It was golden week in Japan this week, which means big city max exodus, traffic jams and no quick fix lunches at the 7/11. Fortunately, there was something interesting on the TV to fill the void where my 250yen mixed sandwiches ought to have been.
Animax was running Mononoke; not the Ghibli masterpiece, but the Toei animated series from 2007. A few years old, but still fantastic; A really stylish and unique (be it computer generated) horror anime worth a look, especially for it’s art: Looking just like a moving Utagawa Hiroshige ukiyo-e wood block print (the ones famously reproduced by Van Gogh). The opening sequence doesn’t do the series much justice, but a if you can find a copy somewhere, somehow, give it a look.
Kagemusha. Pencil on watercolour paper. 40cm x 50cm. カゲムシャ. 鉛筆と水彩用の紙で描きました.
Details and a larger image can be found here in the gallery.
先日発行された新潟日報夕刊の記事です。このリンクからご覧になれます。Thank you! ショーン。
Being creative with Shrines and Temples.
Sean came to Japan 5 years ago from Tasmania, Australia. Recently he has been producing art works based on shrines and temples (in Joetsu city, Niigata). During times when not taking English lessons, or when on weekends away from the conversation school where he works, he spends his time focused on his art work. Last year in September, he had his first exhibition and has plans for a second this coming December. His dream being to one day make a living from his art.
Using pencils and watercolour, he describes the tiles and wood in fine detail, rendering the scenes in deformed 3D to emphasise and immerse. Some of his influences come from Japanese manga; like Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira and Matsumoto Taiyo’s Tekkon Kinkreet. In Joetsu city, he can walk and plan his images, drawing inspiration from the roadside rocks and trees, moss and the long history of the area. In his words, he describes it as “shinpiteki”: mysterious in Japanese.
Since he was young, he has enjoyed drawing. He attended the local university art school, majoring in design and was employed at a design office soon after graduation. There he helped produce web content until the company unfortunately went bankrupt. For about 1 year following, he engaged in freelance design, but found the commercial work limiting creatively, and his enthusiasm for design was soon extinguished.
While considering his future, he recalled advice his parents had given him about broadening his horizons. An opportunity to attend an interview for a large English conversation school in Japan gave him a chance to do so.
While a child he had always had a keen interest in things Japanese; watching Astroboy during the 80’s animation boom, and having an interest in package design during his studies at art school; describing the many wrapped layers of souvenirs as like that of an onion.
The conversation school sent him to Joetsu. A peaceful city similar in size and atmosphere to his hometown, where he soon met other creative people, including illustrators and musicians, also pursuing their arts.
In May 2009, he married his girlfriend of 4 years; Ayako, and he said with some jest, “I plan on living here at the moment”.
Last year, in Australia, he had his first exhibition with an old friend and artist, displaying about 20 pieces based on popular Japanese monster and hero TV series. After some success, and after returning to Joetsu city, he decided to pursue art seriously and immediately went about setting up a studio for his new work. Now, based in Joetsu, he is able to walk around his local area sourcing material for his next exhibition. He currently keeps a blog and regularly updates on his progress; receiving approx. 300 hits a month. He is positive about the future, and hopes to share more of his art with both local audiences and those abroad.
Just a little reminder, if you happen to come across a Niigata-Nippo Yukan today (Saturday); my interview should be inside… In the meantime, here is the latest progress on my kagemusha piece. It’s coming along now, just a we bit more….
Do not enter…
Kevin Bauman has documented something awesome in Detroit, Michigan, in his series 100 Abondoned Houses. I was immediately drawn to the decay of the brick and weatherboard houses; they ooze character and mystery. I guess the pictures I have been drawing recently have something in common with these abandoned homes. They teeter precariously, on the verge of collapse. Anyway, that’s enough fluff. Enjoy the photos!
Looking for inspiration…
If you have a spare minute, or even an hour; the Behance Network has a beta site cleanly displaying all sorts of creative artists work. I haven’t taken the time to look thru the process of creating a portfolio with them, (because there are so many great images to look at!) but if you wanted to get your stuff up online; it would be a great place to try out. It’s just so clean!
While I was having a good time and working hard in Melbourne last year for the ReUnite & Transmute pop-up show with Ghostpatrol, I met with lots of super folks interested in art and creative stuff. It was an unforgettable experience and I sure learned a great deal too; like how to repair windows with masking tape, skateboard, and where to get a good Japanese katsudon on Smith Street, Fitzroy. I also met a fellow interested in selling my art online. Well, his site, On The Wall has just been updated and some of my previous digital works are available for purchase now in the shop. There are 5 18cm x 13cm prints available and I hope to be able to add some new digital based illustrations to the folio in the near future.
Many thanks. Sean.
Was just browsing through my favourite creative blog changethethought, and was blown away by the painting of Scott Anderson. His work mixes a lot of pop and iconic imagery, everyday items, animals, and things from the environment to make chaotic alternative dimension national geographic moments. It’s great stuff. And you should check it out.
Recently I was lucky enough to be interviewed by the Niigata Nippo Newspaper at my studio for an article on young creative people in the Takada area. It was fantastic to be selected (from an already well established group of creatives) as an artist that draws inspiration from the Takada region. If you have been checking out my blog and gallery recently, you will have seen Teramachi and some of the shrine drawings I have been working on. They are based mostly on things I have seen in and around the area; the shrines, temples, showa-era signage and peculiar gardens and graveyards that back onto Takada’s main street…and will probably be featured in the article too. The newspaper is due out on Friday 23th of this month, complete with photos of me looking goofy in front of some of my work. The paper is available at most convenience stores in Niigata city, but only in some newsagents in Joetsu.