth.

A Middle East man always displayed a bit unique and fascinating goods. He whispered me that they came from overseas. Two stalls showed Japanese kimono, dishes and antiques. An Indian man put all his DVDs on the ground, shouting for a bargain. Some stalls exhibited Chinese cultural heritages such as garments, stones and tiny crafts. An old German man with a mustache enjoyed a chat with customers rather than selling his WWII army uniforms.

Of course, so many stalls mixed up different cultures without any time frame.
Young-student-like gals tried hard to sell all their old clothes and worn out shoes at cheap prices. Collected goods and bric-a-brac were flooded over on stalls, such as old coins, stamps, rusted instruments, secondhand books, CDs, and brand new unnecessary goods, etc, etc. Even an owner of a stall had no idea about where it came from!
Only once I came across a linguistics lecturer's stall in the past. The lecturer wanted to sell unnecessary belongings for the moving out. Thank goodness, there wasn't any linguistics book on the table?!
Oh, yeah, a market deals not only "past" and "present", but also "future." A gypsy fortune teller would tell you about a future. A market also gives buskers job places.

Another great fun is to negotiate a stall owner over prices. It's all up to a customer's skills, luck and "timing" of telling a price. It seems when packing up comes near, a customer can take advantage of buying goods. Even though
owners want to sell goods at a right price, they know " An egg today is better than a chicken tomorrow." Some visitors told me their sagas how cleverly and bravely beat right prices.

While I was listening to a busker's music, I sketched the market.
I imagine, probably, Silk Road could be much like this market. In our modern society, we get isolated more and more in technology. The market is the place for us to share time. In Japan, I do not have any memory like these markets in Sydney. Personally, I really love a market. We recycle goods, enjoy human interactions and care for each other there.

I assume a market is the place we chuck loneliness into a bin and exchange smiles over a stall.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Disability is Ability!

When you come across me in person, you find a walking stick, a brace and an orthotics for my left leg. Five years ago, all of a sudden, my whole left leg got paralyzed. Specialists at hospital scritch their heads. A cause is unknown or idiopathic. While our medical team has been trying hard to find any effective treatment, I've made efforts for a rehabilitation. I can walk now much better than the onset.

My physio confessed me
two years after the onset,
"I expected you would never
walk again." But I made it.
She gave me a lovely
"white lie" at the moment,
saying, "Good! You walk
much better!" I was simple
and believed her say.
I thought I walked much better.
In fact, it was the first day when I put on the orthotics and made a terrible wobble walk.

Friends, actually, this disability opened a door for me to be a professional artist. I felt I needed to find something give me joy. I remembered how happy when I was drawing in a childhood. I also remembered I had dreamed to be a picture book illustrator. I thought I would not be able to a professional. Very competitive and not sure I was enough...

But I joined the workshop for children picture book illustration at Sydney uni. It was a lovely experience. I learned how to organize a picture book, about industry and other stuff. Both teachers were professional illustrators. They acknowledged my outstanding skills and beautiful work at once. The two professionals encouraged me to be an illustrator.

With many people's cheers and help, I made it happen! "Stuck"
is my first picture book.
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I started my fine artist career, too. I won two awards so far. One work was bought by Ryde Council and Ms Maxine Mckew purchased the other. I thought my American friend's say was right, "I think I can, I think I can." This little engine has begun to explore her own future with joy.

What I want to tell you is
Never give up.
Hope always stays with you.
Where there's a will, there's a way.
If you work hard, I'm sure people will back up you.

Here's the national body to assist people with disability to join art activities Art Access Australia .
Accessible Arts is a peak body for arts and people with disability across New South Wales.
Further, Mr Gareth Wreford, Executive Director of Arts Access Australia kindly passed on me the info for Japanese speakers and Japanese people, たんぽぽの家.

