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.

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