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Monday, September 30, 2013

Stop @ Nothing

Hi, Friends, did you have a good weekend? We, friends got together for dinner. Nice!! Soon, we'll do it again and celebrate a friend and my birthday in October.
BTW, how do you keep upbeat in your work? I keep drawing. It's my way to produce momentum. Sketches are stimulus for my illustration and other watercolour. If I stop at a good work and get narcissistic, it'll be the end of my artist life. NOTE: In a healthy way, I appreciate achievement and enjoy taking a rest. BUT I do not either look back or cling to good results.  

I always seek for a new subject. This close up is my first challenge. Breast feeding is one of the most beautiful scenes on the earth. I'd like to develop this sketch. Hopefully, my brush will dance like this sketch. Mood and circumstance are fixed deeply in my memories. The sketch gives me an idea for composition. The drawing has become a seed for my future work. I'll foster it!   
 What do you think about illustration and reality? In my style, illo stays somewhere between soft imagination and concrete reality. This is my playing around or illo based on a sketch at a "supermarket." I felt my eyes were very aware of a picture book illo. The work is overworked though, it gives me a fresh idea to play with colours and direct painting. I also looked at a space in the work (*a real work is on A4 that has more space around this girl). In a picture book illo, space is critically important.  
Next try, I will fail better!
Good! That's what I wanted to keep -- "impetus." 
The girl's parents and I have become good friends. Nice! Always drawing brings me new friends. 

Non stop sketches are my driving force and raw data. Once, another illustrator asked me seriously, "Tell me how can you keep your energy? Why do you always fly high and get excited with the illo project (that often takes one or two yrs)?" Sadly, the illustrator was cursing at oneself that could not create an upbeating power any more. For me, drawing is the power for illo and fine art work.

Yes, for nearly 24 hrs I'm with a sketch book and ready to capture an interesting subject except sleeping?! (*Often a good new idea hits me when I wake up!) I sketch whatever interests me, even on a queue at a post office.
My simple belief is 
"Eventually, a hard working lay person will do more job than a lazy genius." 
I want to keep moving on and eschew mannerism.

Friends, Happy Painting! Stop at nothing~!
 (*My image of the lady from memory, who had enjoyed coffee with me in the last post.)  


Monday, September 23, 2013

Author, Illustrator, Editor

Friends, what do you compare a picture book illustrator and an author to? What about an editor? In the last post, I enjoyed a chat with one of foremost authors on a uni campus. I'd write more about what I've learned about publishing and picture book illustration in the conversation.
I compare an illustrator and an author to a composer and a lyricist. "Sometimes, people say which is more important. It's pointless. Illustrator composes music. Author and Illustrator sing together," I said. The lady completely agreed with my say.

Then, the lady and I happily went on together like a duet, 
"(Illustrator will) weave emotions into a text, respond to words and visualise a scene." 
This awesome author very well understands the importance to leave space for Illustrator to work on a text and clearly told me so. Yes, otherwise, Illustrator gets distracted and will lose her own visual images. 

So, Author and Illustrator need Editor, a director to work together like a conductor for an orchestra. Even though Illustrator is respected to work on a text, Author and Illustrator are a key and a lock that need each other. Two in one, eventually, work to create a picture book. 

Editor's job is, the lady depicted, to nurture Author and Illustrator. Editors do mothering us (*women are a majority in publishing indutry). I really appreciate Editor's work that is often at backstage and hardly recognised.  

After seeing the author, I came to know she has had a brilliant career as an editor, too!! (What a humble author! She pretended she did nothing as an editor.) The lady emphasised, "You're a visual person." Yes, I am!  I certainly feel how sensitive and so caring that great author and marvelous editor at the same time! The lady's profound knowledge of picture book illustration amazed me so much.

I'm working on rough colours for the project to check a colour balance on a storyboard in the whole pages.

An unexpected bonus. The lady encourages me to write stories like my mentor Ann says! The great author talked to me as if she were teaching me. Indeed, so! Special thanks for her!
"Invite me to your book launch. I look forward to it," she said at a good bye.  
Wow!! Her cheers were wonderful for me. Step by step, I come closer to my own dream.

