Swine Tasting Written on August 14, 2013, by Zack.
Posting here has been more sporadic than usual lately as I’m hammering through the final stage of my picture book. I’ll try to get some sneak peeks up soon if I can find a spare minute in my 80-hour work week.
In the meantime, enjoy this cloven-hoofed connoisseur of quality cordials I painted for a friend’s birthday. You might recognize him as the spokespig for Japan’s most popular potable:
“For Relaxing Times, Make it Sowtory Time.”
Sorry, sometimes the puns are a little ham-fisted.
Taiwannabe Written on August 1, 2013, by Zack.
Do you live in Taiwan, or know someone from Taiwan, or are an ambassador to the UN from a country with healthy diplomatic relations with Taiwan and have no scruples against using your position to pull a few strings, magazine-wise?
THEN YOU ARE IN LUCK MY FRIEND.
dpi Magazine, the great Taiwanese journal of illustration art, has recently released their 2013 Bologna Book Fair retrospective, which includes a short interview with your’s truly and a selection from my book Mel Goaté and the Purple Velvet Tuxedo. I can’t remember what I said in the interview, but I’m sure it’s brilliant and well worth a trip to Google Translate. Also included are other, not-me illustrators from the Fair whose work’ll make you feel like you’ve been socked in the eyeballs with a rainbow.
So if you’ve got 480 Taiwanese dollars laying around, pick up a copy today! And I promise that next post will have nothing to do with either Bologna or magazines.
Back to School Written on May 6, 2013, by Zack.
Growing up, I missed out on a lot of those traumatizing childhood experiences charitably described as “character-building.” Never broke a limb, never had braces, never broke a limb while struggling to detach my braces from the braces of my first kiss. Never saw Mac and Me.
And I never had to ride the school bus. So my entire understanding of how they operate is as follows: A) their wheels go round and round, and B) they are fueled by the ear-abusing shrieks of their delinquent passengers.
Little wonder, then, that when I got the assignment for The Normal School‘s Spring issue with the co-themes of “cutting class” and “4-H club,” the first thing that came to mind was a bus stocked with clamorous farm animals. It’s pure coincidence that both school kids and barnyard animals are ecstatic Beliebers.
The issue’s on newsstands now, so if you like quality literature and goats, snatch this up ASAP!
One week ago today I returned from the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, and I’m still futilely attempting to distill into words what was easily to best week of my life.
On any given day I’d find myself, say, escorting a 72-year old master illustrator back to his hotel as he described beating up a pickpocket the week prior, or talking Italian politics with my AirBnb.com rentees until 2am as water dripped from the above light fixture, or getting lost in an intestinal labyrinth of a medieval streets with nothing but a pedal-less bike and Beach House for company, or having a two-hour hot chocolate-induced panic attack hallucinations wherein an adolescent Jesus Christ is beating the literal hell out of me. It was stone cold BANANAS.
Prior to the fair itself I stopped in Florence, where you couldn’t walk five feet without running into a Renaissance masterpiece or the best meal you’ve ever eaten. The place was swarming with Michelangelos, Raphaels, Donatellos, Leonardos; ALL the Ninja Turtles! And nothing can prepare a person for the Duomo; it takes up your entire field of vision and occupies every atom of your imagination.
And David! I saw David! I stared at David for two hours and I still couldn’t believe I was seeing David. I didn’t know how to respond, I tried sketching him which ended in tears and then settled on taking an illegal iPhone selfie with David in the background.
Bologna, also incredible. Seeing my artwork up on the gallery wall was surreal, as was being publicly presented with a certificate of participation by some of my illustration heroes, as was the realization that I’d be having dinner with said heroes later that night and they were technically colleagues. Technically.
There was also the opportunity to collect the business cards and handshakes of publishers and illustrators from around the globe, make new friends, meet up with old friends, and get inspired by the foreign books I’d never see otherwise. Even bought a few of them. Google Translate and I are going to spend some quality time together.
[Right to Left: Sarah Brown, Katie May Green, Trudi Esberger, and Becky Palmer. Hire them for all your illustration/modeling needs.]
But the fair is over and I’m back in Seattle, no longer a minor celebrity. Just another pseudo-hipster in a cat fur-covered cardigan who spends too much time indoors.
Ah, well. There’s always next year.
Room with a view Written on March 19, 2013, by Zack.[click for larger view]
In preparation for my trip to Bologna Book Fair, I spent the last few weeks getting my portfolio into gear. This included a 20-day tenancy in the museum exhibition space above. Forty different exhibits on display there, not counting the canine. Took forever not only to think up interesting curios to show, but also to organize them on the walls and shelves. It was all worth it, though, because now my children’s book boasts both a human skull and a shining red butt. You’re welcome, parents.
Alright, I’m off! Wish me luck!