Many of my drawings appear on the pages of magazines and newspapers. They get read, and go into recycles in a week, or a month, or in the case of newspapers, in a day at the most.
I am very much in peace with it. In fact, I feel that it keeps the artists humble, and down to earth. There is nothing pretentious about drawings that goes to garbage bin in a day. I like that.
But of course, every once in a while, when some special project comes knocking on the door, and they are beautiful 3D objects. Now, that is nice too. And exciting.
Close to a year ago, I had a chance to create a drawing for 1800 Tequila's limited edition Essential Artists series, in theme of Lucha Libre. If you know me, you know my passion for all things Mexico, so it was a really exciting opportunity for me.
The product finally got the official release on Cinco De Mayo, last week on May 5th, at Hudson Hotel in New York City during a release event that was organized by 1800 Tequila and Vice Magazine. There are five other bottles in this series from different artists in various style..
The Essential Artists 1800 Tequila should soon come out to fine liquor stores near you.
rough pencil sketches to start the project.
sketches for three different bottle ideas. I put them in a drawing of the bottle to show how they may look finished. I liked the other two as well.
final drawing for the bottle. Since the image is printed directly to the back of the glass, I kept the drawing simple, not textures and no shading. Pretty smooth finish. The mask has the design of agave: the plant that tequila is made from.
my bottle in the showcase box at the release party last week.
All the bottle designs in this series. From the left: Gary Baseman, mine, Tes One, Tristan Eaton, Ray Smith and Alex Hank
Some photos from setting up of the party. There was a ring in the center stage where band and actual luchadors played, and blown up huge drawings up on the walls surrounding, with posters made to look like Mexican wrestling posted around the bar area.
There was a huge turnout for the party with a long line of people waiting.
It will be a while till you will start seeing them at subway stations in New York, but I just got my copy of the MTA poster and got excited, so I wanted to share it with you a bit early.
MTA Arts For Transit usually commission around 3 artists a year to create posters. Posters are usually posted around NYC area subway and train stations and stay there for a few month.
I (and often my dog) take subway down to my studio from my home every day. It is very much a part of my life. (always buy 30 day unlimited pass!) So, it was obviously very exciting I was chosen as one of the three for 2011.
The challenge was that the audience is "everyone who uses MTA subways, busses and trains". It is easier to come up with ideas when the audience is narrow and targeted. To make something that is 'for everyone' is so broad, I was at first a bit lost.
Then soon, I organized my idea and decided to work with something that relates strongly to my personal experiences.
I decided that the best way to come up with ideas for sketches was to actually go there and walk around. I took many pictures, most of them from the kids' height, to get the sense of how this place look for children.
As a kid, I lived in a New York suburb for 4 years. My father, who had a job in an office in Pan Am Building (now Met Life Building) which is directly connected with escalators from Grand Central Terminal, commuted on Metro North commuter railroad every day.
Once in a while, my parents took me and my sister to come visit Manhattan on the same train. I clearly remember arriving at Grand Central for the first time, walking into then very dirty but still very stunning main concourse and looking up at a huge ceiling of stars and my jaw just dropped.
It was 1977. Grand Central was beautiful, but dingy. My mother told me to always stay with her while walking through the concourse, and never to use public bathrooms at the station. A lot of the store fronts were closed. There were a few that sold cheap coffee or egg roles. I liked them as a kid. I still think about the egg role treat we ate on the train on the way back to our home in Westchester, and kind of miss it.
Now, I walk into all the fun stores that sell everything from gourmet food to fancy gifts, and I use their clean bathroom. Restored ceiling is bright and shining in my favorite color: teal. But every time I walk back into Grand Central Terminal, I feel like I become the kid in 1977 again.
By the way, the Asian girl on the top of the illustration is me. Of course, me when I was younger.
the accepted sketch is on the right. All my sketches usually starts from very loose composition roughs, like one on the left.
two other variation sketches submitted. On the left is the most 'adult' looking piece with no people. On the right is a kid looking up and imagining, as all the busy people walk her by.
the banner on these sketches are dummy I just took from a previously published poster, just to give a sense of what it would feel like with the complete poster look.
Final poster image.
My friend Ai-chan posing with hot off the press poster. Yes, it is HUGE! Although it does not look that way when you see it at stations near you.
With fellow Drawgers: Gary Taxali and Thomas Fuchs, along with our friend Thilo Rothacker, four of us recently finished ultra-limited edition messenger bag project for German brand tausche.
Total of 29 bags will be released and sold at tausche’s Daikanyama store in Tokyo, Japan starting December 4 (Fri) up to the end of the year.Each of the bags were hand drawn/painted/printed and one of a kind.
If you know anyone in Tokyo area, please spread the word! Tausche Daikanyama Store: Sarugaku A-2F26-2 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0033
hours: 11AM ~ 7PM (Fri~Sun, holidays)
phone: +81 3-6802-7668fax: +81 3-6802-7681
e-mail: email@example.com: www.tausche.jp
Map to tausche Daikanyama Store. Easy walking distance from Daikanyama Station in Tokyo, and located in Sarugaku Fashion Area. Showing starts on December 4th.
