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Monday, October 27, 2014

Australia's Largeast 3D Chalk Art, Awesome & Mind-Blowing in Sydney

Hi, Friends, how was your weekend? I enjoyed Sydney Chalk Festival 2014 (u can see the image!). The finished artwork was 350sqm last Friday. Unlike other years competition style, our chalkers have collaborated and created a huge 3D painting on Custome House square in Circular Quay in Sydney this year. Bravo! I've sketched their event each year from a start. So, regular chalk artists and I know each other. The festival is a fun time to "catch up update."

Jenny McCracken and  Anton Pulvirenti lead a chalkers team to form the work. Jenny and Anton are intenationally acclaimed chalk artists. Jenny is so caring and humorous for anyone and encouraging emerging artists. Anton also supports the team from another aspect. Indeed, he sketched the event in black and white from muti dimentional ways. Guest artists are from Netherlands and Germany.
I interviewed chalkers, regarding a working together style. Friends, each chalker's design style is so different that fascinates me how they cooperated and if it would be any merits. An artist said, "An artist did not work on his/her own black and white drawing. We worked on other artists' drawings. It's good to learn different techniques! We learned each other!" Ohhh, that's nice and interesting, wonderful chalkers! Your mateship has made a huge, awesome and mind blowing 3D chall art! 

Brian Tisdall creates many smaller works for visitors. 
BTW, creating chalk art requires huge energy and sophisticated techniques. Bamboos or long sticks are very good tools to prevent back or neck pains like Jenny uses. Furthermore, an artist can easily step back and check an ongoing work. Imagine, if you were crawling on a ground, it is very annoying to stand up and set back often.
Also, a 3D composition is tricky. Images on a ground are distorted for viewers. In order to achieve a normal image, paradoxically, length and height get looooooong on the ground. You can check the came up image. This is the view from Custom House on their facebook. 
Lian, this year, helps volunteers' work, too. 
Now, I'd say special thanks for an organiser Andi and volunteers, great hard workers behind a scene. In particular, Andi, since the start up of Chalk Festival, has been incessantly working to make this event publicly known and successful at an interstate and international level. Today, mass media braodcasts her chalk festival. Andi, you're great and very caring, we know. You always spend each time every day for any involved workers from security, volunteers etc, etc, and to artists. Your humble and sensitive attitude touches my heart and, sure, all participants and people who have enjoyed the 3D work. Please take care after the hard work.   

It was wonderful to see old friends, enjoyed a chat and learned each other. The chalkers celebrated my publishing next year and my ongoing project. It encourages me so much. We look forward to seeing each other in a next chalk festival. Yes, I'll work in my watercolour and illustration areas in 2015.

Friends, stay tuned to Chalk Festival next year! 

Happy Painting!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

1)Helen Chamberlin Awarded to Dromkeen Medal 2014 2)2 images from "Moon" my picture book next Aug

In order to celebrate my publisher/editor Helen Chamberlin's award, I was invited to the Dromkeen Medal Awards ceremony, a very prestigious prize in Australian publishing industry, on 12 October at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne. Only once in a lifetime an individual is allowed to accept it. It should have been Helen's day, but Helen is so humble and modest. Roughly 280 people were invited – including from Victoria, interstate and overseas. Friends, can you imagine? This small lady has created a great Australian publishing history. 
Now, Helen stepped up to make a speech. I started sketching her — that would be my little present for her. Helen’s speech was full of thanks to related people: the SLV and Dromkeen Foundation, and of her admiration of other medal recipients. She reviewed her long career and recalled the many authors and illustrators she collaborated with. Her speech often made us smile and giggle in a very gentle way. She never forgot thanks to all collaborators from A to Z in creating picture books and books for young readers! What she does I’ve already written in my own blog posts.  She gives me initiatives and pulls me back from a wrong way, but only if I need. She mothers illustrators and authors, yet she humbly always says, “they did/do it, not me.” 
Suddenly, I heard my name in the middle of her speech!
Sweet Helen even introduced me, Sadami Konchi, and my debut work “Moon,” written by Matt Zurbo and edited by her, to be published next August. Furthermore, she supported me. How nice! Oh, you cannot imagine how much I appreciated her strong support for me and my first picture book, "Moon"!!  It surprised me very much.

"In the second row, in the middle, there's Sadami Konchi (Helen kindly indicated to the audience where I was with her hand!). Please warmly welcome her who has come to Melbourne with a great effort." Wow... Helen cared for my difficulty in walking... I felt a strange feeling among very big names... I'm nameless. I only knew Helen and a few very famous illustrators there. The other attendees were all established and renowned in the publishing industry. Actually they have created modern Australian picture books. Thank you, Helen, for supporting me so much. I am very happy. 
                         From "Moon"... 
One more scene for you... 
Whilst listening to her speech, I, too, was thinking of her achievements such as...
Helen has achieved a national and international reputation for producing groundbreaking Australian picture books, junior fiction and young adult literature. She developed the After Dark novel series illustrated in black-and-white, for reluctant older boy readers and the first Australian picture books for adult readers. Often collaborating with author Gary Crew, she’s nurtured many new talents, including Gregory Rogers, Anne SpudvilasPeter Gouldthorpe, Neil Curtis, Narelle Oliver and Shaun Tan. (*They are all leading illustrators in Australia and even in the world!) 

