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Monday, July 23, 2018

Creating a Picture Book is a Labour of Love.

A wonderful workshop on creating picture book was run by WestWords and Parramatta Council. What is required from a children picture book illustrator? Guest speakers : successful author Sue Whiting, established illustrator/book designer Wayne Harris. His say echoes in my heart. “Creating a picture book is a labour of love.” 

Wayne's answers to the question are below.  
  •        Warmth. Always warmth.
  •        Authenticity. Authentic voice.
  •        A child centralised view.
  •        Narrative ability, thus, no need to be technically brilliant.
A book designer and an editor do a similar job in a picture book publishing team. They make a text and illustration sing well. Yes, publisher/editor Helen Chamberlin's work amazes me. With her, I've learned/ am learning how to do layout, the importance of page turning and everything about picture book illustration and designing. More importantly, an illustrator needs a third party's calm eye to examine her own illustration. 
So, another recommendation is "Work with a great editor. Even once is fine, work with a great editor! They answer all your questions. From their answers, you’ll learn a lot pricelessly." Yes, I perfectly agree with the above from my working experience with Helen Chamberlin. Also, Wayne said, "A great editor does a psychiatrist! Who says to desperate creators, “Calm down. Go outside and have coffee,”?" I solely appreciate Helen's support and guidance in my illustration work. It'll be a so precious life experience as a professional. 
Regarding an author, Wayne suggests, when an author hands over a text to an illustrator, give up the holding visual images of the text. An illustrator will create a totally different image from the text based on her own concepts. But paradoxically and magically, a good picture book, the beautiful marriage between a text and illustration will be born from the completely different thoughts. Yes, a great and experienced editor is the matchmaker between a text and images. 

Wonderful to catch up Sue and Wayne. From time to time, Sue and Wayne have been encouraging me since I started a career. Wayne taught me illustration with Donna Rawlins at Sydney uni. Both celebrated the achievements in my career. This is from facebook. 
Sue Whiting Thanks Sadami. Always important to encourage talented new creators! It's been wonderful to watch your developing career.

Sadami Konchi Thank you very much, Sue Whiting! I hope I'll create good picture books. Please guide me.

Sue and Wayne generously talked about a process of making a picture book and a publishing process. We all enjoyed the workshop fully. 
Wayne and Sue gave me big hugs at the end of a workshop. Thank you very much, WestWords and Parramatta Council for the freebie workshop. I've been proud of being taught by Wayne and Donna. Lots of study about picture book illustration is necessary as well as drawing and painting skills. I want to tell a story with/from love. I want to tell a story from a children’s point of view. Friends, joining a workshop is helpful. 
Wayne will run a 3 weeks workshop of creating a picture book at WestWords. 
Let's enjoy learning. Friends, Happy Painting! 


Monday, July 16, 2018

My Dog Socks shortlisted in the Speech Patholody Award!

Friends, good news. Our picture book, "My Dog Socks" is shortlisted in the Speech Patholody Award Australia 2018 in the category from 3 to 8 years old! Thank you very much for all the supporters, author Robyn Osborne and Publisher/Daddy Paul Collins. Robyn's wonderful text, her hard work and Daddy Paul, the opportunity given to be published have made it happen. As well as Speech Pathology Award, My Dog Socks is listed on the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge list and CBCA / Children's Book Council of Australia Notables 2018. Very Happy. Special thanks, great joy, Sadami. 


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Pull Yourself Together, Japan!

災害にあわれた全ての方々に、心よりお見舞い申し上げます。The news on Japanese flood was shocking like the earthquake in 2011. I could not help, but shed tears. Yet, Japanese people, you've already shown heroism and a great mutual help in that dreadful catastrophe. I heartily hope everything works out for recovery.  


Monday, July 9, 2018

Changing and Universal Continuity

(Posted sketches : a winter sky and Sydney Sketch Club member measuring a subject.) A generation gap exists though, always the important things will not change in a value system such as love, honesty and hope. In art, particularly, in watercolour painting, materials are incessantly advancing. New artists emerge with interesting brush strokes and techniques. If I do not catch up with changing, I will be far behind time. But good themes have universal messages. 
Something common and precious continues in our global value, said my friend and a philosophy student. True. Today, her say remains in my heart. Look up good and widely loved and accepted picture books. They talk of commonality in a human value such as love, virtue, courage, hope etc, etc. If we can produce art work that taps an all-embracing value, it reaches anyone's hearts in the world. A picture book creator dreams it. 
The same is true of linguistics. A leading youngish sociolinguist and friend and I had coffee at Sydney uni. I felt my age, as my familiar linguists and former lecturers already became Australia legends. Or for my dear friend, my well-known linguists were "must"-study-linguists at uni -- imagine, my favourite linguists were classic to her. They were, as if, Turner and John Singer Sargent for my dear friend. Gulp, I haven't got in a museum yet?! Very happy to see such wonderful sociolinguists emerging one after another. The friend's started supervising a postgraduate student. It amazes me. The friend invites me for a conference. I will! My old brain needs exercises. At the same time, I know many young sociolinguists fighting against social injustice and for human rights, which are universally important continuity on the earth. 

I hope I will create a good picture book. It was lovely to catch up with the linguist friend and a Sydney Sketch Club meeting. The club members warmly welcomed me and some were worried about my absence. Oh, thank you. I was too busy to come. I will join group activities more. 
Friends, you, too, enjoy changing and continuity in life. Thank you for reading this post!
Happy Painting! 


Monday, July 2, 2018

Enjoy Challenging

Very good news that a leg is so stable, a physiotherapist has concluded in a review. He commended my hard work. Thank you very much for a strong support for more than a decade. My exercises and a long distant swimming have paid off, whether rain or shine, summer or winter. Other good news. School and WestWords have asked me to run an art workshop more and onward. Other illustration projects are ongoing! Very happy and busy. 
Of course, I sometimes felt down and out, and cried. A physio exercise was not easy to keep up and very stressful. Swimming in the sea in a winter was challenging (*I swam 700m at Narrabeen beach / an ocean pool last Sat in the middle of winter, brrr!). I've simply believed that these exercises would help my leg and never stopped them. Yes, I've walked again and improved the function little by little for ages and to the present. Here's Arts Access Australia's interview of me in 2011. I like this say, any suffering has a unique meaning for an individual. Another bonus is I sketched waves after swimming -- all were sold in a solo exhibition and very popular. This one is on a studio wall that makes me smile. Who did expect that I, who could only swim 25m, would make 1 km today? Gradually, I swam a long distance. A person can enjoy tasks in a healthy manner at a reasonable level (= Consult specialists, please!). 

I popped up Sydney Sketch Club, as I could find a spare time. Nice to catch up with others and enjoyed a chat. I sketched a member who looked up and stayed still only for a second. It was challenging to capture that crucial moment, but fun, like hunting. 
Below is another sketch at a pub, a harmonica player and a principal vocal in a band. I did not mind making a mess in drawing and painting. It has taken years to draw figures at the current level. I want to go further, meanwhile I will advocate people with disability in arts. My former physio said, "It would not have happened if you had not worked so hard. Well done you!" My medical team celebrates the good outcome. 
Friends, not easy, but it's worth enjoying challenging in a positive and optimistic way. I'll keep up this attitude. I appreciate your cheers for years. 
Enjoy painting and life fully! ((Hugs)), From Sadami