If your family, friends or any one you know has a disability, please pass my blog and tell them,
There isn't such a word, "disability."
You have a great ability! You have the potential!!"
私は左足が不自由ですが、今では、1km位、軽く泳げるようになりました。やる気とガッツがあれば、人は大概の事をしますよ。もし、あなたの友達、家族, 知りあい で身体障害を持っている方が居たら、私のblogを or 話を伝えて下さい。 Disabilityはdisabilityじゃないのを伝えたい。 それは可能性と外のドアを開く事なのだ、と。私は幼いころからの夢を叶え、絵本挿絵画家、fine artistとなり、 自分を掴んだのだから、disabilityだとは思いません、と。


Thursday, February 25, 2010


I assume creativity and imagination comes out of emotions.
When I see subjects, something moves me and I make it into drawings and paintings. Honest, I cannot tell what drives me for art work in language. So, I try to express what I feel in drawing and painting before my feelings are gone. Quick, quick! Work, work!

But Friends, I believe each person has a different channel of an inner world.

I often imagine....
a long, long time ago, say, in a Stone age, people gathered around a fire, looking at a beautiful sunset in silence. It was a long day after tough hunting. The colors of the sky moved each of the people. Then...

One began to sing.
One began to utter a word.
One began to paint it on a rock.
One began to give another a big hug, and so on.
...civilization : music, language, art, religion and culture was born. Although I might be too optimistic or simple, I feel we can understand one another, because we can share same feelings.

In addition, when I was at high school, I always made portraits of famous authors printed in a literature text book. Their unhappy faces in old fashioned costumes amused me more than boring classes. Other students and my friends really loved my graffiti that became so popular. Quite fun.

Moreover, when I was at uni, I secretly made a cartoon of a professor and submitted it with my essay writing assignment. The linguistics lecturer had a sense of humour and enjoyed my doodle, even though my score was on the 'border line' to pass the unit.

By chance,
I had an opportunity to show other professors my art works. How beautifully the lecturers employed language to talk about my work! That was "Art of language," indeed. Their comments impressed me so much. On the contrary, I had no idea how to say it with words. I felt language was not a good communication methods for me.

Certainly and proudly, I got "I'm a dunce. A country of language is not a place for me to settle down." I set off to immigrant to a country of art. Today, I've settled down and happy.

Guys, if you are students and wondering which way to go, try any direction and find something your favorite. Finding a future direction is much like searching a gold mine under a ground. I believe each one has something valuable. It wants to be discovered by you!

Anyway, back to the subject.
Drawing and painting is universal language. Anyone all over the world can understand drawing and loves it. I believe we can understand one another in art that overcomes any differences such as race, politics, religion, culture, language, space, time, distance etc, etc.

Let's make doodles! Your doodles would be a historical heritage million years later like cave men's graffiti.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Getting Ready for Exhibition & "Love Ye"

I'm getting ready for Ku-RingGai Art Society exhibition in St Ives shopping centre.
Mona Vale Road St Ives
Monday 15 to Sunday 21 March
9am to 5:30pm
(9pm on Thursday)

I'm going to submit the "Acorns and Leaves" at $150, framed 32by28cm. Gulp. I hope someone will be a "step mom/dad" for my little work.

By the way, sometimes or often people ask me "How did you learn drawing?" while I am sketching. Oh, that's a good question. But I do not know how and where... That question puzzles me. I only can say Little Sadami was enjoying drawing at a very early stage of life. It might be before a kindy. "I wanted to draw and did it. Self taught," is my dead honet answer.

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In reply, I ask, "If you ask a bird "Why do you sing? Where did you learn it?," how can they answer?" All the people, with a big smile, get what I mean and quietly leave me alone working on sketching.

Or some people enjoy a chat with me over drawing. They say, "I can't draw like you. I only can draw a stick figure."
I say, "Great! Everyone begins wtih a stick figure! Can you draw a line?" Anyone nods. "Good. Can you make a circle?" Anyone says, "Yes." "If so, NO PROBLEM. You can do it! Please remember when you were young, how much you enjoyed drawing, didn't ye? Joy must come first. I think, at some stage, children get hurt by adults's comments on their work, such as parents and teachers's say and stop it." The listener always nods more and tells me an individual story. I encourage them, "If so, please remember your young days and do it like a child. Enjoy it."
Like this song, "Love you." And I love you,too, Friends.

