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, December 22, 2012

Merry Xmas & Happy New Year!

Are you enjoying a festive season, Friends? With all my heart, I wish you a Merry Christmas, a very Happy New Year and a safe festive season. 
My sketches of Christmas scenes. First, Santa! Oh, so popular among kids and even us, adults. A good queue to sit with him. Kids and parents were looking at my drawing with curiosity. Hahaha! Or I should say, "Hohoho!"

Second, a festive mood in a town.
Banners have decorated around Town Hall and the big Christmas tree has been set up. (*Australia is in a HOT summer!)  
Friends, I made a landscape in a loose style naturally for the first time! This would be a breakthrough for my landscape. (*I've been doing experiments on landscapes for the picture book project. I saw the "light"!) The mentor says, "Gorgeous vertical image!" 
Third, music. you'll hear Christmas music here there, everywehre. Once, our manager told us that she was fed up with radio programs that would repeat same music all day long. I love any music related to Christmas. Particularly, quiet and sweet,  "Dreams are more precious than gold" (by Enya) is my favorite these days. What do you listen? 

And Christmas shopping! Have you done them all?
This poor artist, Sadami is a good customer for Vinnie and Salvo. Ehem! Friends, this is no joke. Do you know most picture books are out of print in two years? Yes, not avilable on book shops unless it keeps selling well. So, I go to second hand shops to hunt printed out and nice picture books. Over the counter, the staff and I talk over our dreams for the future. We have become nice friends!    

It's lovely to see people's good will for "giving" in this festive season. Indeed, I always find people in need. 
Christmas is a good time to think of love and giving each other.  

Friends, thank you for your great friendship and so caring support all through the year. It has encouraged me to move on and I challenged many things. I achieved many big prizes and met wonderful people in 2012. Moreover, I've got the picture book porject. I'll focus on it in 2013. 
Take care and enjoy this season. May God bless you all.
Happy Painting, Friends.  
See you next year, soon!!

With Love, Smile and Prayer, Sadami 


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review Life Drawing Class 2012

Hi, Friends, oh, yes, I have to upload the post on a life drawing class! Have you ever joined any workshops or life drawing classes? If you have, let us share the experience.
Our life drawing class was over two weeks ago. We promised to see next year! Nice!! Group work is wonderful that we could get mutual help, encourage each other and foster friendship. (of course, party! We had a teppan-yaki party!)

I developed the background for this work in the studio (A2). The mood came up. But real reason was that the thin paper could not respond to what I want to do in watercolour. So, I used charcoal for the  background. 

 This work is really the last work in the class. A4, Arche, 300 allowed me to enjoy washes. Colour came up beautifully and as I like. 

This year, I tried to caputure a mood in a model. Also, I've been exploring watercolour, paper, paper use, other medium such as charcoal, crayon, etc, etc.  A2 challenge was good. (*An outlet of emotions and a stress buster!!) It's so nice to move around arms and swing a body to draw! I know other members smile at me.
Positive feedback has come to especially these drawings. Me, too, like them and really enjoyed drawing!  

Through the drawing, I felt "speed" is an important element for me to make lively work.  When I had slowly drawn lines, they came up dull and stiff. Not alive at all. The same is true of brush strokes. 
Bang, bang, bang! Splash, splash, splash! -- gives me a good result. 
But what about drawbacks? 
First, a dilemma between paper and paint. As I've started playing with paints more and more, thin papers cannot hold my plenty of paints or "water." I wanted for thick ones. Although when I used favorite thick papers, it took much time to get dry in a limited time in a class. Mmmm.... how I find a solution? Second, avoid mannerism. Find more challenges -- it's a matter of my creativity. Like a hunter, I always keep an eye on interesting and new approaches for watercolour.  So, third, "Forget making a good or nicely beautiful work. Make a mess! Go experiment!"    

Finally, we'll run workshops from each member's favorite area. Wow, it will be fun and exciting! I'm asked to run a "watercolour painting for figures" workshop ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ. I hope we will have a good time! 
Friends, Happy, Happy Painting in 2013!!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

1)Decide to Be Happy 2) For Ameican Friends

Hi, Friends, Christmas is just around the corner. Have you finished up shopping? 