Friends, Happy Painting! Make your dream come true.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Shortlisted for Victoria Cancer Council Arts Award

Hi, Friends, good news! My still life work, "Alive or Dead" is shortlisted for Victoria Cancer Council Arts Award 2013.  
The final judging will be held at Cancer Council Victoria on the 24th of September, next week. Shortlisted work will be on display at the Arts Awards Exhibition in Melbourne from the 20-26 of October 2013. 

Each artist submits a short statement on work.

Alive or Dead
Are flowers in a pot alive or dead? Balance between life and death is vague, because they are “inseparable two in one.”  My two friends were gone from cancer, but certainly they live in us. It’s very sad when people we love and cherish are taken from us. But it forces us to enjoy the present, make the most of it and move on. The grevilleas show how much they live each moment fully.
*             *               * 

Each moment and everyone is shining in my life.
Today, I saw my most admiring and best known Australian picture book author on a uni campus. We had a wonderful time. I never expected her comments, but she happily looked at my ongoing work and generously gave suggestions. "Do you have more?" she asked me! No, I left them all behind, but I had some life drawings. The lady encourages me so much, saying, "Invite me your book launch at uni!" at good bye. Yes, certainly!

One more good thing was I donated uni my educational picture book designed for children's literacy research. It was very nice to see my familiar librarians. The author, the librarian and I enjoyed a chat.
Ah, nice! I felt each second shining.

I'll work on the project!
Friends, Happy Painting!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Frog's Story & Self Reliance

Are you enjoying your lives confidently and have you ever thought of self reliance? I was invited to a life drawing class member's group exhibition! At the opening, an executive lady gave this speech and inspired us. The frog's story implies the importance of "self-reliance." I'd like to share it with you.

 *             *              * 
Frog's Story
There once were little frogs who arranged a climbing competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower.
A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheered on the contestants. The race began. None of the crowd really believed the frogs would reach the top of the tower.
The crowd yelled, 'Oh, too difficult', 'They will never make it to the top', 'Not a chance they 'will succeed', and 'The tower is too high'.
The frogs began collapsing one by one. The crowd continued to yell, 'It is too hard! No one will make it!' More tiny frogs gave up and came off from the tower.

But one tiny frog, after a big effort, became the only one who reached the top! All other frogs wanted to know how the winning frog had found the strength to succeed and reached the goal. They asked the frog questions.  

He was deaf!!
*             *              *
Friends, did you enjoy the story? What do you feel about it?
In that story, the winner is the frog who did not care about a pessimistic say. In my personal view, the disability has turned out a blessing! That's what the lady and I chatted over. Without my difficulty in a leg, I might not have become an artist. Indeed, I know a hearing impaired, very famous and successful illustrator in Australia! Yey!!  

Also, the contrast is impressive between a self-reliant frog and a third party's negative and untrustworthy say. The mob's say is far different away from a healthy critiques, because their say is irresponsible.

For artists, critiques are inevitable in society. Our work has two contradicted natures in one -- very private work, yet that has publicity. In other words, an artist's work is an isolated job in a group work. Thus, art work is connected to others and to society. I'm open to any feedback, while keeping my own stance.

So, this is my another finding from that story. In my view, a balance is necessary between a healthy self-reliance and a genuine confidence, in order to achieve a goal. Otherwise, overconfidence and cowardice are counterproductive. Particularly, I feel an objective view is vital to look at my own work in a group work like a picture book project.
I also feel a person who has real confidence will not easily either get upset with other people's critics. A person with a real confidence well knows what she is. Be flexible and not stubborn in a healthy manner.

Regarding life drawing class, I'm blessed that I could meet very nice models. Especially, the woman and the man in this post are my favorites. Yes, Friends, I finished up the first "portrait" on A2 Arche based on the rough sketch on A2. 

I simply love life drawing. It lifts me up and excites me, when I'm down in other work.

