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."

Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Wonderful School Visit

Hi, Friends, thank you for a great patience for a new post!
I visited Haberfield Public School, joined "Book Parade" and enjoyed 3 sessions with children.
Tadada~~~, "Book Parade"!
Pupils dressed up favorite book characters and proudly marched in a hall to show off. Actually, so cute and funny. (*Don't ask if Bat man and Spider Man are in "literature" or not.)
What a great honour for 2 authors and me, an illustrator, we held a banner! All teachers turned out fairies, witches and wizards.

Parents got excited and took photos. Of course, youngsters, too, got very excited. I wondered if kids would go wild? No. 2 speakers (older students) handled situations very well, which impressed me so much. Once, teachers asked children to calm down, they kept silent. Children behaved very well. We, grown-ups must learn it from kids?!
Before Parade
After enjoying the marching, I talked over picture book illustration and how to draw at the library. Regarding oral presentation skills, "Speak slowly. If you feel TOO slow, it's just good to hear for audience," was my sociology tutor's nice advice. And good eye contact! I really respected each child and tried not to talk to them from a higher position. (*I cannot bend knees well. Sorry, kids, but I wanted to squat in order to keep my eye position same to you.)

But above all, teachers' backup and children's cooperation helped me.
Unfortunately, I had a very sore throat and could not speak loud. Children listened to me very well. Again, their good manner impressed me so much.

Primary school kids had a great interest in illustration and drawings.
Hey, Painting Friends, can you answer for this?
"How do you make 3D paintings?"
"Value" is the topic. To explain about value takes time. I checked the time and illustrated a simple sample, an egg and a shadow. Then, "setting 3 simplified values (= high light, middle, darkest)." Hopefully it would help children enjoy drawing.
Another main question was how to draw figures. I took a face for an example and talked of the proportion. Yes, the proportion of a human head. BUT I used a more simplified ratio for children. Today, children were Queens and Kings. No big words. If they could not follow my talk, it's all my fault.
I carefully observed children's reactions, body language and chose very simple doodles. I asked children to demonstrate their drawings and to speak out. Kids must be centralized in class. I wanted children to have fun, interest and confidence in drawings.

After the day, I got a wonderful and priceless "thank you card." Here we go!
In my eyes, any child is so lovely, a living angel on the earth.
Librarian, Mr Michael Fraser is so caring for children. Certainly, he is a hero and so popular. Many students are from Non English Speaking backgrounds. He passionately assists children to study and make them join the library activities. Children proudly and joyfully carry out rending and returning books etc. Friends, being a picture book illustrator is very rewarding! Let us bequeath a bit better world to a next generation.
Mr Fraser still seeks more illustrators to join it. If anyone has interest, please contact Mr Fraser. Michael Fraser Haberfield Public School
Ph: 9797 6336 Fax: 9716 7315

Friends, happy painting!
I'll get back to the ongoing project.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Answer For "Your Face", New Victim & Book Week

Yahooo, Friends! I'm very busy with preparing for a school visit next Tuesday and the ongoing project. Please forgive me, I will not upload a new post next Monday. After Tuesday, I'd write about the teaching 50 kids experience : 3 times in the afternoon. Gulp?! These events are all in Book Week, August 20th - 26th.
BUT let's have fun, "YOUR FACE" project!
Until a new post, hope you have fun in another painting.

First, answer! The lady is
Olivia. Already several people left the right answer in comments. Thank you. Yes! She's so good at wash -- not laundry -- often challenges interesting themes and subjects. Currently, Olivia is working on 100 washes, too.

Sorry, my portrait of Olivia might not be a kind clue for American Blog friends. But just a game. The point is to make friends with others on net and have fun through blogging.
A portrait is, at least, someone from the followers. So, check members could be practical to find out who it is.
Now, a second victim. Spanish gentleman. He's so fond of watercolour painting, making wonderful landscapes. He enjoys figures, too. In addition, this big boy has been collecting interesting toys, too. Often his collections come up in the posts. (*boys will be boys... and for us, girls, "Boys will be toys"?!).

Based on photos, I made his portrait. Very interesting to use photos for references. I've sketched so many live models. The live models definately help me reconstruct photos into 3D images. In other words, the accumulated experiences compensate photographs' distorted images or missing information. For example, (hope this makes sense!!) my eyes "know" that an oval shape(2D) is, in fact, an egg(3D). My hands follow the eye's interpretation of photos and put values.

Anyway, if anyone can guess who he is, leave a comment! This time, his avatar is not a photo. But Spanish speakers may have an advantage. His "blogs" are popular.