The news from Connecticut tore my heart, too. I lost word. Language is too cheap to say something ..., but I keep praying for you with all my heart. I'd send my condolences and prayers for all American friends and involved people.
These days, I'm sending cards. In cards or emails, I quote the favorite poem "Decide to Be Happy" written by Robert Muller (1923-2010, Assistant Secretary General to UN). 
I'd live like this poem.
Decide to be happy
Render others happy
Proclaim your joy
Love passionately your miraculous life
Do not listen to promises
Do not wait for a better world
Be grateful for every moment of life
Switch on and keep on the positive buttons in yourself, 
those marked
positive thinking,
Pray and thank God every day
Meditate - smile - laugh
whistle - sing - dance
Look with fascination at everything
Fill your lungs and heart with liberty
Be yourself fully and immensely
Act like a King or Queen unto Death
Feel God in your body, mind, heart, and soul
and be convinced of eternal life and resurrection.
A dear friend gave me this poem ages ago. The poem always stayed with me at a tough time.
Today, people often call me, "a happy person" on streets.
Yes, I always laugh, smile, dance, sing, whistle, while sketching, even though I have the difficulty in moving and an ongoing medical treatment. I always sketch anyone. Oh, in my eyes, everyone is so precious and beautiful. 
I heartily hope 2013 will be a wonderful year for you, readers. 

... and lastly, Friends, Happy Painting!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Work Floats In Washes

Hi, Friends, how have you been? Thank you for your many encouragements. The Immigrant Women Speakout, too, appreciates your warm cheers.
This week, I'll chat over watercolour washes or wet in wet.
Now, I've got on a publishing project, doing many experiments on washes in order to create a "mood" for the illustration. I've decided to use lots of washes for the project. As if my colour roughs were floating in washes. Does it make sense? (NOTE: "Colour rough" is the part of the process of picture book illustration.)

Washes and wet in wet are very the beauty of watercolour, I believe. Below, a salt technique.
In order to enjoy washes, it's vital to be bald and brave in watercolour. These tips are from my experiences. They sound simple and look like common sense or old cliches. But sometimes, it's not easy to carry them out.

>>> "Mental" elements 
1) Do it today, right now!
If inspiration comes up, it's time to take an action.
Never make it later. Darrrling, just do it, now!
2) The Fates loves the brave & bald.
Forget everything.
Particularly, leave high expectations behind you.
3) Enjoy any result.
Paradox. Plan well, but have fun in an unexpected process and an interesting outcome.

For example, a salt wash gave me an image of snow. On the same day, I made this Japanese new years card (*a next year is a snake year according to Japanese "eto," zodiac animal calender.)  The process thrilled me so much. I wonder what if sugarʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ? Has anyone tried it?

>>> "Physical" elements
1) Make rich, thick, plenty of paint like your favorite soup!
Not wise to add paint once started a job. 
Remember, also always watercolour paint goes 1 or 2 "tones back" when it gets dried.
2) Bigger, Longer, Stronger.
... I mean a size of brushesʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ. Find your favorite sizes.
My round brushes are #16, #20. #12 is the smallest one.
I have another bigger round brush and a flat, hake, --- it looks like a wall paint brush!
3) Papers are as above. 
Find your favourite papers. The thicker, the better. At least, 300 lb.
Know well about paper.
eg) When does it get dry? How does it get dry -- weather, humidity, hand-dryer? When does it hold paints fully? ( = does not accept paint any more).

>>>"Technical" elements
1) Control of water!
2) Do quick job!
Learn "timing," "amount of water/paint," "balance of colours" in composition. 
3) Don't tamper it too much!
Once, touch it or put colour, that's all. Full stop.
(*Partially, technically possible to do "step backward." However, most cases come up ugly or lose lively images. I'll start it again. Actually a fresh start saves time and stress free. So, plan well and enjoy "happy accidents.") 
4) Try any idea and have fun.
All outcome is precious work. It's never a mess nor a mistake. I keep all paintings for references and learn lots. In addition, without drawing skills, any attempt will never be achieved even in washes. I keep sketching anything interests me.

