Mar 31, 2012
I now spend months of my life living in a hotel in Seoul. Kah-nay. That’s how my name is pronounced in Korea. Every human being who works at the Grand Hyatt in Seoul knows me. Hello Mister Kah-nay. It sounds glamorous but it can get tedious. People are always asking me if I want coffee. “Would you like some coffee, Mister Kah-nay?” No thanks, I don’t drink coffee. By now I have a million hotel points. Everything I want is on the house. Free breakfast, free internet and of course free coffee anytime I’d like. On my last visit, some of the people working there said they saw my name on the hotel guest list. They actually said they were looking around for me to say hello to. There are 2 girls that work at the business center, Song Yi Kim and Min Ah Kim. They are the ones who scan my drawings for this blog. They apparently tell all their other co-workers that some mysterious semi famous American artist is in the hotel. It sort of gives me a fake credibility. My platinum hotel card carries a lot of weight at the Hyatt. I feel just like Geri Halliwell as I stroll about the place. Someone is always running up to shake my hand and see if I need anything, like coffee. No thank you I say. All of this attention could make some people nuts but not me. Being one of the Spice Girls, I know what it’s like to have a lot of attention shown to me. My bed is always made and my underwear is perfectly folded. Who cannot love people that treat you like that.
I recently traveled back to Seoul, Korea. In the past I've made a little movie of me drawing there. I had an idea to do one of the outdoor market places in Seoul. This one centers around the Namdaemun market. It's of me drawing and I threw in a little history lesson too. It's quite amusing. If you have 2 and a half minutes to kill, you won't be disappointed.
Mar 30, 2012
I have a theory. Over the past 6 or 7 years that I have been showing my work on the internet, I’ve gained quite a bit of notoriety. I have acquired a massive legion of art fans. Among them, many of the best illustrators in the world. Students write to me from every art school on the planet asking for advice and wondering how I do what I do. Illustrators want to know what art supplies I’m using, how long it takes me to do stuff, what should they do to improve their work and market themselves better. They all seem to think I’m doing a lot of things right. I’m quite happy about it all. The truth is, it hasn’t turned into very much for me. Recently the magazine, TimeOut New York, contacted me to do an illustration. They needed it in like one day and at the time I was in Korea which made it impossible to accomplish. If I was home I would have done whatever it took to have done an amazing illustration for them. The unusual thing about it all is that it’s the FIRST TIME a magazine has ever contacted me to do an assignment. I thought it would have happened more but it never does. The world is so full of magazines, newspapers and other publications that you’d think I’d be on someone’s radar, but no. So here is my theory, I just may be the most failed illustrator of the past decade. I spend hours a day drawing, improving and just plain trying to come up with new and clever ideas but in the end I have nothing to show for it. Why do I keep going, you might ask? Well, the answer is simple, I just can’t stop. The truth is, when it comes to my art, I have no real goal in mind. I’m not really heading anywhere. I’m not sure what I’m trying to achieve. Maybe I’m just searching for a brick wall to run into. Once I do that, then I can take a long needed rest. Let me tell you, being a failure is not all it’s cracked up to be. Believe it or not it’s a lot of hard work. So for now, I’m going to go back to what I do best, making drawings of buildings and objects for no apparent reason whatsoever.
Mar 29, 2012
Drawing fruit is a great sport. All of the fruit I draw is picked fresh. I checked the expiration date on these cans and jars so I know it's fresh. There's nothing like the beauty of a newly picked pear or peach. Here is a little collection of fruits I just painted. Don't they look appetizing?
When I travel for work, after a while I start to get out of sorts. Usually it has to do with my eating habits. My clock is mixed up, so at breakfast I crave dinner. I have been chowing down on huge breakfasts to make up for it. In Seoul, everyone eats lunch way earlier than in America. By 11:45AM I am being asked what I want for lunch. It's the last thing on my mind because I am still full from my giant breakfast. Later when I am hungry, all the food is gone. My lunch starts to look uneatable by then. Sometimes I manage half a sandwich. By dinner I'm all confused because my body thinks I should have breakfast. Because I'm at some photo studio, my dinner is brought to me in plastic buckets. I have trouble looking at it and trying to figure out what it is. So I take a pass. This leads to a downward spiral that I can't ever seem to get out of. Food has never been a big part of my life. I never think about what I am going to eat for my next meal. I sort of just eat whatever is put in front of me. I'm usually too busy drawing, filming, painting, working or doing squirrel activity. Also I'm one year older today.
Mar 23, 2012
As everyone knows, I have a store on Etsy where I sell my prints and occasional originals. A great fan of mine is Tim Wells. He recently sent me a photo showing how he framed 2 of my prints and one original painting. I have to say he did a great job. You can check out Tim's work at his blog, Welly's Caricatures. You can also go to his fan page and friend him on Facebook. This is just a little reminder to let people know that I do sell my work, very affordable I might add. So feel free to check it out and if you ever need to get someone a gift that is a bit unusual, art is the way to go.
Mar 7, 2012
The worst thing that can happen to someone when they are on the road, is getting sick. Luckily I was smart enough to do it on a weekend. I've been working in Korea for 6 straight weeks, living out of a hotel and working on weekends too. Finally towards the end, my body gave out. Sweaty feverish nights, no sleep and no appetite. Tough going but I got through it. Sunday afternoon, I knew I wasn't going to leave the room. I felt a bit better so I decided to draw the view out my window. A while back, a company named Stillman & Birn sent me some of their watercolor papers and drawing books. Another cadre of freebie art materials from a great company. This is the result of my painting on their paper. I keep getting free art supplies from companies. I wonder what I've done to deserve all this? Their paper is amazing to work on so I give it high scores. The view I drew is from the north side of the river facing South Korea. I think I've been in every bar, club and restaurant as far as the eye can see. By the way, the big green building is Cheil Worldwide, the advertising agency I work for.
Mar 4, 2012
There is a lot of dong in Korea. Every little section is named Ding Dong or some other kind of dong. I'm not sure the word has the same meaning as it does in the United States. Little American boys would be laughing their ass off all day with the amount of dong jokes they could crack while staying there. My wife told me to take my dong over to Myong Dong, which I did. The second I started drawing, some guy set up shop right in front of me with a huge sign that completely blocked my view. I was too settled in to move, so I just did the best I could, craning my neck to look around his contraption. Whenever I finish a drawing I take it to the business center at the hotel I'm staying in, where they scan it for me. The girls who work there took quite an interest in my sketches. In fact, one of them named Song Yi wrote me on Facebook to tell me she should have scanned it better. The world keeps getting smaller and smaller.
Mar 3, 2012
In Korea they use metal chopsticks. I have heard a lot of theories and read about it but I still don't know the real answer. Maybe there is no real answer. They do look cool. Maybe that's the reason. In my hotel room in Seoul, I overlook the skating rink. The hotel has a beautiful one. It is lit with incredible purple lighting. The trees are full of a million Christmas lights too. Many nights when I look out onto the ice, I see 2 people sitting there. They always seem to be under a heater at a little table. Finally the mystery was solved for me by Yun. She said the hotel offered people the option to buy the rink late at night so guys could romantically propose marriage to their girlfriends. I have to admit it is an amazing view of the city from there. You can buy different levels, with food, champagne or dessert. I'm sure none of the couples are using metal chopsticks under that heater. They would probably burn their little fingers trying to propose.