February 2007

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these days, i’m thinking a lot about what’s inside my egg…

i started drawing this one last night and finished it this morning. i really enjoyed drawing the dots on the egg and the comb. they add the kind of creepy texture i like…

this chicken is a barred plymouth rock rooster. his face looks like an eagle. i like his black lines. i found a photo of this chicken in a library book, which is full of incredibly ugly chickens. some of the chicken have really ugly combs that look like tumors. i’m so glad i wasn’t born to be a chicken.

this is my second drawing for the women’s art festival (here is the first one).

:: women’s art festival visual art exhibition::
(march 2nd – march 30th)
openeing on march 9th, 2007

mendel art gallery
950 spadina crescent east saskatoon,

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my precious egg

my egg

this is me sitting on my precious egg…

good news! i’ve been accepted to be in the women’s art festival this year in saskatoon. the visual arts exhibition will be on from march 2nd to 30th at the mendel art gallery auditorium, with the opening on march 9th. i’ll be in the “established artists” section. last year, i was in their “emerging artists” group, so i guess i’ve emerged now.

i only found out yesterday that they need two drawings from me for the festival by march 1st (day after tomorrow). i was planning to do new drawings, instead of using my previous work. most of my favorite drawings are already being used for another show that i have coming up. so now i’m working quickly.

i was hoping to draw something last night, but i went to attend the saskatoon city council meeting to support the mendel art gallery’s planned expansion. the meeting lasted longer than i expected – i was there until 11pm. by the time i got home, i was too sleepy and hungry to draw.

even though i couldn’t draw last night, i was drawing in my mind during the meeting. i knew i wanted to do something with an egg, and maybe a chicken, so i went to the library this morning to get some children’s books about chickens.

for some reason, i drew chickens at this time last year, including my drawing “chicken breasts” for the 2006 women’s art festival. that chicken is wearing breasts because the festival was doing an art bra contest, and this was my version:
chicken breasts

if you’re going to be in saskatoon in march, i hope you can come to the exhibit! i just have to go do one more drawing by tomorrow…

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finally, my GALLERY is up-to-date!

this is second version of my gallery page. the first one was based on my flickr images, but it didn’t work well so i had to remove it after my site got linked from metafilter.

this new version of my gallery is based on the open source singapore image gallery. paul did the work to set it up and design it to match with my blog and shop. it looks nice and clean, and it’s easy to use.

i put up many different image galleries. there’s a collection of my favorite drawings and collections from different seasons. you can watch my style change over time, because i can never stick with one thing for very long. there are also slideshows where you can view a group of my drawings (start the slideshow of my favorite drawings).

putting my new gallery together, i found lots of drawings in my messy files that i haven’t shown yet on this blog. some of them are quite embarrassing, but now that i’m going to be a mama, i can’t be shy anymore…

older drawings from my gallery

first, really really early and really really embarrassing. this is a drawing i did with markers and color pencils back in kyoto in 1999. the japanese text says “the real me is…”. this was my best effort in shading.

honto no jibun wa

that one was popular with young people but old people looked so concerned about my future.

next, something i did in 2004. i showed this with my “loud silence” photographs and useless toys at the women’s art festival in kingston, ontario — my first-ever show.

born out of me

you can really see the “Action” of the New Me’s. i used this same idea a couple more times to do drawings of heads coming out of me. my mind really is everywhere.

from the same time, this drawing is still one that i like a lot. it’s my secret love-love feeling.

my secret love

that was drawn with markers (and acrylic paint to decorate the edges) in about 10 minutes. can’t believe i’m showing it to so many people…

my first real show in kingston was at the sleepless goat cafe, in december 2004. i decided i should try to draw something bigger for the first time ever. i did most of the drawings and paintings for the show in about 2 and a half weeks. this was done with color pencils and ballpoint pen.


