Interested in purchasing artwork? Please leave comment with your email address. I'll contact you.
CV & work availabel at "Stylefile," "Art Access Australia," "City of Ryde."

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Clear Writing is Illustrator's Vital Skills

Hiya, Friends, thank you for a great patience for my new post! This week, I'll chat over the importance of clear writing skills for a visual artist. Clear writing skills are as vital as good drawing skills. I've been working on paper work. Really, I'm under the pressure of the pile of papers this month. But I keep sketching to refresh myself. If I don't touch brushes, my hands cry out, really. I put colours on a black and white sketch (@the bottom of this post) from the memory. I also changed the use of colours to create a mood. It worked well, which gives me confidence to try this way -- sketch on spot and illustrate it in a studio!
Back to the topic, the importance of clear writing for a visual artist. In communication, we heavily rely on writing such as emails and documents in society. Competitions and any applications require writings. In the assessment of competitions and applications, good clear writing stands out you from others.

Clear writing
Plain English is enough and essential, because, for example, application and submission limits words. "Write it even for an eight years old kid can get!" is my motto. (*My sociology tutor gave me at uni.) My writing must get readers to follow my thoughts. I want them to say, "Ah-ha, Sadami wants to tell me that-and-that," after reading, don't you? "Smooth information flow" is the key. You do not need to write like a PhD thesis. Wishy-washy foggy sentences are DON'T.

The tips for clear writing on a sentence, a paragraph structure and proof reading.

"Technical" rules on sentences. Basic and essential.
  • simple sentences = short sentences in right punctuation, spell and grammar. 
  • tell what you want to say straightforward. 
  • tighten up sentences = delete unnecessary words. 
  • use your familiar words, if not confidnet in a new word. 
Rules on the writing structure, paragraphs. 
  • entire writing has a "theme" = what you want to say.   
  • entire writing is divided into paragraphs that respond to the theme = easy to read.  
  • a paragraph has a structure =  a topic sentence, a body and a conclusion.  
  • each paragraph connects well by conjunctions = smooth information flow.  
A good clear writing has a structure. If you pick up a head sentence and a last sentence in each paragrah, you can get a topic and a conclusion.  

Do Proof Reading
  • Get your friends to read what you've read! Get feedback! 
  • Read loud your own writing. **Clear writing is easy to read out = if you cannot, your information flow is poor or stuck somewhere. 
The above is from my bitter experiences (outch!?). If they help you some, I'm very happy. If you have any more suggestions that I missed out, please let me know.

Regarding publishing industry, in globalisation, illustrators contact publishers all over the world. A formal and clear writing is essential in communication. An editor and an Illustrator exchange thoughts about texts and pictures by email. If an email does not covey an Illustrator's message, poor communication will mess up a project. As far as I know, successful illustrators and big names often have studied education, social science, particularly, English and linguistics. Many editors, too, are from education, English literature and language areas or experts of English/language.

This is the spot on sketch. 
He was trying hard to type out sentences on a keyboard.
Are you good at writing? I was/am not was not good at essay writing at uni. So, Friends, if you feel, "Oh, no I'm not," you are not alone!!!ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ  Aaagghhh, I'm under the pressure of a due date. It's the beginning of March~(*o*)~. I have to write more than 500 words in some parts. So, please pardon if I do not post each Monday. If you were a next door, I'd like you to check my draft. While writing the draft, I enjoy watercolour painting so as to post them for this blog. Thank you for visiting. Oh, you can't imagine how much I appreciate your warm cheers. I've learned lots how to say it in English from the communication with you, Friends.
Friends, Happy Painting and Writing, too!!


Monday, February 2, 2015

Just Do It! is Answer, but Never Be Alone

Hi, Friends, how is going? I'm becoming crazy busy with the projects and preparing for the book launch and the exhibition. In it, sketching buskers refreshes me. What do you think, Friends? Doing is the only answer in drawing. All of us know that even a good idea is a half baked potato. I'm an instinctive artist and a believer of experiences that teach me and foster me. None of theories is perfect. Thinking wastes my artistic life. If you've got a new idea, just do it next moment, before the idea will be gone.    

These ukulele players at market were from Melbourne. Interesting. An ukulele has only four strings (*a guitar has six!). Sketching music players is not so hard. They repeat same movements. So, pick up your most favorite or dramatic one and pin down it on paper. To simplify all other information is effective to demonstrate the drama.  