Friends, please, never get drawn in the ocean of watercolour. Let us fearlessly swim across the sea and have fun together in an upcoming 2013! 
Happy Painting!!
Romeo & Juliet 


Monday, December 3, 2012

Book Launch, Immigrant Women Speakout

I illustrated 30 Non English speaking women's success stories in Australia. Immigrant Women Speakout Association celebrated 30th anniversary and did the book launch of "Speak Out" at a party last Friday.
BTW, do you have a dream? Yes, I have. Friends, I've always wished I could use my uni study and art skills for welfare. Now, I've begun to make my dream come true step by step.  "Dream is unrealized reality," is my belief.

In the book, the women have overcome many difficulties. The obstacles are, such as, isolation, discrimination, inequalities, language incompetence, cultural differences, lack of information, fall-short-of-certification, domestic violence and so ons. But the women have strength and dream and get help from the IWSA. The IWSA has assisted those women to achieve their goals in life. All stories end up a happy ending and imply a bright future! Actually this is a part of "ongoing" Australian society. The stories are so touching, full of tears, laugh and ... hope!! 

Really wonderful to meet "real authors" or the women in person at the party. Wow, some women's second generations came to the ceremony and met me. One lady almost shed tears when she looked at my illustration...

The purposes of the anniversary book is to advocate women, empower them and show where to get help at an appendix. To some extent, the goal is to support non English speakers in Australia. IWSA will distribute "freebie" books to libraries, public organizations and for anyone wants to get. So, if you would like to get a copy, please contact them. 

I'd say special thanks for the models and the team. When I explained about the project, all the women happily cooperated with me. The great team physically and mentally supported each woman to write up the story, whistle discussing about illustrations with me. 30 Illustrations had to be done in ONE month. Honest, the time frame was too tight. What was worse, I had to slow down from the hand's trouble. But the team backed up me and my daily sketches helped this project! The book includes many of my best sketches. Also, "Thank you, blog Friends," your cheers really encouraged me to handle my hand's trouble. Then, the team edited the stories and the pictures. I admire IWSA's incredible enthusiasm for this project.  

The team and I celebrated the book. Oh, our feeling was beyond language. Next year, IWSA plans to print a book in a big copy run. Onward, IWSA and I will work on projects to help women with language difficulty. With my illustration, women will easily understand the important info necessary for an Australian daily life. I'm very happy that my art work will assist Non Englsih speaking women. Yey! 

But did this project simply come to me like luck? No.
As I'm a practical dreamer --- If I want to reach a star, I'll check a distance and examine a methods to get there. Friends, I make my dream happen on my own abilities. Don’t wait for it. Find it or define it. Also, I'm the dreamer who always takes an action. On net, I saw IWSA's ad and applied to it. I became the successful candidate. ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ
In my experience, often preparation meets opportunity.
When I'm not ready, it's time for training. Practice, practice, practice! My daily sketching is both training and genuine art work. Now, I'm working on another project.

Friends, let us enjoy making dream come true. In a big dream, I hope, one day, we do not have any "filter" to discriminate other people such as border line, nationality, race, culture, language etc.
Friends, Happy Painting!


Monday, November 26, 2012

How to Study Other Artists Styles

Hi, Friends, did you have a nice weekend?
I'll chat on "my" strategy, how to learn other artists' techniques. I use  "similarities and differences" to study others. Each artist's has different approaches to create work. Their techniques are, in my view, ultimately, theirs. Thus, it's essential to digest another technique and apply it to myself. Then, it's become mine.  
Below, my study of light, colour and wash, based on David Curtis's work, "An Orkney Dawn."
Regarding "similarities," it's easy to get into favorite watercolourists' work or someone similar to one's own style. Practical and very helpful, because it saves lots of time to learn it. Sometimes, unexpected techniques are found to make a same watercolour effect, which fascinates me so much.  
Learning "differences" is quite challenging and interesting! No idea how to do it until I see a demo. So, it's time consuming, sometimes stressful, even though quite adventurous. Making heeps of messes sometimes does not work well. The worst result, in my view, is that losing confidence or losing "who I am." In short, pros and cons in learning other techniques, all comes to an artist's "identity issue." Below, my FIRST experience, PASTEL work!! 
**A dear friend encouraged me to try a pastel workshop. 
(I know, my hair was too short just after hair cut!) 

