November 28, 2006

A November to Remember


Snow! Laugh if you will... 1/2" of snow... not much really, but it's enough to bring this city to a screeching halt. The streets are icy... even the FedEx truck isn't making neighborhood pickups, and that's the first time I've known that to happen ever! Too many hills, nary a snowplow or sanding truck to be found anywhere. Since it only snows here once every two years or so it's best to just stay indoors I guess.

But at least it's bright and sunny...


It's been a November to Remember. First off, there was the non-stop rain for days... the most rain for any month since record keeping began (14" and counting). Then snow... and now the deep freeze. It really does make one stop and ask... what exactly was the problem with global warming again? Imagine if it was the next Ice Age setting in, instead of global warming.... brrrr!

It's a chore just keeping the hummingbird feeders unfrozen... one has to bring them indoors to melt the ice, while the hummers sit there awaiting the return of their chow.


The artwork is from a couple of books of mine. One was a Korean story, which I wrote, about a cherry tree throughout the seasons, titled 'My Cherry Tree'. The other picture is from another story of mine.

November 20, 2006



I had a fun trip to the amazing Seattle Public Library (designed by Rem Koolhaus) to do some research on a project I'm working on.

Just visiting this ultra modern library seems like an amazing trip to the future. But then looking 100 years into the past at some old magazines from 1907 was equally entertaining. It's fun doing the basic research on a historical subject... getting all the detailed first hand pieces of the puzzle.


Astonishing to see all the things that have changed and all the things that haven't changed. But then I could spend years just browsing through old forgotten journals. It's the same experience that I hear archaeologists talk about, how they're so excited to think no one has seen the artifacts they're digging up for thousands of years. Well I'm sure there's very few people looking into Educator Shoes either!


I think one of the main joys in being an historian is dwelling in that timeless space of the imagination... to read an article and think that no one else has read this article in 100 years. No doubt it's the same motivation that helps to drive the archaeologist.

I was particularly amazed to see how contemporary the children's illustration from 1907 looks. It seems almost as if it could as easily have been done in 2006 as 1906.


November 12, 2006

One Heck of a Thumpin', Brownie!


Need I say more?

I noticed lots of chipper looking liberals out and about here in Seattle on Wednesday morning. I suppose being a die-hard liberal and being a freelance illustrator can be similarly vexing at times.

It's not too hard to develop a 'complex' when practicing either of those avocations... after years of overcoming rejection and fighting what seems like overwhelming odds. And likewise, hope can be born anew with just enough patience.

Got to enjoy it when the light of reason finally breaks through the clouds of ignorance though! Wahooo!


November 6, 2006

Toiling in the fields of imagination


The idea struck. It all started with an antique postcard in a shop.

Or maybe it was the combination of leftover halloween candy and coffee that sent me spiraling off into a galaxy of imaginary wanderings. I started writing like crazy... toiling away like a peasant in the field of imagination. Inspired saturday morning... written out 80% by saturday night... basically finished in 10 hours of clicking the keyboard by sunday afternoon.

It was one of those ideas that had been pent up for months and years, rattling around. Then it finally all fell into place.

Once inspiration strikes, I'm basically shackled like a prisoner... and happily so. I wouldn't have it any other way. Everyday life is totally boring compared to being swept up in a fun idea.

One feels a bit like Crusoe on his Island, with one last scrap of paper and one last bottle and cork and bit of pencil. One last chance to save this idea for posterity. I think writing really does seem more lasting than illustration in that regard. Shakespeare is born anew with each new edition... but aged illustrations start to fade.

All that's left is the toiling in the next vast field of creativity known as 'illustration'. But that's more likely the funnest end of the equation, even if it does take longer. The story on it's own is the script to the play. It's the illustration that adds the magic, the lighting, the music, the characters, the scenery, to make it all come alive.


Lucky for me I was born a peasant and as the saying goes... 'Work is the opium of the masses'.

This blog's picture isn't at all from my new idea but it's about the closest thing I have. Folk art... farms... barns...