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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Blind, Leading

A full page illustration for the International Herald Tribune quarterly magazine- the global Edition of the New York Times based in Paris.  It accompanies a personal account by a Chinese writer, Bi Feiyu, on the life and dignity of the blind. How they see better than "normal people" in the materialistic and vulgar society we are living in. In particular, Blind masseurs-the subject of his latest book. 

Here is an extract -'I was born in 1964 and grew up during the Cultural Revolution. I saw many big-character posters that were often used for rabid attacks, and I witnessed many public denunciations. The red terror in those days was of course delivered through whipping and beating. But more often, it was delivered through violent language. When I was small, I thought my father’s name was Father. One day, in the roar of a public denunciation, I learned otherwise: An old lady said to me, “Did you hear that? They’re shouting ‘Down with Bi Ming.’ Bi Ming is your father.” (Read the full article here. )

This article is very powerful to me on a personal level. My grandmother was a high-school president during the mad years of Cultural Revolution. She was prosecuted for being the "intellectual class", which was propagandaed to be the major thread of the country. I grew up hearing stories about the public denunciations, and how ethics and etiquette, which was once the core value of Chinese society, went down the drain. 

I have much pride in our long history and rich culture and it hurts very much to see, in Mr. Bi's words, "The China of today is moving forward… toward money. Every coin has become a rolling wheel, and to chase those wheels we no longer care about civility. We behave like hysterical people barking out dirty words on the street — every single word that comes out is covered with obscene saliva. Our economy is booming. People will do anything to strike it rich. This is a time of shamelessness. Whoever is mindful of the shamefulness becomes a loser." 

I am glad I got to work on this project. Thank you AD James Eric Jones!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Utopia for Frogfolio

Every year Dellas Graphic launches a calendar project called the Frogfolio which led to tons of award-winning pieces in the past 16 years. The past talents include Brad Holland, Etienne Delessert, Chris Buzelli, Yuko Shimizu, Sam Weber, Sam Bosma, Jillian Tamaki, Bill Mayer, Ellen Weinstein, Joohee Yoon.etc. It's a great honor to have my name be part of the artists I highly admire. 

The subject matter is completely open (as long as there is a frog in the picture), so I took full advantage and had tons of fun working on this piece. Thank you AD Jim Burke for having me on board!!


Detail 1

Detail 2

Detail 3

Detail 4

Detail 5

Monday, June 18, 2012

MacUser interview

I have a 5 pages feature interview in the latest MacUser Magazine, check it out! Thanks you AD Camille and Editor Kirsty for inviting me to be on board!

Here are some extracts from the interview- 

1. What was your first Mac?
iMac G5

2. What is the current Mac you are using?
iMac 27"

3. What equipment do you use apart from your Mac (peripherals etc)?
Wacom Tablet, Canon Scanner, Epson Stylus Photo Printer

4. What is your favourite current software programme and what was the
first programme you used?
Favorite - Adobe Photoshop First programe used- Microsoft Word

5. Can you offer any tips for success?
"It's not how good you are, it's how good you want to be"-Paul Arden

6. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Architect, because I love LEGO.
Archaeologist, because the Jurassic Park was so cool.
A lyrics write, because I was an emo teenager.
I have always enjoy drawing but it took me a while to wrap my head around the concept of "getting paid by having fun", that just didn't seem right.

7. How did you get your first big break?
When the piece "the New Standard" was selected into most of the prestigious competitions and illustration annuals (Society of Illustrators NY, American Illustration, Communication Arts, Spectrum and 3X3), I started getting a lot of attention from art directors and followings on the internet.

8. What or who are your influences and inspiration?
Growing up in Hong Kong, I was largely influenced by Asian arts and crafts such as Nianhua, Chinese ink scrolls, Lianhuanhua and Japanese Hanga. Attending college in the States exposed me to works by Western
art masters such as Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Antoni Gaudi, William Turner, Norman Rockwell and Al Hirschfeld. Now I am constantly being influenced by people around me, things I see and music I listen to.

The most influential person to me is my college portfolio professor Chris Buzelli. He said -” Style is overrated, it’s merely a habit of drawing. Everyone has a unique style because everyone has a unique life” This made me realized being honest to oneself is the key to bring out the unique voice in one's work.

9. What mistakes have you learned from?
 "Don't confront the clients, dance with them."- Chris Buzelli.

 10. What's your ideal project?
I would LOVE to work on an animated MV for Daft Punk or Bjork.

 11. Tell us something good...
Listening to Daft Punk and eating peanut butter jelly sandwich (the guilty pleasure can be boosted by adding a slice of provolone cheese) when pulling an all-nighter.

 12. What's your favourite gadget and why?
My iPhone, it allows me to stay in touch with my clients anywhere anytime. This is especially important for the same day turn-arounds like the New York Times. Also, I can throw some birds at pigs or cut some fruits when I need to let off some steam.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

3x3 Gold Medal!!

GREAT GREAT NEWS GUYS!! This piece was awarded GOLD MEDAL from the 3x3 Annual Illustration Professional Show this year!  (Click here to read the original post about this piece.)

Charles did a really nice write up about the judging process here and you can view the complete winning list here
It’s big honor to be included in the show, needless to say being a Gold Medalist. I didn’t think this could happen, not even in my wildest dream. When I received the email I couldn’t believe it so I wrote back asking if they have made a mistake. I am glad they didn’t.
Thank you again to the one and the only AD SooJin Buzelli and the all judges. Congrats to all the winners!
Happy almost-Friday!