 Oh, pastel is not easy. I need more time to conquer "Chalk"!

So, I bear in mind my mentor's advice. The mentor, a very experienced landscape watercolorist, said, "Keep your old style so that you can come back to it when you need. Then, keep challenging something new all the time." The wise mentor knew the importance of a healthy self-esteem for an artist. 
I have to confess, I happily went back to watercolour after the pastel class!

Friends, for me, to study other artists' styles is a part of establishing "who I am." Using similarities and differences is effective to learn other techniques. But of course, this is my strategy. Find your own way and work on your style, please!
In addition, we do not need to compare ourselves to others at all.  We're already unique and precious on the earth. I celebrate TONs of messes as "achievements" at the end of a day, because I did my best! This paradox is true. If we accept who we are fully, we begin to change in a better way, naturally. As long as we compel ourselves to change to be someone better, it will not occur. Why? It's an empty effort to be "someone else." When a person accepts herself fully, a person can love herself properly. So, with joy, she begins to change in a better and unique way!
Friends, Happy Painting!! 


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hidden Talent

Friends, thank you for awaiting a new post. I've finished up the project to advocate the immigrant women in Australia. Very happy! Then, I've got on other publishing projects.
Now, back to the topic, "Hidden Talent."
I'd dedicate this say to you, "Perseverance is a talent."

Ages ago, a dear friend looking at my piled drawings said, "Sadami, you're a hardwroker. That's a talent." I could not believe her say, as I thought I was a one trick poney or a donkey.
"Sadami, listen. Many people will soon stop drawing and give it up. How many people keep drawing?" ...oh, I see... 
""Stick-to-it" is a talent." Her say encouraged me so much. I nearly overlooked my talent!  I determined to challenge pencil sketching people daily after that friend's say.

Continity is power, even though a few minutes sketch was hard. It often dissaponted me. I wanted to give up, but soon I realized I expected too much too soon. So, --- probably this is my another talent -- I just enjoyed my work results and kept on. I always shared joy with people around watching my drawings. Great fun and joy. Then, I moved onto colour pencils from black and white.
Furthermore, the playing with colours has opened a door to watercolour. Today, I enjoy watercolour sketching of a live model.

Learned skills take me to a higher road. I'm playing with washes for the ongoing illustrations. Already uploaded washes are here. 
As a picture book illustrator, I explore watercolour and use it to unify a text and pictures in book making. The potential is limitless. It has simply come from hard work.

Friends, anyone can have diligence and hard work. They are so precious talents. "Experience is the best teacher," is simple, yet true. So, I draw something first. Theory follows Experience. "Seek and you'll find it," is also true. My "hands" will find answers, not my brain! Let us enjoy drawing and just keep up.
Friends,  you have a wonderful talent, called hard work!!  
Happy Painting!!

NOTE: Pardone me, if I do not regularly post every Monday. The ongoing projects occupy me much. The hand seems to be ok, even though it needs to put on a plaster at night. Cheers!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Don't Play Me, Pay Me!

I attended Arts Access Australia 2 day Conference, "Desire & Destination". It was very interesting in socio-economic aspects that covered people with disability from Australian daily life to a global phase. In a practical view, topics were from marketing in digital era and how to handle social media for publicity etc, etc. 