Here are my black and white created in the evening show. You can't see colours at night. But a very strong spot light intrigued me. I omitted all the necessary visual information which worked well to capture the moment. 
When I've reviewed the sketch books, an idea hits me, "Can't I use that tech in watercolour direct painting?" So, next time sketching, I want to try it! 
Also, we, Sydney Sketch Club went to Doung Moran National Portrait Exhibition 2014 in Paddington Reservoir Gardens I came late and only have 30 minutes to sketch architecture. I kept my motto, "To learn watercolour painting takes life long... plus 30 minutes!" ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ 
The Moran exhibition always inspires me. Another sketch club member gave me nice comments. "I'm not interested in a crystal clean work, but a work that tells a model and an artist's inner world." So am I. We enjoyed a chat, looking around the finalists. I copied one work, "Workshop Magician Paul Taffa" by David Naseby. In the copy, I emphasised masculinity.  Without our club organiser's important utter, "A model is a man!" I might work on a wrong way. In the sketching of David's work, I learned a lot how to harmonise colours in a limited pallet and David bravely omitted all unnecessary visual information in the work. An outcome successfully sends a very strong message. His approach overlaps my idea above.  
"Just do it!" has become my another motto. Finally, when you get stuck in your art activities, never be alone. See anyone else or other artists/same minded people are preferable. Chest off your pains and share joy. Don't get stressed. Join a sketch club is a good option. How much I appreciate the club's activities that refresh me so much and lift me up.
Then, I can keep on.
You, too, Friends, Happy Painting!


Monday, January 26, 2015

All Work Is Process Of Our Growing

Hi, Friends, are you coming back to work after holidays? I'm enjoying a close up portrait again. In this work, I've focused on her enthusiasm for work. Always a model's "eyes" fascinate me most. I'm looking into her eyes and do not weigh on other areas. A mood comes up well and I'm happy.
The other day, I met a wonderful artist in a sketch club. He said, "All is process" about our drawings from his rich teaching experience. In his eyes, some people try so hard to draw meticulously accurate and struggle to create masterpieces, which forces watercolour to behave like their expectations. Outcome disappoints the people. "But watercolour does not like that way!" the upset artist voiced. In his say, a personified watercolour amused me so much and true! He called himself a tough or unwelcomed teacher and whispered me the wise say with a mischievous smile. I perfectly agreed with him. I said, "All work is experiment. My growing process." He smiled back at me.
I added, "Through my experiences, I know the importance of "let paints work freely," yet, a watercolourist controls paints' freedom. Then, the beauty of watercolour shows up on paper."  We enjoyed a chat over art and teaching. 

Regarding portraits, I feel an individual personality is like universe. An artist wants to explore universe and express it on paper as s/he likes. I'm drawing this model in different angles and with different styles. If a person is universe, different portraits will come up tens of millions, even from a same model.

But a sitter is not always happy to be depicted in an "ugly" or unfavorable way by an artist. This episode is famous that Archibald winner Ben Quilty took time to negotiate Margaret Olley for his modelFortunately, my model allows me to express what I feel freely on paper. She well knows the importance of freedom for artists. What about you, Friends? Do you have or have you ever experienced difficulty in the working relation with a model for portrait work? If you have, let us share your pain.
Btw, technically, interestingly, I "correct" my pencil drawing or an initial sketch by putting colours. See the process. I do not erase wrong lines. The remainded lines help me capture a subject better. My colouring repairs line work. I've felt I'm not a line dominant drawer, but a colour oriented painter. In my work, a black and white drawing is a simple "assistance" for colour painting (Does it make sense?). Lines are the fewer, the better for me. I admire an artist who can use strong lines, for I'm not good at drawing! I want to study how to use lines more.
If these drawings are ongoing process, all the created work is also in the past. I'm not going to cling to a good work done yesterday. It was only mere a passing point in my life. I want to keep creating more today. Messy work is fine and welcome, becuase all is process. I'll have more fun and grow myself as a person tomorrow. Although I love portraits and watercolour is my medium, I want to be brave to seek for other styles and explore techniques in order to freely express what I feel in a model. My goal and starting point is to bring up a unique my own style. 
I hope myself to enjoy working on more portraits of this model! 

Now, we know "All is process." If we are growing in art, our styles and techniques are changing and will move on. If I remain in exactly the same style, it means I'm not growing. Gulp?! 
Friends, Happy Painting! Let's give it a go and grow in art!


