October 2006

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kiss kiss for me♥

color pencils on construction paper

i think i drew this in 2005 winter, but i’m not sure.


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i went to see “swan lake” by the national ballet of canada last year in saskatoon. it was so beautiful that i almost forgot to blink. there’s no ballet coming to saskatoon until next year, so i’ve been watching this instead.

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(click to enlarge — full article PDF below)

a couple weeks ago, i was interviewed by felicia chen, a writer for the sheaf, the university of saskatchewan student newspaper. she came over to my apartment. this was only my second time being interviewed so i was still nervous, but she was very friendly.

the interview lasted for three hours. even though it was a long interview, surprisingly it wasn’t long enough to cover everything i wanted to say, partly because my answers tend to be meandering. it’s hard for me to talk about what i do, and especially hard in english if i’m a bit nervous. i get really excited and i can’t put my thoughts together. when that happens, people who know me can understand what i mean but for someone i just met i’m probably confusing. :D

after the interview, i felt i hadn’t explained my thoughts clearly enough. so i wrote my answers to her questions and some additional information and sent her an email. it was a good exercise for me. a lot of the questions were about my artwork. i don’t like to talk about “ART” in general and i have a hard time explaining what i’m doing. so i thought about it for a long time and wrote a really long email. felicia was very nice and read the whole thing and some of my ideas showed up in this article.

i’m very happy with this article in the end. it’s really good at showing my floating thoughts. like i keep saying, my mind is everywhere.

you can read the article about me and see the whole newspaper (PDF) at the sheaf website. there’s no way to link directly to the article yet, so i’ve uploaded the two pages here. you can open them in PDF and read the small newspaper text. there are 2 files to open, one per page.

page:1 page:2

see also: the first newspaper article about me, from the saskatoon star-phoenix (july 1st)

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new blog design

my blog used to look like this.

over the last couple of days, my blog has been getting make-over. paul has been working to make it look prettier and easier for people to browse through.

i just love+love this design. baby blue is my favorite color, and i like the hints of orange and green. there’s more white space and the whole thing just looks so much brighter and more fun.

this new design is going to be the theme for some new features that are going to be added to this site in the next week or so: an online shop and a new gallery. the tabs at the top left will take you to the different zones of this website once the new areas are ready.

here are some of the new features on the blog:

  • archives page: this is a live archives page that organizes blog posts by date and by category. the post titles are shown in a list so it’s easier to find one post or get an overview of the contents.
  • tag cloud: along with the category list, we added tags. i’ll be adding more tags to my old posts so the tag cloud will get bigger. you’ll be able to find more specific contents that are associated with each other by a tag.
  • comments: as you type your comment in the comment box, you’ll see the preview of your comment as you type. that’s useful especially when you’re using HTML. also, we’ll be adding gravatars eventually. and you can now subscribe to the comments for a post you leave a comment on. that way you know when there’s a reply.
  • sidebar: recent comments will be linked in the sidebar. that makes it easier to see what posts have recently been active.

we’re still playing with the design, so you may notice some changes still to come. please let me know if you have any comments.

welcome to the new plastique monkey blog!


duck food

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obviously i’m tastier than duck food…

i drew this for my show in regina. it’ll be included for sale in my online shop, opening very soon (plan is next monday).

since the ducks are so hungry, they also ate this post! so i’ve reposted it…

UPDATE: you can buy this drawing from my SHOP.

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the title is: “Варежка”. it’s a russian soviet animation.

according to farhad2000 from videosift, in russia these type of animations were shown on TV in the evening, so the whole family could watch together. most of the animations were based on fairy tales.

beautiful stories and beautiful colours. if only animations were like this nowadays, they wouldn’t cause pokemon panic. :P

i’m thinking about russia these days because my drawings got linked from a stylish russian design site, omami. from their post i learned how to write “plastique monkey” in russian, using the cyrillic alphabet. welcome to Пластик Манки. i don’t know how to pronounce it.

when i first started this blog, the header image was a different photo of mine, in black and white. the title was written in the “Soviet” font, which makes english writing look like cyrillic. the “O” is especially cool…

Пластик Манки

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finally finished today.

i wasn’t sure what was going on exactly with this drawing while i was drawing it. i just added whatever images came to mind. even after i finished, i still don’t really know what’s going on. that’s the way i usually work. most of my drawings have just a couple of figures on a blank background. this time, i continued adding things on one sheet of paper and placed them in a landscape. i wish i had a bigger paper. i could have kept going.

a couple of weeks ago, i invited a local artist, dave geary to my apartment for coffee. we’ll be doing a show together next spring at a gallery in saskatoon. so we get together sometimes to talk about what we would like to do. i’m so glad and lucky to be able to do a show with him.

dave told me about a game called “exquisite corpse“. we played the game over coffee. it was fun. you never know what the result will be.

that game must have been at the back of my mind when i did this drawing. i was playing the game by myself. i didn’t fold the drawing paper. but i imagined my mind being folded. every time i opened the skin of my mind, random images showed up. i just placed the images on paper.

my mind is quite random. my mind is everywhere, so i don’t make much sense when i talk. but for some reason, it all makes sense on paper.

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“puzzle” by rinpa eshidan.

no wonder i couldn’t find anything about rinpa eshidan. their name “rinpa” uses the kanji “輪派” in japanese, not “琳派”. both combinations of kanji sound the same, “rinpa”. it’s a common problem in japanese that it’s hard to know which kanji are used to write someone’s name, since there are usually several possibilities. most japanese names are chosen as sounds first (in kana, the japanese syllables) — then you find kanji to make up those sounds.

i figured rinpa eshidan’s name would be written with the same kanji as the historical art style called rinpa (琳派). especially because “eshi” is the old-fashioned japanese word for a (traditional) painter. but instead, they chose the kanji “輪派” to spell “rinpa”. i guess they did it on purpose, to show a connection to japanese art tradition and to show their own philosophy at the same time. “輪” means circle in japanese. according to their blog,

rinpa is “circle” style. it’s a group that values the connections between people. the members are big fans of hip-hop and art. they get together once every two months to perform at clubs.

how did i find out about them? through the magical mystery of the internet. the director of the rinpa eshidan videos, daisuke yamamoto, contacted me through MIXI, the biggest japanese social network site (5,700.000 members).

i joined MIXI a few weeks ago after being invited by a japanese girl who used to live in saskatoon (i found her blog online, but she moved away just before i got here). MIXI is sort of like MySpace in japanese, but the pages are not so ugly. all MIXI members have to be invited by another member. anyway, i’d been wanting to find out about rinpa eshidan, so i wrote about them on my MIXI page.

a couple days ago, i posted their video, “1 week of art works” on my blog. just the next day, that video got promoted to the front page of YOUTUBE. the video now has almost 600,000 views and people really like it. since there isn’t any information about “rinpa eshidan” in english online, my blog post shows up when people search for them. but unfortunately i didn’t have any information about them either…

…until now. after he contacted me, i visited daisuke’s MIXI page and read a little bit about him. he’s a grad student at a fine arts university in tokyo. the video, “1 week of art works” was done for his graduation project (i’m sure he did very well!). he’s obviously very talented. at the same time he sounds like a very humble person as an artist, which i like.

he said that he’s working on setting up a new website and is also working on another new video! he’ll let me know about them when they are finished. so i’ll post about them then. also, it sounds like ABC will be showing a rinpa eshidan video on TV soon (or maybe it’s already aired. i don’t know. i don’t watch ABC).

Go rinpa eshidan, go!

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it’s growing + growing out of nowhere…

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