In a pragmatic way, particularly, I've learned, "Don't Play Me, Pay Me!" That sounds nice? Friends, we need courage to say "No" to an inappropriate fee.  
Setting price is a practical and serious matter for any artist, who has disability or not. All artists face a dilemma in negotiation with a third party in marketing. In publishing industry, licensing is the topic. In reproduction of art work, a respectful "fee" is vital as well as "Copyrights & Accreditation" for an artist's bread and butter.

Keynote Speaker Petra Kuppers
Associate Professor, English Department
 University of Michigan

Take an example of my watercolour sketch. It looks like an "easy work." Unfortunately, sometimes undervalued price offer comes. But in fact, so many years have been spent to learn it. Devoted time, labour and materials --- cost is a lot. Those huge investments are invisible and stay behind a look-like-easy work. Thus, misunderstanding happens.

Once, my mentor of landscape said, "Value your work. Otherwise, who values your work?" His encouragement was right.
Today, our peak body, Australian Society of Authors sets children picture book illustrastors' minimum wages at Rates and Conditions. So, based on the rates, our negotiation will go with a third party. You'll get why I call ASA, "Guardian Angel" for Australian illustrators and authors. 

Back to the topic, varied workshops. Eventually all come to "human rights" issues. The presenters passionately talked about hot topics -- currently facing issues such as grants for artists with disability, etc, etc and the bright future view and challenging.  We, participants -- artists with disability, workers, carers and so on -- learned lots through discussions. You can see the very well organized program that focuses on the past, present issue, ongoing problems and the future with hope. 

Emma Bennison, Arts Access Ausrtalia Chief Executive Officer

The kind program set an enough interval time between workshops. It allowed participants to move as their pace from door to door safely and comfortably. All the rooms provided big boards for voice reader function. The theatre set a sign language interpreter for audience.
One more very comfortable thing was no one looking at my leg asked "Why did you get disability?" from curiosity in a rude manner. 


In addition, I, personally, do not find a difference between people with disabilities and people without disabilities. We have same emotions and same nature. That's all! At the same time, we, human beings are all unique and different. In a big picture, some people might have a difficulty in walking like me, and others not, but that's all. 

This conference was brilliant to provoke the public awareness of how people with disabilities are living and struggling to achieve equality and accessibility in society. I hope that many people "without" disability will join AAA and Accessible Arts events.  

Now, although my right hand still has the inflammation, it works well. Thank you for the kind cheers. I'm working on illustrations. 
Friends, you, too, Happy Painting!!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Good News!

Hi, Friends, thank you for kind concerns and a great patience. Your cheers have helped my hand's recovery. Although a plaster and tapes have not been comfy, now, a doctor gives me a permission to get back to work. Yey!! I'll draw in my own pace. Slowly and steady. Typing still leaves pain. Not good. I avoid computer use as much as possible. 

Now, lots of things have happened and ongoing. All good news.

1) The ongoing project for immigrant women in Australia
Two images to go. The team is very supportive. They allow me to take a rest well and put my health first.
In November, hopefully, printed books will be distributed to public libraries and Non English Speaking women will access the information, where to get help in Australia.   

2) Arts Access Australia Conference & Art Exhibition 30, 31 October 2012 
Desire and Destination : Arts Activated Conference 
The Concourse - 409 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067, Australia. 9:00 am -  6:00 pm

Click the link, a map comes up. I'll enjoy them all. Friends, if you like, come over!

I'll join the discussion on the ABC of Publicity on 1st November,
Free masterclass for arts organisations and artists with disability to get tips and tricks for your own publicity and press campaigns from experienced media professionals and publicists from the ABC.

4) Right Now (not-for-profit media organisation focuses on human rights issues in Australia
October, "Right Now" focuses on "disability."
Through AAA, a few days ago, Right Now contacted me and will use my work for their newsletter. Great honour and wonderful publicity. I'd say thank you to Right Now staff. 
....and, finally, a bit... private... ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ·.•*•♫°•♫·.•ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ
                                       today is my birthday!