Regarding Olivia's old avatar, I do not have it any more. When I made it, I hit this project's idea. But "Your Face" is at
random and from time to time, not strictly regular. Besides, limited photos or avatar info could not be enough information. So, not sure my paintings will look like the model or not. Just have fun. That's it!
In addition, a bit old topic though, it was a part of Book Week. The cartoon competition "READdiscover" was opened for "age 11+." I was definitely over 11. Therefore, I proudly claimed, "Eligible!" Librarians and I had a biiiiig laugh.
Unfortunately, I did not win. Sure, a kid did. But certainly, my work brought our society a cheerful laugh. Yes, that's the point!
OK, pardon me. I'll work on the project and a rehearsal for teaching!
Friends, happy painting!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Used Goods Hunting & "Your Face" Project

Hi, Friends, did you enjoy your weekend?
Yes, I did! I enjoyed sketching and shopping around secondhand goods. So, this week topic is treasure hunting.

But before that, tada~~, I'd announce another project, "YOUR FACE" for this blog followers. Based on your avatars or photos, my quick watercolour portrait comes up. At random and from time to time, not strictly regular. Let's have fun if you can tell me who's who--- "or not"...means my poor drawing skills?! Gulp. Here's, a first person. This face was made from an old avatar. So, you may not find this lady. Can you guess who is this lady?**Some hints are at the end of the post. If no one tells who she is till this Thursday, an answer will come up right here Thursday afternoon.
OK, back to the topic. Secondhand goods shopping.
Where do you go for second hand goods shopping? Garage sale, markets or Vinnie(= St Vincent De Paul)? I often try a market and Vinnie.
Market (Sold. The Gentleman bought it!)
I was looking for puppets at a market.
I'm asked to teach 50 kindergarten children how to draw in a part of BookFest next week. 50 children!! It would be a great fun or I must make children happy. I bought two puppets; a bear and a wombat. I fell in love with this wombat at once. Wombat! What an Australian animal!
Look at this face! Yey! I'll use this for my "assistant" to teach kids. Well, I'm thinking of her name. Something very girlish and easy to call.After the market, I visited used book shops near uni for a treasure hunting. Children picture books are my target. Unfortunately, children picture books often become print-out very shortly after publishing. So, I always check new books and get favorite illustrators' work. For collection, "hard cover" is preferable. The problem is "cost." Honest, it's not cheap. Nowadays, Internet is handy to get old picture books. But I still love a market and a secondhand book shop. If luck smiles at me, I can get a brilliant book at an amazingly cheap price. Have you ever hit a wonderful treasure before? If you do not mind, could you tell me the story in comments? I, a book warm, love to hear it. (*Any book will do. But particularly, kids picture book info is welcome!!)

This book shop, "Gould's Book Arcade" is my favorite near to uni. Huge collection. I used to go there, when I was at uni. The owner of the shop was kind and often did a discount for me. Sadly, he passed away. Now, under his daughter's new management, the shop has had a new born.

Believe or not, secondhand goods were not either popular or common in Japan. (*Used books is common, but not goods.) In Japan, a charity shop like Salvo or Vinnie was hardly found.
Once, when we moved in to Sydney, "garage sale" was a new word. In my view, appreciating old goods is wonderful for recycling and fundraising for welfare at the same time. Today, not sure if Japanese society is positively accepting recycling. But it's worth trying.
Garage Sale
I once helped charity shops. Quite a busy and demanding job. Goods are scattered away at once. They must be put back to in order again. Endlessly, cleaning is needed. But working at a used goods shop is fun to see many customers from all over the world. Backpackers want cheap clothes. Students try to find wired goods for a disguise at fun parties. Each customer has a different reason and a motivation to come to the shop.
I felt, "Wonderful. We are different, yet, same human beings!"
...and I love this system, "recycling" and "financial resources" for welfare agencies.

OK, I'll practice moving Womby in front of a mirror.
Happy painting and have a nice week!
**In response to the ask for hints about the lady...A French, watercolourist, so fond of washes(really beautiful!), handles interesting subjects, particularly, related to "sea," as she lives near there. The current avatar shows a widly opened mouth for laugh!
...and hopefully, she would never say, "Sadami, this is the end of our friendship!" Gulp?!