These life drawings (A2) and daily sketches(A4) certainly improve my drawing skills. These days, I can "correct" my drawing with colour in sketches. Yes, I can see value/colour very well!
Art always brings me a new nice friend. The exhibition manager, very caring and thoughtful lady and I will soon get together for coffee. We enjoyed a chat over psychology. She passionately talked about her support for local artists at a grass root level. Me, too, have enthusiasm and happily encourage my colleagues or local artists. Lovely!  
Friends, let us gain genuine confidence and keep growing day by day.
Happy Painting!!


Monday, September 9, 2013

1)Federal Election 2) BookFest

Hi, Friends, how have you been? We had a federal election last Saturday and now, have a new Gov. "The answer is blowin' in the wind," is my honest impression of political debates on tv. But chidlren's innocent smile makes us happy.

None of politician well answers the questions in the song, "Blowin' the Wind." Anyone will do. We need someone who really thinks of us and acts on behalf of us at parliament. Also, without art, our life will be so poor and no taste. But sadly, art is neither appreciated nor valued in society.
Voting at Town Hall

BTW, I've been busy with the picture book project, portraits and a book festival (*a charity work, We had lunch with pupils at school ). It was wonderful to see children's innocent and beautiful smile and laughter. Edensor Park Public School (School Newspaper p2). (thank you for including me in your school newspaper!! Honoured and so COOL!)  
A teacher said,  "Sadami, you have a talent to make us laugh!"  Hahaha, it could be!
Friends, let us bequeath a bit better world to our next generation, of course with art! 
Happy, Painting!!!


Sunday, September 1, 2013

1) Podiatrist 2) Storyboard & Group Work

My update about picture book project and portraits. Here we go!
1) podiatrist's portrait
A podiatrist is a specialist for feet, a "foot doctor." Usually, podiatrists do not have a high light in society. So, I created the work. I heartily hope this work will send special thanks for my podiatrist and big cheers for service users so that they would overcome difficulties and enjoy life fully!   
In this work, I hope the podiatrist's very caring and positive personality will shine through. He has a great fame as a foundation member of Sydney Sports Medicine Centre which provides medical support for professional or National Sporting, Commonwealth and Olympic Games Teams. He also assists non-athletic and workplace injury patients.
The portrait shows the podiatrist working on my splint. I met him to make an orthotics and to choose an embrace for the leg. With a wonderful humour, my podiatrist makes colleagues and patients happy. As if he put a beautiful rainbow over patients. Clients are all ages at any level of need in feet and legs or difficult walking like me. His frank and warm welcome and commitment is wonderful. Also, He really loves his own job. I feel his joy, dedication and pride. Indeed, he and the centre have a local, national and international reputation as excellence.
Did you enjoy his portrait? 
I keep on other portraits. When I finish it, I'll upload it.

2)  the storyboard & group work
Our picture book project is at a very important stage, "full set of roughs for the whole book." Before moving onto colour, we do examine the SB closely, over and over again. 

My wonderful publishing team is working together well.  We exchange our candid opinions on the SB. Yes, discussion continues about page by page and each page/spread in a book. Unanimous agreement of our team members is the essential condition.  

I'm checking a dummy in regard to an "information flow." I, as if I were a third party towards my own work, critically analyse each page in relation bewteen next pages and in relation with a whole. I'm looking at how depicted images convey a message to a next page and in a whole. Also, I'm reviewing the allocation of a text in a page. Yes, a picture book illustrator does a book-designer-like work, too. Always I seek other members feedback and respect advice.

Friends, get surprised? Picture book illustration is not a simple process. It requires huge energy, lots of team work and much time.  Without creating a good working relation, a picture book illo is impossible.  I love group work because of mutual help!  How wonderful to know I'm not alone on the earth in the middle of night in a studio!  So, I really appreciate other team members' work and enjoy working together. 

Also, it's really nice to work on other genres such as portaraits, writing stories, even "doodles" like above etc at the same time. It reduces another work's stress. So, if you have different jobs, keep them and enojy them together. Actually, my publishing team encourages me to enjoy portraits more and more. Nice! 

Friends, thank you so much for your warm cheers. You, too, enjoy drawing and whatever you like!! We're getting into summer.
Happy Painting!