Sunday, May 29, 2011

▒░░ Smiling Antimatter ░░▒

I am organizing a show with my dear friends this Wednesday. If you feel like seeing some art, please drop by. There is pretty good finger foods. This beautiful poster is designed by Ty Dunitz and the painting is done by Selena Wong, both participating artists.

My apologies to the participating artists. I am so disorganized and busy, things are running like avalanches. I have three summer jobs. THREE. Master's is draining blood out of me (in a financial sense as well as everything else). Dear school, you have my blood on your hands.

Anyhow... here is more info on Smiling Antimatter show:
You are cordially invited to the opening reception of Smiling Antimatter, a group exhibition by Toronto's hardest working illustrators. 
Participating ArtistsVicki Nerino • Britt Wilson • Roben Nieuwland • Selena Wong • Ale Diaz • Ilichna Morasky • Ty Dunitz • Eric Overton • Hyein Lee • Franzisca Barczyk
Opening Reception June 1st, 2011, 7-11PMExhibiting June 1st - July 2nd, 2011 

We heard the news. Scientists finally produced mysterious antimatter atoms for the first time. We don’t know what it means, but we know that the future is here. We live in a science fiction world, the world our previous generation hadn’t even dreamed of. We converse with people on the other continents face-to-face using video chat, watch movies on our cellphones and tweet our daily routine to everybody. How does it feel like to be living and depending on high technology? What would tomorrow bring?
“Smiling Antimatter” is a mixed media painting exhibition. Each artist captures the anxiety underlying the experience of living in a science fiction-like society with humour and carnivalesque grotesqueness.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Why I Love Owls So Much (A Very Very Old Comic)

I am backing up my hard drive, going through some old stuff. Here is many many years old comic about why I love owls so much. My apologies for the poor drawing quality. I hope I got a little better now (not really).

My dad still buys me owl stuff every time he sees them. I love you too, Dad.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Engine Summer by John Crowley: Comic For Whazamo Open Book Toronto

Please click on the image to view full-size
Wonderful comic writer, journalist and a film maker Ian Daffern, let me participate on his Whazamo Comic project for Open Book Toronto. I am very excited and grateful for his awesome write up on my work. Thank you Ian!

To be honest, I panicked and panicked about this project. Ian also asked people like Charlene Chua, Michael Cho and Kalman Andrasofszky. They draw REAL COMIC BOOK COVERS and shit (and I'm their huge fan). Who the hell am I?!? I felt so inappropriate, very insecure. I spent many sleepless nights writing it. Thanks again Ian for being so patient with me.

If you are curious about my comics... you can read almost all my complete comics for free at this page (click the speech bubble!):

The Whazamo comic I did is about the book Engine Summer. It is my favourite book and John Crowley is my favourite author in the world. Absolutely. Someone told me having a 'favourite list' is not cool, but I definitely have a favourite list. In my opinion, no other author spreads magic and dusty longing like John Crowley. Engine Summer is about a boy going on a journey to become a story/legend and to find the girl he fell in love with. The setting is in a post-apocalyptic world, few millennia after the end of our civilization. The earth ecosystem has changed by the apocalypse as well as the extra-terrestrial influence. Pink fungus is alien origin and it is part of human and animal biology. Everyone is sort of addicted to the fungus and it lets them hallucinate. Not in a negative way, but the way South American shamans use drugs to communicate with god/spirit animals. Makes you think of Dune, "He who controls the Spice controls the universe!" but it isn't. There is not a hint of greed or hunger for power in this peaceful world. I did not want to come out of Engine Summer's magical dreamy world. Oh and there definitely is darkness. It is post-apocalypse after all. I cannot read any book without some darkness in it. It's one of those books you don't want it to end.

I first encountered John Crowley's work in Orson Scott Card's anthology, Future on Ice. His short story, "Snow" was and is the best short story I've ever read (for me at least). It is about memory, loss and letting go. The story reaches, grabs my heart and squeezes it. Orson Scott Card had the best introduction for Snow: "in a tight confines of a short story like Snow, he can take the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and make a crystal out of it, small but complex and multifaceted, beautiful even as the breath of entropy melts it before your eyes."

Crowley's fucking brilliant.
His works used to be really hard to find. (oh my late teen & early twenties spent looking for his books in used/vintage bookstores!) But they've been mostly republished in 2002 by Prennial, making them very accessible. Snow can be found in Novelties and Souvenirs collection or The Best of the Best (it IS the best of the best).

