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Monday, May 28, 2012

1)Illustrator Mentorship Program 2)Wash

Have you ever heard of mentorship? A mentor is an "experienced and trusted adviser" according to Oxford online dictionary. Art has a very broad spectrum from performance to visual art. In any area, experienced and established artists are great supporters and wonderful guides for emerging and struggling artists at a crossing point. Mentors are not simple teachers of techniques. Mentors support and guide mentees through mentees' work development and practice, sometimes introducing them to broader aspects of their fields – and networks. Mentors promote their mentees in a competitive art market so that mentees will grow to become established artists. Mentors aim to motivate, teach, counsel and nurture their mentees. Also, hopefully, mentors will learn in mentoring. Thus, mentorship aims at mutual benefits.  
I have my mentor, Ann James in picture book publishing industry.  Ann was originally an art teacher and became an illustrator. She has published more than 70 picture books, and is a significant contributor towards the development and appreciation of children's literature in Australia. Ann has received numerous awards and the national Dromkeen medal for services towards children's literature.
In mentorship, good mutual communication and serious commitment are essential. My mentor Ann is the extraordinary good email reader. Swiftly gives me assistance, if I really need. Always she leaves me the final decision. I've soon realised that I should take initiatives and Ann respects me as the agency. I've hardly ever phoned her. But always she gives mental support, too. Today, I proudly claim, "I'm the luckiest illustrator!" Yes, indeed, anyone who knows Ann says, "Yes, Sadami, you're so lucky!" I have no doubt. In our communication, Ann always gives me a comfortable and safe space so that I will tell candid opinions and honest views. 

But before we started the mentorship, I wondered if we could work together well. The most concerns were...
Concern 1) Ann's painting style is very different from mine. Does she understand me? (*below Ann's work)

Concern 2) Physical distance between Melbourne and Sydney – could be a problem. 
Concern 3) How will Ann backup me?
I could not directly ask about the concern 1) and kept silent. Yes, I wondered if my question would offend her. Ann answered concern 2) and the concern 3) by email.   

Regarding the concern 1), Oh, my goodness, Ann's deep, wide knowledge is really striking! A walking "encyclopedia" of picture book illustration, publishing, Australian art society and even an international world! My concern vanished. I soon found Ann's flexibility and challenging spirits upon different media and styles. It inspires me, too. Not only the technical stuff, but also, Ann's legal knowledge is helpful and I've badly needed. I've printed out her emails and sorted them out in order by contents.
Regarding the concern 3), Ann provides me with projects, promotion and support me in a publishing industry and a visual art. Actually, her name and credibility has amazed me. All publishers, established Australian illustrators and famous authors, many fine artists know Ann and respect my mentor! So, my mentorship has helped my networking, social exposure, confidence and job opportunities. 
Ann launched my second picture book "My Dog Socks"
During our ongoing mentorship, I've studied lots of Ann's books and other picture books she’ssuggested to me, at libraries and on net. It's time consuming, but worth trying "research" for me. (*Kind  Ann sent me many picture books from the collection.) I wrote my own reviews on the books and Ann gave me the feedback. When Ann comes to conferences and meetings in Sydeny, often she brings her original work(*A2, heavy stuff!) for my study in her busy schedule. 
I'm convinced that my mentorship is successful and right on a track. Before embarking our mentorship, I read about "Getting Connected : Making Your Mentorship Work"(Australia Council of Arts) and prepared for it. Friends, a mentoree cannot be simply passive. I always study hard, work hard, prepare and respond to Ann. Then, we enjoy our fruitful mentorship!  
I feel, "Dream is unrealized reality" in my mentorship. I'm so grateful for Ann's guide and support. If you're interested in a picture book illustrator and writer's mentorship, here, ASA mentorship programs. If you try it, get a good mentor! Emerging illustrators, it's very hard to gain a picture book illustration project. Friends, don't give up.
Make your dream come true. Happy Painting!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Your Favorite Area=Self Relience

Hi, Friends, how have you been? 
I've been trying different approaches. Getting out of a comfort zone. Not easy. When I get stuck or lost on a creative journey, I always come back to life drawing. Once, a mentor suggested me to have the favorite area and the style. "If you try something different and get lost, you can always come back there and start again!" This mentree learned the importance of having confidence "in" work and "from" work. 

For me, it's life drawing. 

This 20 minutes work I started from the toes, as I wanted to put a whole body in a paper. Other members loved this most.(NOTE: I start drawing a human body from anywhere that interests me. I have no experience to "measure" a subject.

BUT I liked this work most! (which one do you like more?) 
5 minutes. Quick, quick!!  
Later, I lay on the back on the floor to check the angle of the face from a chin. It impressed the model and members.
"She usually does it." One member teased at me.
"Oh, yeah. Hahahaha."
We had a good laugh. Nice! Mutual help and encoruagements are the beauty of group work.

We, female body's beauty, elegant softness, sensitiveness are wonderful. I thank for having the same in me. 
Time setting is 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 10, 15-20 minutes. Paper size A2.
My hands' movements, brush strokes and colour use directly tell my mood. I objectively get "Sadami is happy. Good! Go on!" even though I'm struggling right now. 