I thank YOU, and also thank for my difficulties. Without them, today's Sadami, particularly, an artist Sadami does not exist. 
In addition, typing is heavy for my right hand. 
Another project is coming to me. Very busy. I may not regularly update this blog. But I always read your blogs, please pardon my laziness not to leave comments.
Friends, Happy Painting!!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Hi, Friends, I'll Slow Down

Hi, Friends, how is your weekend?
I really enjoyed the  Rumsey Heritage Rose garden festival in Parramatta park. My art friends and I had a wonderful time in bird watching, live band music and watching sculptures in the park.
Now, not good news. My right hand has in trouble. The hand specialist is checking it, who did the surgery this year. The right hand is not so glamour at the moment with taping and a plaster(boo!). It needs more medical examination. You got why I have not either visited your blogs or left comments like before. Please pardon me. I must rest the hand as much as possible. So, I'll upload mainly my art work without a chat for a while.  

Currently, the exception is an ongoing illustration project that advocates immigrant women in Australia. The project team and I happily work together. Nearly there. I'll finish it up this month. I heartily hope my tiny work will empower Non English Speaking people and give them hope in Australia.

And our life drawing class has started. It inspires me so much. I tried to capture a model's mood in A2. Well, actually, our life drawing class member invited us, members to the rose festival. 

OK, Friends,  I have to go, but I'll certainly enjoy your blogs and never lose heart. I want to get well.

Friends, Happy Painting!!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Sketch "Why" for Character Design

Hi, Friends, did you have a wonderful weekend? Yes, I had! Hey, nearly at the end of 2012. Time flies like an arrow. Many annual exhibitions and next year competitions' invitations are coming. 

Now, this post is to answer for the Q , how to do draw figures alive and lively. Actually, these steps are for my character design for children picture books.
Friends, already you know, sketching is my hand's thinking. My brain thinks nothing.

Preliminary research = Observe WHY
With a great curiosity, I always look at people. Such as... why does that person behave so? How s/he picks up food and pays money over a counter. Why that person looks like a typical music player? Face expression, body language, emotion, movement etc, etc. My eyes seek a character.  
Sketch WHYs
When I find a why, I draw it. Often only ONE why is pinned down with two or three A4 pages spent per person. Quick! A few minutes is enough. Don't worry details. Only get a focal point. Rough lines make very lively people on paper.
Put Colour On the Spot 
Colour at once. I'm a very colourful person and so my work is. "Capturing a mood" is very the best advantage of direct work. Light, sounds, sensations, weather, etc, etc. Above all, a model's emotion fascinates me most. They are wonderful info to make settings to illustrate texts, which will involve readers well.
Then, my brain works from here in a studio.
Each sketch is categorized into files as references for use.
I look through collected references .... 

Analyze Collected WHYs
I always check social conventions and prototypical images in sketches.
Focused "whys" tell similarities and differences in same subjects   such as women. Analyzed common elements show the "features" of subjects. Collected differences reveal "individual uniqueness." Particularly, for picture book illustrators, it's very important to understand social schema and use them in work.  
Use Learned Features to Caputre Character! 
Social schema and learned features are powerful tools and subtle techniques to create a character. It convinces readers well. 

Playing up "features" creates a stereotyped character and an exaggerated personality. Making caricatures is a good idea to check what whys will work or not. After sketching the sax player, I enjoyed these cartoons.

If individual "differences" are concerned, a fine portrait turns out.

"Mismatch between features" makes quite a funny and unexpected image, but also it would be a very sophisticated joke, nice for political cartoons. 

Did you enjoy this post? So far, I've written on drawings that fine artists, too, can use for portraits. Furthermore, children picture book illustrators will work on given manuscripts and create characters in stories. If you like, I'll write on Character Design more in a following post.

The more sketch, the better hands and eyes remember. Daily training enriches techniques and improves drawing skills. A sketch captures the points and depicts what I feel in a model. A figure comes up lively and vigorous. At a glance, you can draw an interesting person smoothly. You can draw figures in a studio even by heart or from memory or based on photos, too. 

Sketches are golden assets for job. 
In my dictionary, creativity is another name of hard work that goes with fresh ideas hand in hand. 
Friends, enjoy daily sketching.
Happy Painting!!