Parents often ask me to teach children. "No, they are my teachers. They are geniuses," is my answer.
A very shame, if we, adults and our competitive value system steps over talented and sensitive children.
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Of course, we, fine artists try competitions. Not all of us can get prizes. But ultimately, the criterion of pirzes are questionable, becuase it depnds on judges' value.
I'd like to pass on this wonderful say to the broken hearted people after missing out prizes.

"Rejction means you are one step closer to your goal,"

and let us work on our styles.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Homeless people

I helped food service for homeless people for the first time as a volunteer. There are many homeless people. Our service is run by a local church. A bus comes fortnight Saturday evening at Town Hall. I was a bit late for helping the service. Most food was gone just in twenty minutes. The staff told me, "Quick. In a few minutes, gone!" Ooops, I did not know it. With given gloves on, I handed out dessert and waited for late comers.

The bus has computers and telephones for homeless people. So, they can access internet and ring up someone they want to talk.

Female staff appeared to be popular among homeless guys?! (*always short staff and a few female volunteers.)
One homeless man talked to me. Very much mumbling. Another staff whispered me, "Sadami, I can't get what he says and he comes to you too close." From another staff's eyes, I might take a risk
with this drunkerd or might be a drug user. But I was convinced that man really, really wanted to be heard by someone. No harm.

The man kept telling me his story. A long story. I listened to him very well. He began to tell me how other family members treated him "kindly." He talked to our team leader, too. Then, he came back to me and asked,
"Do you come next time?"
" Yes."
The homeless guy with dirty beard took my hand (in a glove) and kissed it like a noble gentleman.

After the service, the staff had a discussion on today's work. They invited me. It was really good to have a frank talk about each one's job. The staff and I talked over the man and how to help him. We learned a lot, encouraged each other and prayed. This small church's great work moved me and touched me...

In my eyes, homeless people seemed to be very lonely and exhausted with life. First of all, the people want to grab food. Then, they want to be heard. Not many homeless people were cheerful.
They want someone to listen to them. When the bus was gone, I saw stars in the sky. The homeless people went back to silence and loneliness again. I hope our tiny help makes a bit difference for our society.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chinese New Year and Fortune Teller

Last night, I enjoyed a Chinese New Year. Wow, Chinese traditional culture is very fascinating. "Lion and dragon dance" is well known. Food and ways of celebration etc were very different from a Japanese New Year.
I came across a Chinese fortune teller for the first time, even though I saw a similar one in Japan. He and his assistance's traditional costume were impressive. Especially, the guy's tiny hat was so cute. They read your palm, ye kne? And they tell you what's going on this year, become rich or not and so on. From my curiosity , I put myself on the looooong queue... nearly 100 people on a "waiting list." So, eventually, I gave up my turn and gave special thanks to the hard working fortune tellers, but many people complained about their 'wrap up'.

On the queue, I said to a next man with kidding,
"(If they can know a fate,)Why can't they change their fates?"
The man replied seriously,
"No, they can't. They can't change their fates."
...I wondered why so many people wanted to know fate badly. If we know all about our life stories, how boring! I can't stand it.

I do not know if there's a fate or a destiny. One thing I'm certain is the final decision is mine. We face 'reality' that changes from moment to moment. Several options are available. I always make a decision and take my responsibility of consequence. If so, I'm the boss. Of course, I feel some part of reality is out of my control. But after doing my best, I'm happy to accept the results.

Friends, if you have a dream, keep it and try it. Once, one of my dear friends said, "If you struggle hard for your own dream, people will help you." True. Many people have happily helped me to be an artist.
Another friend said, "Sadami, triumph consists of two morphemes. "Try" and your little bit "Umph!". And you can get "triumph"!" Then, she gave me a picture book, "Little Engine That Could."

