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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Oshima International Picture Book Competition and Aozora International Picture Book Competition

You may wonder what sorts of picture book I submitted to Oshima International Picture Book Competition in the past. I illustrated a story based on myself; a girl seeks who she is and finds the answer in being an artist.
I wrote the story in English and translated it into Japanese. I put both Japanese and English in the picture book. Here we go! >>>>>>>>>

Search for a Star

There once was a little girl who loved painting and drawing. One day, she left a country where cherry blossoms were beautiful and set off for a trip to discover who she was.

The girl jumped on a boat headed for unknown countries, woke up in sunrise on an open field, read many books at stone buildings, sipped some beer at a pub, visited a red broken dream, listened to a wind on salt pads, looked up sunset and counted stars, and kept sketching anything amazed her all the time.

One day, the girl asked a wise lady, “Who am I?” The lady said, “You already know the answer. Within you are so many answers. They are waiting to be realized, " gently smiling at the girl and her drawings.

“I am me. No more, no less.” The girl looked back her journey and realized what she had most loved.

“I'm the artist!” the girl found the answer. The world always kindly awaited her and unfolded its beauty. Now, wind, color, light, moment, everything the girl wants to catch on paper with her hands.

Today, the grown-up girl knows she's settled down in Country of Art where people have universal language and can unite together for peace and love. Beyond time, space, race, religion, culture, war, anything.

The girl happily enjoys drawing and painting...forever and ever.

>>>>>>> The entry condition for the competition is "all handmade." You make a story and pictures. Then, make them into a book all by yourself. You may try a "pop-up" book or a "usual book style". I chose the usual binded book. Your idea makes a unique and wonderful picture book! Binding papers is tricky. My friend illustrator Tony Flowers used a sketch book. But for me, a sketch book was not helpful, because papers did not hold watercolors well. So, I used both sides of Arche watercolour papers and bound them in a folder. The Ohsima picture book museum was really kind and sent me the visitors's comments on my picture book. Oshima International Picture Book Competition is getting popular. More and more participants join it. Another international picture book competition that sounds interesting is "Aozora International Picture Book Competition" run by ANA, a Japanese Airline company. 2010 competition is already closed. Even though a bit old, you can get a big picture of the entry conditions here. They said, "A competition for picture books is designed to illustrate the importance of "the environment." First prize worth 200,000 yen. " ANA 'Aozora' Competition PO Box 48 Ota-Ku Kamata Post Office Tokyo Email: Hopefully, they do not change the conditions too much. Check new information later or in a next year. Wish you good luck, everybody!! Cheers!


  1. Dear,Sadami.

    I'm "Nobody knows" from "monthly M,M,"

    An answer of your "Q" is here.

    If you have Adobi's 2 set of software.
    I'll explain to you about how to make it. OK?

    see Next.

    from "Nobody knows"

  2. Dear Nowhereman,
    Thank you~! Got the info.

  3. Oh my goodness girl, this is just beautiful. did you win? I bet you a book publisher would pick this up. I love the illustrations you created, like the hand pointing out into the big city with the shooting star in there, all the people racing forward no matter what their circumstances and my favorite is the Search for a star painting. this is very inspiring. I once wanted to illustrate childrens books, but through the years have let that go and reading this I can feel that little spark ignite again.
    peace n abundance,

  4. Dear CheyAnne,
    Thank you for the very kind comments. No, I did not win. But CheyAnne, you are young and so talented. Please keep trying.
    I'm an illustrator today, but my disability opened the door. That's my another motivation to make "Search for a Star."
    Com'on, CheyAnne, keep painting and approach publishers. I pray for you.
    All the Best, Sadami