Popeye Magazine

 Posted by on July 10, 2014  Drawings, JourneyMan
Jul 102014
 

popeye_firstIn 1988 I was living and working in Tokyo, and I had a few steady illustration gigs to supplement my other jobs, which were some English teaching when I first arrived in Japan, and then working at TOEI animation studio when I got better established.  It was a busy time. One of the magazines I did a few illustration jobs for was the men’s fashion magazine POPEYE, which is in a big building in the Ginza district called MAGAZINE HOUSE. When dropping off an assignment, I’d enjoy reading in their big international magazine library, including periodicals from back home in Australia. In the pre-internet years, discovering a resource like that was a real treat when far from home.

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The MAGAZINE HOUSE building must have contained production for at least 6 or 8 different magazines, and I did little spot illustrations for a few of them. This article here was about international shopping trips and the various deals that could be had for Japanese abroad. In those fat years of the 1980s, when the Yen was absolutely booming, bargains could be had just about anywhere, apart from at home. The prices in Japan were nutty back then, and the area where MAGAZINE HOUSE had its offices, the Ginza district, was hands-down one of the most expensive. I remember getting a cup of coffee, and a very expensive spit-take ensued when I got the $10 bill. If that sounds steep NOW, it was excruciating for a backpacker 25 years ago.

May 022014
 
SPACE..The Final Frontier..

Here are some left-handed drawings from recent TV sketch nights drawing Star Trek. The bright colours and simple shapes, not to mention the broad characters and melodramatic action of James T. Kirk and his iconic, space-faring crew, can be quite fun to draw. I remember the very first time I ever saw Star Trek; it was 1974, I was 10 [..read more..]

Apr 182014
 
One Flew Off to CUCKOO’S NEST

July 15, 1986, I left Australia for what I thought would be a 6 month or one year trip at most, but it ended up being an overseas jaunt that lasted the rest of my life. I’d worked in Sydney animation studios since 1982, saving money for a trip to Japan. By mid 1986, I’d got my passport, bought a [..read more..]

Early Lefties

 Posted by on March 31, 2014  Drawings, Lefties
Mar 312014
 
Early Lefties

For posterity, here are some of the very first location sketches drawn with my left hand. I’d already done a lot of lefty drawing at home, (including some illustrations for my childhood stories on this blog) but had not ventured outside to draw from life until last September, when both Julia and I went drawing for a couple of consecutive [..read more..]

Yerba Buena

 Posted by on February 28, 2014  Artists, Drawings, Friends, Lefties
Feb 282014
 
Yerba Buena

Last weekend was a good one for drawing; both doing it ourselves and appreciating drawings done by others. Firstly, on Saturday, Julia and I went to Yerba Buena Gardens to draw: I ‘ve sketched here before (a study of the church you see here) but this time I tried an overview. The angle I chose was from the terrace, where there [..read more..]

Feb 192014
 
TV Sketching: The Dowager Countess

Apart from our recent location sketching, Julia and I have also been sketching from TV shows, and a recent fave is Downton Abbey, starring the wonderful Maggie Smith. In my opinion, she steals every almost episode as the dowager Countess, Lady Grantham. She inflects every line with subtle flaring of nostril, tilt of head or withering of stare, that imbue [..read more..]

Presidio Sketch Weekend

 Posted by on January 31, 2014  Drawings, Lefties
Jan 312014
 
Presidio Sketch Weekend

Here are several sketches done from life, each drawn very slowly in my new left-handed technique, while visiting a very sunny Presidio last weekend with Julia. Lately I have been trying to draw with my left hand, and I have been doing silly, cartoonish illustrations for the childhood recollections I have been writing. I quite like the effect that the [..read more..]

BIZARRO Sketch Night

 Posted by on January 16, 2014  Lefties, Updates
Jan 162014
 
BIZARRO Sketch Night

A week ago today, my friend Ben Walker held one of his fun sketch events at 111 Minna Gallery. This time it was BIZARRO SKETCH NIGHT, where all the participants drew 100% with their non-dominant hands. Drawing with my bad hand is something I’ve been getting trying to get used to of late, with mixed success.. So it was great [..read more..]

Jan 072014
 
A Boxing Day Far, Far, Away..

It’s difficult to preserve memory when your older-self’s revised view constantly overwrites the original impression. How do you file a loving memory of someone you no-longer like? Or childhood memories of wonder, but of things now uncool? Do you owe it to your earlier-self to keep that first impression alive? One such moment, is a memory of awe and fascination [..read more..]

Chook Hunter

 Posted by on October 26, 2013  Baker's Dozen, Family, Lefties
Oct 262013
 
Chook Hunter

My paternal grandfather lives on as a cheery, little hardworking gnome of a man in my memory, yet my favourite photo of him, snapped by a street photographer well before my own Dad was even born, shows an impossibly roguish little bugger in his prime, an antipodean George Raft wearing his hat cocked at a rakish angle with his hands [..read more..]

Oct 012013
 
Tomorrow, You Only Have Memories Forever, Again. Twice.

As a child, going to the cinema was special. Seeing even a crummy movie back then was somehow way more fun than seeing an absolutely amazing movie is for me today. Of course, my childhood was in the pre-video era, when perhaps the anticipation of a movie and the fond memories of it afterward were greater than they are now, [..read more..]