So, life drawing is fundamental for me to draw any type or style of work. It enables me to draw people confidently, precisely and quickly. Also, life drawing gives wonderful inspirations to make caricatures and cartoons. Furthermore, group work brings joy and encouragements. "Chest off" and "Create it in joy" is so important. Never get isolated without friends. The most precious bonus is my confidence. Then, refreshed Sadami can challenge something new again. 

Friends, have your own favorite area you can rely on! Like a harbour, it welcomes weary you and protects you in the stormy sea called "art." Like the deep root of a big tree, from it, you can challenge new things and reach at your goal and dreams. And have nice friends. We have different directions, yet help each other on the hard journey. Hope you can take a rest here in this blog and keep on your own journey.

With all my heart, I'd tell you, 
Happy Painting!! 


Monday, May 14, 2012

1) Sketch kids, buskers 2) Wash

This week, sketching movements is the topic. Always an A4 sketch book and Arche A4 pads are in my bag with a watercolour kit. These references are an artist's assets and treasures for studio work. 

In response to the good feedback on children, I put kids first! Oh, they are living angels.
This boy was in a dream...he's flying across a sky with a "ladybird's wings"! So cute. I'm sure any mother can hear her child/ren's voice how much far away from her and come and see us. 
The point of quick sketches is "practice" and "get ideas for studio work." My hand and eyes learn how to capture subjects and value. Then, I can rebuild it in a studio from memories and even from given photos. (*although I hardly use photos). 
It's not a big deal. Spending only a few minutes is enough and appropriate for a daily exercise. These little efforts will take you to miles ahead in the future. Friends, let us keep up!
I often enjoy sketching musicians playing instruments.

This guitarist played his "handmade" guitar! Oh, Friends, have a look of it closely. Hey, it's originally a can! 
Can a can make a guitar?! Yes, it can.  
Ah, thank goodness for technology. You can plug in any instrument to a speaker that can make big sounds. 
I focused on the guitar, the player's hands and omitted a rest (*Arche). 

This accordionist's long and elegant fingers caught my eyes. He mainly played French chanson. I chose the moment his pushing back the bellows, whistle playing keys (*sketch book). 

BTW, it's a great regret that society often undervalues buskers and artists who bring joy. Buskers welcome me, a sketcher who attracts people. Mutual benefitsʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ .

OK, wash! Tada~~! 
I played with paints, a comet. 
So, wish your wish. Hope all your dreams will come true!!
Have a wonderful week.
Friends, Happy Painting!! Thank you for cheers!



Monday, May 7, 2012

1)Life Drawing vs Theory 2) Wash (loose landscpae)

The life drawing class is a great fun. Mondays from 6:30 to 9:00 in the evening (*no teacher). A male or a female model alternatively. I work very hard and sweat much!
Does anyone know the difference between crayons and oil pastels? I have no idea. I asked the organizer/artist. She calmly said, "One is waxy. Another is oily." ?? riddle??? The answer confused me more than ever. Anyway, below, oil pastels & watercolour on A2 paper. All was made in 20 minutes.
"Let Me See...," (20 minutes)
theme= face expression.

For me, life drawing = LIVE drawing and LIVELY drawing. 
I've never thought of a proportion in my life drawings. I know "musts" and studied them in school days and... forgot them. 

So, I don't care a scale and I don't mind breaking rules.
I want to draw like a child.  
I want to draw. Therefore, I draw. Theory does follow me. I follow my heart. Emotion comes first; empty knowledge never comes before my feelings. Also, one more, a theory does not cover individual discrepancy/difference of a human body or proportion. Theory is imperfect and not "one-fit-to-all."
"Look Beyond" (15 minutes)
theme = movement/ the flow of power in a body.

However, a theoritical approach has a strength at the same time. It gives viewers stable and safe feelings. I do not say it's right or wrong. It's not the matter of black or white. It's a matter of style. Oh, yes, it's a "colourful" matter! ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ

Regarding a colour, I wondered the colours came up too vivid and less harmony = messy? BUT other members' feedback was very positive. Particularly, the colour, "zingy aqa green" won nice comments. The feedback encourages me to try more a strong contrast and different colours. Be brave! The beauty of a group work is mutual help. Other members say, "Wow, nice!" "Good to have ye!" "Strength and enrgy, that's I want to make, you make," etc, etc, then, we share, "Ahahaha!" Nice! Also, the model liked my work. Good!
Most members make monochrome work. Could be, only me, use plenty of colours, oh, yes, on rediculously big and many papers. Fun!
I'll learn lots and enrich my style. I want to go forward. (*Other drawings were made in 10 minutes or so. Movement  interests me most.) 

OK, my wash work, tada~~! The fountain in Sydney Hyde Park. A loose style. I love this park. If you come to Sydney, come over and enjoy greens and water there. Now, I begin to like sketching landscapes little by little. Progress! Lalala•*•♫°•♫·.•ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ  Friends, Happy Painting!