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Ab Solomons' Wage Packets Sketchs in Sydney Festival

Friends, we, ordinary people's lives are all precious and unique. Ab, a shoemaker kept drawing small sketches with short sentences on wage packets. What a practical and romantic way Ab did, the art on wage bags for his wife, Celie! A real work size is smaller than my palm like playing cards. The record of love was from 1920 to 1980s. 
The drawings are full of history and love.
Ab, a shoemaker was Jewish. His cute drawings show war, Hitler, religion, sickness, new technology = telly, movie, video, etc, etc. Above all, their relationship! First, they were a young couple, had two sons, conflicts between the couple, but they still loved each other till Ab had a bored head, Celie with wrinkles, a double bed changed into separated single beds... etc, etc. So, sweet and many ups and downs, but a very commical depiction makes viewers smile and laugh. 
Technically, the drawings develop a wonderful style from stick figures with a pen to bright watercolour, full of humour, wit, heartwarming writings. Oh, it touched my heart. Already the drawings have become a theatre play.
I always feel the beauty of old couples. I can see their long history and love in their body language.... It is wonderful. I love them all and admire them. We cannot stay together forever. In our human relationship, we have journey and separation, yet, the triumph of love over everything... Love is the miracle on earth. If so, we have miracles here, there, everywhere. I'm sure many unknown Ab and Celie should be here, there and everywhere. Ab has successfully captured love and life on his wage packets. Yes, that's what I want to depict in my work, too.
Like Ab did, I want to capture ordinary people's lives in ordinary ways...with love. In this post, I just uploaded my daily sketches of "us, ordinary people." Paradox. It's extraordinary, because an individual is so precious and unique. Yet, we are universal and common. So, we can share our emotions in art work. Technically, my work might not be standing out nor being sophisticated. But if my work has love, it will touch others hearts, like Ab did. The opposite is true, as well.  We sometimes forget technically astonishing work in a few minutes, becuase it did not have love and would not reach at our hearts. We know, even a clumsy work with love, that reaches our heart will remain in us forever -- I often experience it in the work done by children, nameless people and people with disabilities. 

In my solo exhibition, I want to show the best selection of my daily sketches as well as picture book illustrations! I hope visitors will smile and giggle at the sketches. 
I do not mean to create a masterpiece. I want to draw us, ordinary people with love. I want to show the beauty of being imperfect and special in YOU, Friends!  
Friends, Happy Painting!  


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Tips to Sketch Children

Hi, Friends, are you enjoying sketching children? All of us want to capture their innocent beauty, don't we? Capturing children is not hard. First of all, please trust in your own eyes. All of us can tell how old a child is and what feeling s/he has. If so, we all have wonderful knowledge about what children are. Just use your eyes' perception and depict kids on paper. Observe children carefully. Answers will be your precious art assets. A child's face expression and movement interest me most. I sketched these kids last week in two or three days. Then, one of the sketch was developed into watercolour below.
1) How old is that child?
Children's body proportion and faces are crucial to tell an age. As they grow, a big head gets smaller, a face is changing and they get taller. "Pratice makes perfect" is the best way to learn it. Just draw it for tens of millions times.

2) Find a drama and seize the moment.  
Get a child's mood. Choose an interesting movement. A dramatic moment attracts viewers and very eye pleasant. I love sketch them! 
3) Set an angle carefully
I'm very fussy about an aspect to capture a moving child. Very much like a hunter, I'm waiting for the favorite moment in a child's movement, while holding a graphite.  
4) Pick up one thing to say in drawing. 
Daily observation allows us to capture the best moment on spot. In other words, if we do not try children everyday, we cannot either find children or seize them in drawing. 
Just keep drawing.
Finally, I'd add, "Sketching childfren also gives busy you smile and fun!" Sure, kids will come to you and ask you, "Can I draw (with you)?"  

Now, I'm preparing for the jammed schedule. I organise time and list up necessary things and what-to-do in order. Being well planned is crucially important to achieve a goal. Not easy, but I'll do my best. Thank you for warm and strong encouragements!!
You, too, Friends, Happy Painting and Drawing!


Friday, January 2, 2015

2015 Sadami Solo Exhibition in October

Happy New Year, Friends! I am preparing for a solo exhibition at Chrissie Cottee Gallery run by Marrickville Council (map) from October 20th to November 2nd. The title is "Over the Moon with Watercolour!, celebrating the collected works of Sadami Konchi with a special focus on her new picture book, Moon." The exhibition will display a beautiful marriage between a text and illustrations by imagination, creativity and interpretation. My birthday 29th Oct is right in the exhibition period. The Council staff and I are planning to have my own birthday party, book signing and other interesting events for children together! CCGallery offers a rich space and I can hang lots of works. 
"Moon Front Cover." Moon written by Matt Zurbo, illustrated by Sadami Konchi 
and edited by Helen Chamberlin will be published by Windy Hollow this August.  
Thank u, Marrickville Council! They posted my news on the facebook. 
Especially, the process of developing images will interest visitors. Dummy books and unselected images reveal our methods and lots of efforts that are usually unknown to the public. You can enjoy the interpretation of a Moon text, story boards, roughs and finalised images.  
Moon text, story boards, 3 dummies (b&w, colour). 
Which dummies shall I exhibit? Several dummies were made to examine the information flow etc. 
All dummies are so precious. Illustrators call them, "My kids!" Sure! 