Sometimes, I feel life is tough. I open that picture book and get energy to move on.
My life should be a fantasy made by me.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Love and Watercolor

A tiny handmade watercolor kit is very handy and pretty. I do not use many colors. Just a few.
With the kit, I cha
llenge catching the moment and light.
People show very interesting and natural face expressions, while they are not aware of others and me. A bit shame. Once, they realize me, their beautiful expressions disappear. So, I must quickly, as if, steal their beauty in a few minutes. I know another watercolorist says he "secretly" sketches people.

"Light" is also very interesting. I'm so fond of sun setting. A bit melancholic though, I enjoy fantastic colors and shadows in the sky
and on the ground.
Only the problem is ,again,
the sun sets quickly. I have to make a rush to seize the moment. Very exciting. I have no time to think.

Talking of love and watercolor, there's NO time to think twice. If I think too much, I become a loser. If I look back, I'll miss out the moment. But just enjoy a miracle or an "unexpected outcome," sure, you're going to be the winner. The beauty of watercolor techniques is yours. You'll have fun in "calculated spontaneity"!

Let us enjoy love and watercolor.


Oshima International Handmade Picture Book Competition 2010

Attention! Do you want to publish your picture book?

Here's the info on
Oshima International Handmade Picture Book Competition 2010 run by a picture book museum. They call for participants. Guys, that's an interesting comp. If you win, your handmade picture book will be published in a year. The guideline for application and the entry Form are available in the museum homepage. A deadline is in May.
Or you can make an enquiry in person.

Sayuri Nishi

I joined it a few years ago. At the moment, I had no idea how to make a book with my own hands. Ms Nishi was so kind to explain about how to do it.

Wish you good luck and enjoy making a picture book!

In my blog, further information on another competition is here.
Ohsima International Picture Book Comp and Aozora International Picture Book Competition


Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Sketching is fun.

I always go outside with papers and a handmade tiny water
color kit. I love quick drawings. My favorite subjects are people.

Sketching is a meeting point for me and people. Anyone loves drawing and painting. Some people talk to me and want to be my models.

Face expression is a very fascinating theme. I often go to a junk food shop or a cafe and sketch people day and night. Each one's face tells me a life stroy without a word. Indeed, most of them are silent and alone.

I do not use a camera or photos. With my own eyes, I observe anything and everything like a new born baby.
Michelangelo and Rembrantd did not have a camera. Lautrec did not use Photoshop. I know great artists made their astonishing works without technology. I also love having a look of great artists' quick drawings. From their croquis, I've learned a lot. They sketched anything at anywhere. I believe tens of thousands of croquis enabled famous artists to make their incredible works.

Often I hear some people say the word, "talent" and give up drawing soon or already. I partially agree with the view that talent could be important. But not vital, I believe. As far as I know, none of great artists became great without manmos efforts. No one achieves anything w
ith only a gifted talent. Behind the artists' fantastic works, there should have been their tens of thousands of unknown croquis or messes. So, it encourages me.

I just keep drawing! Above all, joy must come first. Otherwise, why do I pick up a pencil or a brush?
Let's have fun, Friends!!


A day in an illustrator's life

17 Feb 2010
Dear Friends,

You have a difficulty to read my writing in cartoons.
Please click the cartoons. You can enlarge them all!!

Have fun with me and giggle together!
(Sure, I was "proudly" an underachiever at writing in school. Hahaha?!) But I promise, from now on, I will write better for cartoons.

I'm learning a lot about how to organize the blog and how to use a computer. A long way to go.

Once, when I was at uni, I always did drawing of lecturers' faces and enjoyed graffiti. They certainly helped me be an artist. Today, my most favorite areas are portraits and cartoons, indeed.

However, sometimes, not easy to get an inspiration or a good idea to make cartoons.
When I find myself in "stuck," I make doodles based on my daily life.

I'll show you a poor illustrator's job hunting and tragicomedy!
Not easy. But I believe it is "Mission Possible."

Wish me good luck!

Cheers, wink, wink,

PS. Guys, feel free to link my blog to yours. Go, go!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hello, Friends

Dear Friends and Unknown Friends,

I would like to share my art work and joy with you. I hope you will enjoy them and stay with me for a while.

Sydney, it's cold and windy today.

I hope I will grow like an acorn to be an oak tree...