Shaun Tan, has pushed the boundaries of picture books. His work with Helen has changed their public image from easy kids’ reading to philosophical books that bear academic discussion on universal themes and social issues, displaying sophisticated art.
Moreover, Helen’s work challenges social problems and quests for global justice, while pursuing beauty and excellence in visual art and design like The Drover’s Boy by Ted Egan and Robert Ingpen and the wordless picture book, The Arrival by Shaun Tan, the Australia’s first highly successful graphic novel. She takes risks to publish controversial topics, yet gains huge success in genre, style and media from music to digital images. Her work captures a broad readership... 

My thoughts often overlaped her speech. Helen again, thanked for all related people at the end of the speech. 
Applause, applause!

After the ceremony, we celebrated her win. Oh, wine was so sweet! She showed me the medal. Helen Chamberlin’s name is engraved on the other side of medal. Her honourable certificate was beautifully framed and granted to her. Helen delightedly accepted my sketch. 
"How did you do it?" Helen asked me and we laughed.   
I sketched her during her speech (= only for 10 minutes, Friends!). When I heard my name in her speech, yes, I became extremely shy! Sketching is my best way to calm myself down. It always proves Sadami's drawing ability and skills, too. Super stars and guests began to whisper, "Did she(Sadami) make it??" "Oh, so sensitive and nice," etc around me. I blushed up and could not hear them well... but the sketch made me comfortable. 

After the ceremony, topnotchers told me, "We can't wait for your picutre book!" 
"You worked with the best editor in Australia!" Yes!!!
These top people are Helen's wonderful friends!. 
Congratulations, Helen! Helen has become the legend in Australian publishing history. I'm very honoured to eye witness to her achievement and to have participated in it. Above all, what a blessing to have worked for our picture book, Moon! We shared joy with her happily ever after. But the saga of Helen continues. It's the beginning of a new story. She is creating more Australian picture books and enjoying editing texts. With Dromkeen's honour and encouragement, she moves on and steps into a future. 

“The work of an editor or publisher of children’s books is to be a facilitator – to make sure the huge talent we have in Australia gets out there to our children in the best possible shape.” --- Helen Chamberlin.  

Endlessly, I do applause! We’re fortunate to have such a wonderful editor Helen in our children’s  book industry. Friends, I've been writing about Helen from time to time. Feel free to write your any comments on  Helen, the Dromkeen Medal, "Moon," editing, publishing industry and so on. I certainly pass them to Helen.

Friends, Happy Painting and Happy Illustrating!!
... and so shy Helen ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ
Ehum! Helen and I tease at each other, still now, hahaha?!
**Lastly, SPECIAL thank you, Friends, for your great patience and keep visiting my blog despite my delay. I had to visit Melbourne all of a sudden and it made my life hectic for these weeks. I'll keep this post for a next week. 


Monday, October 6, 2014

Gift From the Sea

I enjoyed a first swim at Narrabeen beach and re-read "Gift from the Sea" written by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I've loved that book since my late twenties. Her insightful writing always gives me what a woman's life is at each stage from youth to aging, regarding relationship, marriage, creative activities and solitude in a modern society. Anne's very frank and unsentimental eye on herself and topics are very touching -- as if we were having a conversation in person. Young readers will find advice on marriage and love in Anne's comparing the shapes of shells to women's life stages. Middle aged readers will find comfort and suggestion in the maturing process of life. Aged people will find a direction to go both outward and inner world. On the beach, It was interesting to find where I underlined in the twenties. I looked back my life and felt happy with it, for I'm making my dream come true as an artist. Although Anne tells the importance of women's solid attitude in a mature age, I still need help from others. Ah, not easy and not mature enough! But I accept it, too.

Now, this is my first sketch of the sea. I play with waves on paper as well as in water! The fresh green of a big wave attracted me. Big waves in Narrabeen beach are popular among surfers. Always waves capture my heart. Its colours, movements and shapes are changing or waves never stay the same. It is much like our lives. I made this sketch around noon. Fortunately, the weather was good and the watercolour painting relatively got dried well. 
Today, I did not collect any shell. (*Usually, I pick up some shells.) Like Anne Morrow Lindbergh writes, I know we cannot collect all shells -- am clearly aware of the limitation of my ability and time given on the earth. But it is the beauty of maturing ; know what I am well and properly. So, we can concentrate on what we want/need to do. This paradox is true, I feel, if we go any direction in the limitation, we can find eternity and no restriction.

People enjoyed swimming, surfing, sun tanning or just walking on the beach. A water temperature was a bit cold, 18'C. Often people said to me, "You're brave!" Only a first step was cold. Once, you jump in a pool, that's fine. An ocean, like a mother, kindly held me, water was not cold at all. Few people were in the pool and almost mine early in the morning! Big waves broke against the walls of the pool and made splashes! Some came into the pool. That's very impressive, but hard to capture it. Anyway, this is my try. I hope you can hear waves and the sounds from the sea.
Then, the below is the sketch of the pool. A day time saving has started from this Sunday. We are getting into summer. Our long weekend was over. Each of us will go back to routine from tomorrow. But it was lovely to have had such a rich quiet time in the off days.

I feel like reading well that book, "Gift From the Sea." Quite a thin book, yet it's full of wisdom in lyrical and rhythmical sentences like waves sounds. If you have a spare time, it's worth reading.

Friends, Happy Painting and Happy aging!!