Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Website Pre-Preview

The new website, beta version, is uploaded and viewable!  After some kind folks explained some glitches to me, the page should be looking solid.  My goal is to have a portfolio site that is itself a portfolio piece, so feedback is welcome and appreciated!  

Btw, on my Friends page you'll see how I am hoping to exchange links with folks.  Its a two-for-one deal, as I'll be putting my Friends' links on two websites (homepage and sketchblog) in exchange for only one on that Friend's website.  That's good for everyone, since more links to your site equals higher search engine rankings.
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In local news, mid-Southern Japan is at the peak of its summer heat.  At least I hope this is the peak.  The humidity is astounding and stifling, and I'm from Tennessee where the air is so wet that we are practically amphibious.  
Teaching English in Japan requires getting used to instructing in rooms with no A/C of any kind, summer or winter.  After you resign yourself to the sweating, it's easier.  Students have it hardest, never once entering a cool place the entire day (this doesn't exactly motivate them to learn), where as the teachers get to sit in the A/C'ed Staff Room with all the other teachers.  Not complaining, just observing.  

Monday, July 7, 2008

First Steps

Today I made my first real efforts toward entering the Japanese publishing scene. The opportunity for this came in the form of a Creator's Lunch being held at a local graphic design office.

The challenges, pt.1: Of course it was raining for the 10 minutes I was on my bike, promptly clearing up as soon as I entered their office, visible through the huge picture windows with their incredible view of Himeji Castle. On top of this, it is the summer rainy season and so extremely hot and humid (mushi-atsui desu, I love it that one of their words for "humid" is "mushi," cause thats how it feels). So I was completely soaked in either rain or sweat, and spent the first 20 minutes trying not to drip on my own drawings. I'm sure I looked like a freak, but folks seemed nice about it.

The challenges, pt.2: Most interactions here serve to remind me of how bad my Japanese is, and today was no different. However, I lucked out in that the owner of the design office is passionately interested in learning business English, and was very nice about helping out with conversation beyond my initial introductions and job descriptions.

The good news: I met another illustrator (who coincidentally had drawn a picture of Himeji castle up and walking around, even though his was very cartoony and for a small animation), a few designers, a printer, plus a few others. I wish I had a chance to see more folks' work, though I did see the work of this one dude. Besides being a DJ, he meets with 3 other artists to make a zine. They set themselves a time limit of 2 hours to produce the zine from the first step all the way to the final printed copies. They were rough and spontaneous, and looked like tons of fun. I was happily reminded of SALart, a similar zine (minus the time-limit) that I (co)edited over a few years during my time in undergrad at APSU. Sounds like a great idea for a party...

Anyhow, decent for a first attempt. There will be another lunch next month!

Plus the new website is almost done!!! It'll be up asap, and of course it will posted here.