the title is “zukyuun”, which is a japanese sound effect for an explosion/blasting sound. lots of my drawings from this time have rabbits in them, or fish, or both. arts people (with degrees in fine arts) would ask me about the symbolism of the rabbits and fish. there was no symbolism, i just like drawing rabbits and fish.

here’s another one from the same show, with “rabbit-ojisan”, a middle-aged man wearing a rabbit mask. i always think of men like this to be a little sad but kind.

rabbit-ojisan suitcase

after that show, i didn’t do much drawing for awhile. in 2005, i did only 3 larger drawings (calcium keeps me calm, i told you, and since the first moment). most of the drawings i did were little doodles on scraps of paper, like this one.

yes i love you too

i did a few small drawings in the fall of 2005 when i first came to saskatoon. the sushi shop where i was waitressing asked me to put up some artwork, after seeing my drawings at the fringe festival. this one is called “supper is here”.

supper is here

all along, i was doing drawings on construction paper. i like construction paper because it’s colorful. here are two i drew more recently, in 2006:

thank you rabbit

je suis vide

i like to put these construction paper drawings in my online SHOP. the top one, “thank you rabbit”, sold to someone in california. the bottom one, “je suis vide“, is for sale now.

eventually, i got my first show in a gallery, the royal red gallery at phonographique in saskatoon. i had very little to show, so i had to draw like crazy to get ready. a lot of my favorite drawings were done in the month before that show, including my self portrait and chicken fight.

one of my silliest drawings was also from that time, which is based on a painting i did back in 2003 or so. that painting is way, way too embarrassing to show here, so this will be the end of my shameful (“hazukashii~~”) look back at my gallery. time to “hit the beach”.

hit the beach

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tezuka osamu is the japanese animator known as the “father of anime”. i grew up watching his work, including “ribon no kishi” (princess knight), “fushigi na merumo chan” (marvelous melmo), and of course “tetsuwan atomu” (astro boy).

in general, i hate anime. i don’t own any manga comics. i just don’t like the style of japanese animation that’s most famous in the west — what people call “japanimation”, with the superbig eyes and supercute faces. i think it’s creepy, in a bad way. people often assume that i’m an anime fan, maybe because i’m japanese and i draw, but i really never pay attention to it.

tezuka osamu created the style with big eyes and cute faces, but somehow i still like his work. maybe it’s nostalgia, but i think his drawings are more beautiful and gracious than the style of the recent anime i’ve seen. my favorite work of his is a manga, “black jack“, which i read as a high school student.

“memory” is an animated short that uses a mixture of drawn animation and cut-out images. none of it looks like anime. you might be surprised by the style — but it looks really cool. the story is insightful about the psychology of memory of individuals and a culture. i like the idea that futuristic people will have a very different idea about us (our “toilet culture”) than we do.

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i knew this stage would come sooner or later. i’m extremely hungry all the time. and when i say “all the time”, i mean it literally. i’ve been waking up at 5:30am (3 hours early for me), because my stomach is growling. i’ve been eating something almost every hour some days. i start planning what to eat next while i’m still eating. it’s that wild.

i feel like i”m eating all the time. in addition to my three meals, i snack a lot. i can’t eat too much at once, because i feel uncomfortably full, so i eat until i’m 80% full then snack on fruit, dried fruit, seaweed, dried fish, onigiri or a small cookie.

i try not to eat too much sugar and junk food. but once awhile i get a huge craving for something sweet, which is very hard to resist. i went to a coffee shop yesterday and my eyes were locked in on the delicious-looking cheesecakes. somehow i managed not to buy any (yet). i did treat myself to a cup of ice cream a few weeks ago, and i think i can live on that memory for another week or so. maybe i’ll have a piece of cheesecake next month — something to look forward to. when i finally eat it, i’ll be in heaven (if there’s such a thing).