Monday, May 23, 2011

Outside the Planter Boxes: Public Intervention Project

Magical Tongue
Public Intervention Project
Wood, paper and fabric
I once again got to participate in a Toronto artist, Sean Martindale's public intervention project. I had so much fun! I love Sean's work, and I have a total respect for him; so I was honoured take part in it. Sean's very sincere in his approach to art and making our city a better place. I often find idealistic people creepy, but not him. He does it with non-creepiness whatsoever. For those who haven't seen it before, I have participated in his Toronto advertisement take-over project last fall. Outside the Planter Boxes intend to direct public attention to Toronto's neglected tree planter boxes. Some of them are in a pretty bad shape. I picked the ones with dead tree and a damaged planter. I want to thank my intern, Nayoun Kim. Without her, I would've been up all night.

I tried not to do a permanent damage to the planters because it would defy the purpose. But it was very hard not to leave any footprint at all. I should've used more natural materials, I was hesitant using polyester fabric, treated paper, markers etc. etc. There were so many things to worry! In the end, I just went for it. If I worry for everything, I'd get nothing done.

The first image is "Magical Tongue." You can see this guy on University, North West of Dundas and University intersection. One block South of Mount Sinai hospital. I went to check the next day, and somebody already ripped out his tongue. \( ; o ; )/ Oh why! He was my favourite one, it kind of hurts. Thing about street art project is... it can be damaged pretty rapidly. So you have to plan for the graceful degradation (which I didn't... I was so inexperienced. I will plan those the next time).

Snake Snail
Public Intervention Project
Wood and paper
An incriminating photo. I deny everything.
"Snake Snail" can be found on University, North of Dundas, East side of the street. In front of Sick Kids hopital. The little dude on the front is a speech bubble. My intern told me it looks like a blow-fish. I kind of regret putting that strange speech bubble there. Now that I see it, it doesn't go well with the composition.

Tear Me
Public Intervention Project
Wood and paper

"Tear Me" is on the West side of University street, just North of Queen Street West. I forgot to put up its arms and remembered it just before I went home that evening. The sun was setting, so I didn't get a very good photo of it. It was cute with two arms!

Here is a peak of one of Sean's planters. He put grass on top of planters and made it look like spilling out between the gap (the tree roots are pushing the concrete). Isn't it AWESOME?! He worked on many planters around the city. Here is Outside the Planter Boxes site. You can read up about the project on:
Blog TO

The project is also covered on Global TV News, May 24th 2011 6PM and 11PM.
Sean Martindale

Monday, May 9, 2011

45th Anniversary Cover for This Magazine

What an honour to work with This magazine for their 45th anniversary cover. It was SO MUCH FUN! Dave, the awesome art director, actually let me draw a typewriter with a strange face! And I didn't know they would let us use my hand-written 'This' logo instead of their real logo. I am so excited about this. Thank you so much. Please subscribe to their amazing magazine!
Oh, while you are at it, please check out This magazine's cover gallery! 45 years of This Magazine Covers.
Big congrats to This magazine for its 45th year! Keeping us politically progressive <3

This is a original colour scheme, I like both versions. :D
We went for the top one because it stands out in the newsstands.

Snakes in the Forest

Snakes in the Forest
Mixed Media on Wood

Having a really really busy Spring. I've attended FITC conference last week. I volunteered as a cotton candy maker at the event. My hands cramped by the end of the night, but it was a lot of fun to give away cotton candies. People smiled at me as they got cotton candies, and that made me feel like a rock star. Oh the things I'd do for some smiles! There were some amazing talks and technical workshops. But the best was at the very last; Kyle Cooper talk. He is the man who did opening credit for Seven, Gattaca, Superman, Spider-man and pretty much everything else. Oh man, I remember the first time I saw Seven. I was mesmerized by the opening credit. My heart sank when I first saw Gattaca opening sequence too. His talk was amazing. He also seemed to be a decent human being. There were so many memorable quotes, but what stood out the most was; "The only thing what you have in life is what you give away." He talked about giving to other people and involving others. I was deeply moved. I want to be a better person and become as nice as he is! It's just so awesome when a successful genius also turned out to be a nice person.

I also went to almost all the after parties. I think I am getting better at this "art of mingling at parties" without being overly creepy/nervous. I remember me being too nervous to go to my own art opening parties. I am actually having fun these days and meeting a lot of people. I've been having a difficult time lately and I thank everyone who spent time with me, taking me to places & keeping me company.

Above image is what I've done for my wonderful friend Erika's Canvas Collective website. You can download desktop wallpapers of mine and other illustrators' work. The original work has beige & blue colour theme, but I like the blue & pink theme better.

And... here I give you... Hyein as a cotton candy maker!