Monday, October 18, 2010

I've been trying to upload new illustrations over the past several weeks, but I haven't been able to do so for three reasons. First, the illustrations that I've been working on are not allowed to be posted until after the publication for whom I've done the work, has published them. Second, I've assigned almost all of the time that I would have spent on personal work towards my teaching position at MICA; the work that I'm doing there has extended into my current studio practice here in New York, which is not a bad thing, only that it was very unexpected. Still, I am confident that this production of The Snow Queen will be fantastic, which means spending the extra time (and money) will be well worth it (and might I add that I have grown very fond of my class, and I'm feeling a bit sad that my time there will be up in 2 weeks). And lastly, it is out of my own accord, to not post a handful of the work that I've done over the past several months onto my website. You can ask any illustrator who has been in the field for several years that what you see on our websites represent only a fraction of the work that we do. When I first started illustrating I was working on about 100 illustration jobs per year; now that number has fallen to about 70 projects for various reasons, but mostly because I have chosen to allocate my time differently compared to when I first started working professionally. So to assume that every piece that is done must be shown in one's portfolio is unrealistic, not to mention that sometimes these illustrations are not the strongest representations of us as artists. It happens in other professions as well, think Meryl Streep in She-Devil.

Create a portfolio of the kind of work that you want to get more of, not of work that you will think will get you more work.
Did I get this statement from you, Yuko?
For the most part, clients can tell whether or not you've enjoyed working on the pieces in your portfolio. It's impossible to think that anyone who has to live off of their illustration work can love every single piece that they do.
We do it for the love, or for the money.
Or sometimes both.

I keep in mind that as much as I love to draw, I also am not one of those illustrators who have the luxury of picking and choosing each project that comes his way. Of course there are some parameters which inform whether or not I will take work, such as timing and budget for example, but I primarily treat my illustration like a business and take on work in order to financially sustain my creative practice. Sill, there must be some sort of pay-off; something that makes it worthwhile for me to take on the project.
Having said that, I've been working so much. Probably spending a good 70 hours per week, over the past 7 weeks, either working in my studio, or traveling and teaching at MICA and at SVA. It's been tough, and I've found that I've drained nearly the entire oregano oil bottle into my morning cups of water (it's my elixir against the possibility of getting sick - I take it when I'm feeling worn out); however, it's been necessary.
But this wasn't what my post was originally about.
I found this in my hard drive.
They're Chinese characters that I transcribed while watching some (chinese) karaoke videos on Youtube. I did this one Friday or Saturday night, while I was taking a break from work. No, I can't read or write chinese, and if you look at the "Fortune" cover that is at the top of this post, those chinese characters on the bottom right corner, were written by my father, who faxed it to me from Toronto (it's my name). Yes, I do think it's lame to be raised by parents who are multilingual -- who speak 4 languages combined: 2 dialects of Chinese, Portuguese, and English, and for me to not be. I only speak one language fluently -- guess which one?
I have always enjoyed learning new languages. I'd say that I have a 5 year old's level of speaking Cantonese and French (I'm Canadian remember? and so it's mandatory for us to learn French in elementary school). Therefore, I have decided that those languages will be my learning focus moving forward.

I just bought a "how-to-speak-cantonese" audiobook, which I just listened to a moment ago.

I'm kicking some serious ass.
I can say now,
"Excuse Miss. Do you speak Cantonese?"
"Do you speak English?"
"Yes, I speak English."
"Are you American?"


David Gonzalez said...

sweet now you have to learn how to say: No I'm Canadian, by way of Zimbabwe, but way of Portugal? but way of China.
By the way, that pic from two post under this is hilarious, good times in the studio.
Definitely post before the MICA show happens, I wanna go check that out.

mark smith said...

Really elegant image Marcos, love the composition.

Marcos Chin said...

* david! how's it going? good to hear from you - was going to text you but totally slipped my mind. i met nick from MICA - nice guy... he mentioned you were going to be in baltimore - did you end up coming? will let you know when the show is... thanks for the note about the costumes! there are many more to come!

* mark - thanks for the kind words about the drawing!

David Gonzalez said...

I'm doing good, I think I have the travel itch. I did end up visiting Baltimore for a few days meet up with Nick he's a good man. I forget sometimes that theres life outside NY, you know. Can't wait to see the show.

I just realized isn't it mozambique your from not zimbabwe? How do you say "sorry I'm American" in Cantonese?

Marcos Chin said...

yeah David, i have the travel itch too - i hear what you mean about forgetting that a world exists outside of new york. i felt the same even when i did live here yet. strange. it can feel like the centre of the universe sometimes...
would be cool if you could come to the show - i'll email you closer to the date...
(oh, and yes, i am from mozambique).

here's the translation of what you asked for:
"Deui-m-juy, ngo hai may-gwok yahn."
ha! A+