Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I've been up since 5:40am. Remind me never to eat dinner past 9:40pm the previous night. I have a friend who used to be an aerobics instructor in her early twenties. She said to me once, years ago, that she never ate past 8pm because it would mess with her digestion.
I thought to myself, "What did she mean?"
I used to eat at any hour of the night and I would be fine the next morning.
Fast forward 10 years.
Things change.

It's just past 1pm now, which means that I've been up past 5 hours. I have hardly done any illustration this morning - mostly administrative work.
Funny, when I was in school I vaguely recollect my instructor mentioning something about having to do office work. I wasn't so sure what he meant until I began to view my career as a
career, and not a hobby.

People used to ask me all the time what it was that I did.
"So... what do you?"
My response, "I work in retail, but I paint on the side."
(I painted back then - acrylics and alkyds on illustration board using Liquin as a solvent. It must have been the Liquin which broke my Chinese calculator. Bad joke, I've never been good at math, and I try not to perpetuate stereotypes, although I just did. Sorry if I offended anyone. Really, I've never been good at math. Actually that's a lie. When I was in grade one, I was placed by my teacher into the grade two math class, but I couldn't handle subtraction. That makes no sense, it's just the opposite of addition, but for some reason, I couldn't do it. And so I was placed back into first grade.) Back to my point...

"Oh, you paint houses?"

Needless to say that I had to rephrase my response for future conversations. Now, whenever someone asks me what it is that I do, I respond by saying, "I draw pictures."
Tell that to a customs official at the airport and see what types of questions ensue.
I should be more clever and mimic a friend of mine who's an illustrator and musician. I believe he told a customs official once that his occupation was a "Rock Star."

5 hours of administrative work has resulted in me feeling a bit loopy. The weather is incredible outside. And because I continue to eat dinner past 9:30pm, it's not only compromised my 25 year old "figure" which I've not had since I was 25, but all I feel like doing is crawling into bed. Must head to the gym.
Secrete serotonin.
Need vitamin D
Eat fancy burrito.

Okay. That's enough babble. I've uploaded one of my latest projects for H.O.W. (Helping Orphans Worldwide) Wearable Literature project. I was asked along with a couple of others to create a graphic inspired by the words of an author. In my case it was Jonathan Ames' quote, "The more I wake up in life, the more everything feels like a dream." I don't want to go too much into my process other than it began as an existing Tshirt graphic that I tweaked into this one.

Again, I'm slowly exploring a different type of work. Trying to mix text, concept and automatic drawing all at once. It's challenging, and although the results are oftentimes questionable, I cannot ignore the process which I am confident will bring (me and) my work to a new place if I continue to stay the course. I've learned a great deal especially after having moved to New York, from people inside and outside of the illustration industry. I've become encouraged to change my studio practice and accept that the process of arriving to the end product; that the process of drawing or painting for example is invaluable. It's tough sometimes because as an illustrator I have been programmed to think in such a linear, logical and oftentimes analytical way.
As I wrote in a previous post, I love to doodle, and so I am doing much more of it.
But again, I'm digressing.
You can see in the 5th and 6th image that I've written some notes. I do this all the time even with my commercial assignments - especially with my commercial assignments. I ask myself questions and I make an effort to distance myself from my work so that I can see it for what it is, instead of being too wrapped up in my own egocentrism and concepts. I try to play the role of viewer and illustrator because in the end that is our role. Illustration, the art and business of communication. This morning was more business than art though.


charrow said...

Don't go to the gym! Prospect park! I love the lamp shades and the whole idea of trying to move outside your comfort zone artistically, but I like all your work. Its great working with companies that can afford to print 4 colors. It makes your illustration really pop.

Marcos Chin said...

ha! too late charrow... i already went... but i did enjoy a tea and cake at a cafe before heading back to my studio.
yeah, the 4 colour process is expensive... i'm hoping that i won't get a revision to have to reduce the number of colours.

charrow said...

here's to hoping you keep your four colors!
ps- the weather is supposed to be amazing all weekend you should get outside!
All we need is more pasty vitamin d deficient work horse illustrators. ;)