So, the back story is:
After I finished the job designing Diapers for Libero of Sweden, I wanted photos of a baby in the tiger diapers so much. I happened to have found Truls on facebook saying he had bought a pack the day it came onto the market. I shamelessly wrote this total stranger, in the country I have never visited, to beg him to send me some photos of his baby in the dipers. AND HE DID!!!
Thank you thank you thank you Truls for your kindness!! (I will be sending you the thank you present very soon!!)
[ all photos are taken and copyrighted to Truls Bärg ]
Brooklyn-based boxer John Douglas posing cool in The Gap shirt.
OK, so I have to be absolutely honest. I do NOT wear t-shirts. They look horrible on me. Over the years, many t-shirt design gigs came and went without fruitful results. It probably has something to do with my t-shirt illiteracy.
But that does not mean I don’t like t-shirts on other people. In fact, they look great on almost everyone, well, other than me.
The Gap (PRODUCT)RED was patient enough to work with such a person like me to come out with my first (I hope it is not going to be the last!) four designs this season.
I cannot explain my excitement seeing people looking great in them, especially knowing that the proceeds will help women and children affected by AIDS in Africa.
Thank you, thank you and thank you, for those who bought, and those great design and technical team at The Gap who transformed my digital files into awesome shirts.
top row from left: Yausi Mora and Emilia Casana in Puebla, Mexico, Yuki Ikezi from Santa Clara, California.
second row: Juan Carlos Vazquez Padilla in Acapulco, Mexico, John Douglas in Brooklyn, NY, Jack Tse in New York. third row: Michael Thorner from Toronto, Canada. Bottom row: Sam Gorrie in Las Vegas, Nevada, Aida Aguilera Rocha from Xalapa, Mexico
There are four designs in total. All of them in women's sizes and right two are also available in men's sizes. Top left was original image created for this project, and the other three are pre-existing images adjusted for the shirts.
There is only one shirt that was created originally for the project (fortune cookie). Yes. But that does not mean I didn't squeeze my t-shirt-dummy-brain to come up with various ideas. In fact, I think some of them are not at all bad although they were not made into the production.
Anyone interested in realizing them into final products? Well, contact me and let me know. We can discuss!
Read more about (PRODUCT)RED, how it helps Africa, and to purchase shirts here.
I have to say, it is a different kind of excitement I feel when I see my work on wearable objects and displayed in stores like this!!
“We want you to design diapers.” When the e-mail came in, I thought it was a joke. Or, at least a mistaken identity. Apparently, the original designer of Hello Kitty has the same name, and I often get e-mails from people who get us mixed up. After writing back politely to make this clear, they wrote back immediately and said “no”. The e-mail was intended to be sent to me. This is how I ended up designing diapers which is coming out in Sweden next week from Libero, one of the biggest baby product manufacturers in Europe.
I am not a big fan for “cute and colorful things for kids” mentality. I did not grow up with lots of Sanrio characters, and children’s books I adored as a child were not what you see in bookstores now a days.
The client obviously has seen my site and know I do a lot of powerful women theme, funny sex illustrations and all the other not-so-kids-friendly stuff.
final products. There are five designs, images on both front and back of the diapers.
Libero, apparently, is known for its’ unconventional, edgy, and experimental concepts and designs. Like fashion houses, they have Spring-Summer and Fall-Winter collections where they put out limited edition products. Looking at their past designs were fun: drawing of big gold bling on the back, character designed poo and pee drawn in sweet way, things like that. OK, I can do this!
Their spring collection this year is “Save The Tigers”. Rather than having cute character of tigers, they decided to go traditional and Asian. Perfect for me.
You can see their funny commercial and other things on libero.se
Big thank you to the nicest people at ad agency Forsman & Bodenfors and filmmaker Anders Hallberg who kindly filmed “making of” video.
Some of the sketches. Quickly done with pencil on paper, and color was added on photoshop.
ha ha ha. These were killed versions. They are supposed to be Japanese maple leaves, and they do actually look that way, but of course, they didn't want take that risk, and I understand. I changed them to more puffy red leaves.
chew on this, and support next generation of creative minds
at first, you don't notice the thousand nipples...
I heard on the news recently that people feel most happy and fulfilled not by monetary insentives, but by rewarding feelings we get from doing something for others, regardless of our income level, type of jobs, race, age, etc. I love the fact we artists can contrubute our artwork, and go way beyond what we could have contributed in money. Sticky, a creative agency in Chicago and Retail Advertising & Marketing Association came up with a very creative idea to raise scholarship fund for students at Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio.
Four artists, including myself was invited to design gum packages based on the stories Sticky has created. 12 packs of gum in a carton is sold for $25, which will fund Randy Curtis Memorial Award.
My image is based on a trippy story about a third nipple escaping a girl's body, travels across the continent and go surfing. ( Yes, you read it right. ) Because the story was so out there, and the package features a surfer on the wave of thousand nipples, the gum got rejected from production at the last minutes.
But of course, it is the bunch of creative minds who are working on this project, they ended up managing to produce this gum, as a "banned and limited edition". If you are interested, you can also buy this gum, chew on this, all for a good cause.
Here are two sketches I initially submitted. We ended up going with more subtle one, which, we think we made the right decision.