Sunday, January 29, 2017

Growth / 成長


Last year at this time I was illustrating a book on Thai culture for my teacher, but unfortunately, the project was canceled halfway. When I look back now, I feel that I can come up with more stylized pictures, which I think indicates my growth. 


     I am traveling to Bangkok again tomorrow. I am looking forward to sampling food that I have illustrated but haven't tasted yet! 

"Booster" year / 「機」年


Here comes the new year. I hope I can live the new year to the fullest and reach out to the world!


     Let's seize the beautiful day and flowers in bloom! 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Cheeky / 厚臉皮


I ran into a cheeky cat asking for love, and I've learned to be cheeky. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Starry starry night / 星空下


I went on a service-learning trip to Changhwa with my students. When the girls described to me the scene in the small classroom, I couldn't help drawing it.


     A lot of stories happened during the past four days. But the twinkling stars at night erased my doubts and reassured me of my decision to take such a trip with the kids!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Mansfield Park / 曼斯菲爾德莊園


I've always been into fashion illustration though my style is not fashionable at all. It occurred to me that fashion illustration would be a superb starting point when I was about to prepare the illustrations for Jane Austen's Mansfield Park because her ladies feel beautiful and want to be beautiful. 


     I had much fun drawing the models in the fashion magazine. They not only look beautiful but also make me curious about them. Their eyes tell stories. 


     I focused particularly on how women read and write. However, these models appear to be very confident of themselves. They are worlds apart from the protagonist Fanny, but it was still nice for me to take a new try. 


     What is the novel about? Simply put, the good girl Fanny was sent to Mansfield Park to live with her rich aunt and uncle when she was little. She grew up together with her gentle cousin Edmund. With the arrival of the new characters, her life began to change. Edmund fell in love with the beautiful but snobbish girl Mary Crawford while her player brother fell for the charm of innocent Fanny, who had to suffer silently from seeing her beloved Edmund blindfolded by love and make every attempt to resist Henry in the meanwhile. Luckily, her virtue and perseverance finally won Edmund's heart. 


     Besides the three illustrations for the story, every contestant was required to design the cover as well and meet some specific rules. In fact, I wasn't sure if I could make it, but I didn't feel like giving up either. I was blessed with Alex's help so that I could reach my goal. 


     Fanny is an introverted and repressed role. She is probably the least confident heroine in Austen's books, but I can relate to her because I see much similarity between her and me. 


     Instead of placing emphasis on her interaction with the other characters, I prefer to feature her only in my illustrations. Apart from Edmund, she took solace in books, plants, and her personal space, the East room. 


     As is said in the book, Fanny feels ecstasy in a quiet way. 


     On the day when I finished the illustrations, I thought of the winter five years ago when I was studying in London. I was eager to borrow others' styles, so my tutor couldn't help asking, "Why didn't you use your own style?" Five years have gone by, and I am proud to be me when drawing. Whatever the outcome is, I am joyful all the same because I achieved what I couldn't in the past. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Swimming daytime owl / 白天游泳的貓頭鷹


I've been sending a postcard to Shaggy a day for three years. In fact, I draw the postcards mostly in the early morning when I am still sleepy and groggy. I sometimes feel kind of ashamed of the crude drawings as I throw them into the post box. We have got into the ritual of reviewing the postcards as we wrap up a year, and that is my favorite moment. My classic line is, "Did I draw that?" Meanwhile, I feel overwhelmed with the discovery that my everyday life is filled with so many fascinating moments and ideas. 


     On the rainy Saturday evening, as I open the door to the cafe, I am greeted with two expectant faces. Shaggy and Yu-shin propose that we start a webpage to share the postcards. Soon everyone takes up their smartphones and gets down to work. At the same time, we take our first lesson in marketing. Our rainy life suddenly lights up! 


     Another seemingly similar week has started, but I feel there're more possibilities for me! 

Sunday, January 08, 2017

One thing to thank for a day / 感恩事項

知道House of Illustration和出版社Folio Society舉辦的經典書插畫比賽好幾年了,不過總覺得之前的書目很不適合我,今年開的是珍奧斯汀的曼斯菲爾德莊園,因為高中的時候很迷讀珍奧斯汀的原文書,所以不管怎樣,今年都要試試看。

I've known the illustration competition held by House of Illustration and Folio Society for years. However, I'd always felt that the books weren't quite suitable for me. This year the book is Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. Since I was very much into reading Austen's books in high school, I have a strong desire to try illustrating for the book no matter what. 


     Illustration, like many things, can be upsetting and pleasing at the same time. On the one hand, I am uplifted because of the goal, but on the other hand, I have to deal with my inner doubts since I am not sure of myself. 


     As I fluctuate between these opposite emotions, I read Yueh's FB page on which she listed one thing to thank for every day. In my case, I'd like to thank for the two beautiful bottles of ink, which help me find the way. 


     Last but not least, I have to thank Jane Austen. In fact, I've found tons of illustrators for her works! 

Monday, January 02, 2017

Yilan / 宜蘭

冬山河森林公園生態綠舟 / Dongshan River Ecopark


Sketching appears to be a solitary act, but the truth is, I've been sending quiet messages saying, "Come interact with me!" Today I decided to try a very classical ink pen and ink for my outdoor sketch. My tool attracted a lady who's highly interested in it, but my favorites were two young girls who sat to me in silence. 

羅東林場 / Luodong Forestry Culture Garden 


I looked for a hidden corner around the lake in the culture garden, but a senior lady living in the neighborhood couldn't help rambling with me on her daily routine walk. I had the feeling that we might have talked too much, but when I think back today, I realize her words remind me of my goal this year, that is, to be more ambitious!