Monday, August 8, 2011

ASA "Stylefile," Meeting Spot for Illustrators & Publishers

Very good news, I was selected for Stylefile(Sadami Konchi) run by Australian Society of Authors.  Soooo happyʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ!! The final step is to put my own information on the site. The Stylefile is the great online showcase of Australian picture book illustrators selected by ASA. Publishers acknowledge the Stylefile as the reliable meeting spot to find useful artists. In short, often publishers pick up illustrators from the Stylefile. Can you hear illusrtators' shouting, "Buy me! Buy me!"? Browse it, you'll find so many famous illustrators there., I'm one of them!!

ASA regularly accepts candidates for Stylefile. Wimp Sadami hasn't tried it, as I've heard it's quite a narrow gate. But with other people's cheers and help, I submitted the illustrations this February (=submission date, condition etc)and got through it at once. Wow~~~! Kind ASA staff celebrated, "Have champagne!" Yes!!
Well, you may wonder what ASA is.
ASA is the guardian angel for Australian writers and children picture book illustrators, literally, for both professionals and wannabes.

For example, ASA sets "rate & conditionsfor members (=illustrators' minimum wages!). Illustrators use that rate to negotiate clients and publishers. As well as labour conditions, ASA handles members' legal issues such as copyrights, payments, contracts etc, etc. So, an ASA lawyer advocates members and ASA does lobbying on behalf of us.

Not only advocacy and handling legal issues, ASA has a mentorship program for talented writers and illustrators with projects seeking publishing opportunities. Mentors are famous writers and established illustrators. They back up emerging talents to get projects published.
Yes, you can make your dream come true. Sounds nice? More info, check here, FQ&A. Go for it a next year.Regarding copyrights, ASA is a mother body for CAL, Copyrights Agency Ltd . I have a CAL membership, too. Do you know who collects copyrights money from uni reading packages and hands it over to copyrights holders? It is CAL that also checks payments and examines illegal cases. So, publishers and authors join CAL to protect copyrights. It is critically important for a copyright holder to register work at CAL after publishing work.

CAL and ASA often run workshops on hot topics in publishing industry such as e-books & copyrights, Internet impact on publishing etc, etc. Seminars update our knowledge. Otherwise, legal changings and rapid digitization would leave us behind.
At the same time, ASA workshops are good networking places for publishers and us. The best networking place is... ASA Christmas party!! We really look forward to it and get together. Illustrators and writers at a poverty line hug each other there, saying,
"Are you still on the earth?"
"Oh, yes!" Hugs. Hahaha, gulp?!
Join ASA, if you are interested in becoming a professional or already being a professional writer and an illustrator in Australia.
Thank you, Friends, for your great support!!
Have a wonderful week and happy painting!


Monday, August 1, 2011

My Work Wins Awards!

Hi, Friends, how is your weekend?
Good news! My work has got in the top 5 across Australia, highly commended at AAA Art Competition. Friends, pinch my cheek! Ouch! Oh...not a day dream.
The AAA Art Comp is open for Australian artists with disabilities. Any genre, any media will do such as photography, digital image, painting, drawing, performance, sculpture, a film etc, etc and a free theme! AAA staff says, "So many applicants and quite a competitive field." Wow...
Disability is Ability : Bound For Bright Future
AAA loves my work and will interview me for media release and use the painting for their newly constructing website.
Friends, you know the old post,
"Paralympians -- my heros." Based on the sketches, I finished it up in a few days and submitted it just before the closing date. My first trial. I still can't believe that my work is a finalist. Very happy.

Another work wins the second prize in the watercolour section at KuRingGai Art Society Annual Exhibition 2011.
Young Lady in Between Girl & Woman
Friends and I hugged each other and celebrated other members awarding, too. The gentleman giving me the prize below is Paul, a judge and Julian Ashton School Principal. That art school has a great reputation in Australian art world! Again, I did not expect the awards at all. It actually surprised me! This would be a very sweet memory.
My picture book illustration mentor is lovely. She has celebrated my achievements and also said, "Competitions are like lotteries. " I agree with my mentor. All participants' work is wonderful and a level is high. Anyone could win.So, what I'm learning is trying competitions is not bad, but winning is not an ultimate goal. My big goal is to make lots of picture books and bring people happiness.
The both news surprised me so much. I never expected my work would do well. Especially, in the first work, I only wanted to show the unlimited potential in us, human beings. If my work will be a little help and encouragement for people with disabilities, it would be my great joy. Please pass on this post to anyone and any artist with a disability and encourage them to join AAA Art Comp next year.
I'd also address special thanks for anyone who has encouraged me.
So, thank "YOU," Friends, reading this blog and "Cheers"! Yey!

I'll keep up and enjoy my work...and WALK confidently!

Have a nice week!!