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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!!