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i was invited to join a huge group exhibition that will be taking place in taipei, taiwan this summer. it’s organized by a taiwanese graffiti artist, REACH+. he’s inviting 1000 artists/designers to join this project. the artists and designers are provided with the REACH+ sticker (top image above) to customize to make their own sticker designs.

i sketched the outline freehand onto a sheet of paper then added my own drawing and colored everything with color pencils. most of the works submitted are done by computer. i thought about using a computer to do a vector drawing (like i did for my CFCR t-shirt design), but using my fingers seems to work better for me.

REACH+ has been posting the finished designs on his flickr page.

so far, my favorites are:

what are your favorites?

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(click the image to view close up)

um… i’m not sure what’s going on here. i wanted to draw a bunch of bugs, so i got some photo books about beetles from the library (children’s section). i like beetles — my brother used to catch beetles in the mountains near our house and play with them in his room. it’s my first time drawing beetles. i’ve drawn a ladybug before, but this one is more detailed than the last time.

the japanese writing says “ahaha, aha, ahahaha~” — the laughing sound. poko-chan and i are having fun playing with the bugs…

i drew this last week.

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audio and video by oliver laric.

he also does the dancing.

i like his electro bollywood music.

paul found this and we posted it to videosift.

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it’s been a very cold winter here in saskatoon. it was -36℃ (without wind chill) yesterday. i don’t like the icy cold weather. even though i’ve gotten used to it a bit, every time i go out, i dress super-warm. i wear so many layers that i need an extra five minutes to get ready to go out.

since i got pregnant, i’m taking even longer to get ready while i put on my pregnancy equipment. i call it my “pregnancy armor”. my parents sent me a package from japan which included a haramaki (belly wrap) and a sasae-obi (support belt).

a haramaki is knit tube that you wear around your belly. it’s very important to keep your belly warm during pregnancy. whenever i say this to canadians, they’re always surprised to hear it. but in japan, it’s a very common idea.

the sasae-obi is a belt for protecting my back during pregnancy. it almost looks like a bra for the belly. it’s got a belly-shaped cup and a stretchy belt that wraps around the back. you can find this sort of belt in canada.  adding two layers to my belly really makes it stick out. once i put on the haramaki and the belt and tights and maternity jeans, i look totally pregnant. i think i need some kind of a theme song while i’m dressing up.

i’ve started to experience back pain for the first time in my life, from holding up my big belly. i don’t feel that heavy, but i guess i’m trying to balance my body unconsciously. i tend to sit for a long time when i’m drawing. i try to remember to stand up and walk once a hour, but sometimes i forget. my back aches so bad if i don’t stretch once awhile.

the good thing about this back pain is that i can get paul to massage my back. usually i’m the one who gives him a back massage, because he works for long hours standing up. i never understood what back pain felt like before, but now i know. so i think i can give him a better massage now.

poko-chan is doing well, i think and feel. poko-chan continues to kick hard at night when i go to bed. i guess it’s working on kickboxing technique. i used to get one kick at a time, but now i’m getting multiple kicks in a row. another thing that never occurred to me before i got pregnant is that the baby kicks not only out against the belly but inward and downward. it’s pretty weird feeling, being kicked in the bladder from the inside. another mystery of pregnancy.

i don’t want to criticize poko-chan (new to the world, doesn’t know personal etiquette yet), but please don’t kick my bladder…

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scene from “the royal tenenbaums”, directed by wes anderson.

it’s a great “time stands still when i look at you” moment.

i watch this movie over and over again.

city lights” written by, directed by and starring charlie chaplin.

i used to watch chaplin’s films on late night tv in japan. this is my favorite chaplin film, especially this scene.

he falls in love with a poor blind flower girl who mistakes him for a millionaire. he pretends to be a millionaire and raises money to pay for an operation to restore her sight. this is the final scene where the flower girl can finally see again. she recognizes him by the touch of his hand.

once you find your true love, you’re going to want to do a lot of kissing.

bill plympton‘s animation shows many useful techniques for how to kiss.

have a happy valentine’s day♥

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