As well as Moon, the collection of my best work includes Doug Moran semi finalist, Art Access Australia finalists, daily watercolour sketches, life drawings, photos of a community work, Wesley Building Dreams, plus all publications : education picture books, "Poetic Justice" and "Quotable Winston Churchill." 
"Dignity," Doug Moran semifinalist 2012
Also, my art activities have a unique spectrum that includes community work. I’d demonstrate the abilities of people with disability, because my disability has motivated me to be an artist. The portraits and studies give a background to my humanistic approach; how I see people with empathy. Lively watercolour portraits are spontaneous and beautiful that show any person is precious and special.
Arts Access Australia finalist 2011
..and of course ?! myself, too! "Sadami" will be exhibited. Come and have a chat with me or question about illustration and art work in person. In a competitive picture book industry, I’m successfully climbing up to a debut with the celebration of Australian legends such as Ann James, Helen Chamberlin, Libby Gleeson AM, Margaret Wild and other real top notches. The council staff says, "We are excited!" Me, too!

At the same time, I have "assignments" to work on such as the selection of work, how to hang them and resources etc, etc. I'm exploring resources to organise this exhibition. Not easy and so competitive. Help and good advice are needed. Blog friends(=you!), mentors, editors, council staff, experienced artists friends, peak bodies, academia, supporters are helping me. Everything is a new experience. I'm learning lots. I just do my best! Your warm cheers are my energy to tackle the obstacles and I'll find answers

Yes, I'm holding the stuff all related to Moon for "desk work"! The real work has a different size. 
Most of my images are on A2. Can you imagine how much we, illustrators work? 
So, Friends, stay tuned. I'll post the ongoing preparation of the exhibition from time to time and tell you how I will find solutions. I'll remind you closer to the book launch and the exhibition time. Save your date. If any Blogger friends come to Sydney and can pop up the exhibition, please let me know the date in comments (*It will be kept confidential and I'll respond you by email) so that we will hug each other!  

In between the main events above and big two publications, I'll carry out "author talks" at public libraries such as in Eastwood, Ryde and so ons. Especially, Eastwood library has always supported me at a tough time. It's my turn to pay it back to a community. Like Marrickville Council, Parramatta Council supports me well. Oh, yes, Hornsby Art Society has invited me as a guest speaker to do watercolour demo on 13th Ocotber. We're already enjoying organising my portfolio to display for a meeting. (thank u, HAS!)

I'll be extremely busy this year full of really exciting things that need a lot of research, heaps of documentations and desk work as well as art work. If I become lazy for Monday weekly blogging, please understand my "jam packed" situation. But I'll visit your blogs as much as I can. Let us keep in touch. 
Friends, thank you for your strong support and cheers! With them, I'm making my dreams come true. I hope you, too, will make 2015 into a wonderful and fruitful year! 
Friends, Happy Painting!!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Xmas & Happy New Year!

Hi, Friends, are you enjoying your holiday season? Yes, we are! Thank you for your wonderful support all through this 2014. With your cheers, I could achieve many projects this year, particularly, in publishing industry. It's ongoing in 2015. The publication of a frist trade picture book, "Moon" excites me most!!
2015 will be very busy though, I will do my best for work and find time in creating fine art, especially, for "portraits." 
"Santa on an Off Day"
Today, I could catch up Sydney sketch club members in the last meeting of 2014. Very nice to see old friends and new faces. Close friends celebrated my good news in publications. So sweet! I'd make time as much as possible to join sketch meetings next year. 
Also, if I could find time, I want to do something in a welfare area like I did for Wesley Mission's inclusive art work project. It will be my pay back to society. 
"Donation for Children Cancer" 
I heartily wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. I attended a carol service tonight and prayed for you, too. Please take care. Have a safe and joyful holiday season. I hope 2015 will be a wonderful year for you and me. 
Friends, Happy Painting! 
Best wishes, love and smile, Sadami.