So, if you would like the short version of my week, check out my travel comics, which I’ve collected into a moment on Twitter here.
For the long version… classes started Monday. I was super terrified. There’s seniors in both my classes, my HK Comics class is 5 people (one of which is a photo major) all of whom are natives to Hong Kong and know each other really well. My professors are both really nice and super legit. Here’s my comics professor’s portfolio site. He’s given me so many great tips on how to make things look good in photoshop really fast. My travel portfolio professor was a war artist in Iraq! He follows me on instagram and comments nice things on the assignments I post on there.
It’s amazing how after such a short time I already feel so much more comfortable drawing environments and cityscapes. Because I have to draw them. A lot.
I’ve been to the Bird, Fish, Flower and Ladies’ markets in Mong Kok, the art supply store in Yau Ma Tei, and the bars in Lan Kwai Fong (I’m legal here!). Also, swing dancing near the Macau Ferry stop, and the Gold Coast Beach today. I don’t swing dance but my roommate’s obsessed and dragged me with her so she didn’t have to take the bus by herself. I’m slowly getting the hang of the bus system here.
We had a Food Tour yesterday, and I tried egg tarts, pineapple bread, hong kong style tea, fish balls and shu mai, a fancy fruit tea, and takoyaki. My favorite was probably the egg tart, but everything was really cool. We went to the markets with my travel portfolio class on Wednesday, and I tried fried pig intestines on a stick then. They tasted okay.
I have way too many pictures of all of these places and I don’t want to go through them all for this blog post to be honest. Just check my twitter, @mashazart.
Thursday night we went bar-hopping, which was a first for me. We started at this place at the top of the Ritz hotel called Ozone, which was expensive, but very fancy and with a very nice view. I had an…okay-tasting drink, and forced myself to drink all of it because it was almost 20 USD and I felt guilty spending so much money.
Then we went to Lan Kwai Fong which was not fancy at all. Very loud, lots of people grabbing me and trying to sell me things. But we danced at a place for a while and that part was fun. Getting back was not fun. We missed the bus and ended up grabbing a taxi and got back to Gold Coast at 5 am. Then I got on the bus for the food tour just 5 hours later. It Was Fine.
Here’s some of the drawings I’ve done for Travel Portfolio so far. We have to fill 40 sketchbook pages of various sizes by monday, which is intense. One of them has to include collages of ~ephemera~, meaning paper scraps and things we find around the city. Also writing. I feel like I’ve learned a lot in a short time, and that I have the leniency to play more than I usually do.
On a related note, here are my tips for making good collages, learned from AP Studio when everyone was doing the collage thing for some reason:
- booklets, newspapers, thing with small text are textural elements. Those words aren’t gonna be read by anyone not even if you highlight the important stuff. The arrangement of the words on the page will impact the final composition more than what they say.
- Try to have a focal point the rest of the composition is founded around.
- Repeat similar elements throughout the piece to generate cohesion.
- Cut out background elements like the sky. Put in something else instead. Art.
- Try to create a narrative with the images you choose.
- It is not illegal to draw and paint in addition to cutting out and gluing bits of paper in a collage.
- Colored label stickers are great.
I kept all these things in mind when making my 4 collage spreads for class. I might do one more because I don’t like my second one very much, but I don’t want to run out of ~ephemera~ and I’d rather wait until the next assignment is officially assigned.
In comics class, I drew this illustration for a concept I’ve had brewing for a while, a few years now, actually. We have to create an IP from zero to pitch-ready in the 5 week term, and it has to be connected to Hong Kong somehow. I decided to work with my millenial hell concept because the hell landscape could easily be reimagined to be inspired by Hong Kong street architecture. My professor helped me a lot with the coloring of this. First, my inspiration board.
Here’s what I came up with, inspired by all of that.
I’m fairly proud of it.
Also in comics class Howard Wong local comic book writer came in and talked to us and gave everyone individual feedback on their concepts and it was super cool, I learned so much, what a cool dude.
Our Resources folder for that class contains rips of Blade Runner, Akira, and an episode of Samurai Champloo.
It’s kind of amazing.
Also, my prof told us all to read Bakuman, and I have made it through 6 volumes so far. It’s kind of sexist at the beginning, but overall very funny and interesting. I like getting an insider’s look on the manga-making process. It certainly seems like a better system than the US comics market.
Tomorrow, I’m meeting a good friend at Causeway Bay, which is super exciting, both because I haven’t been there yet and because my friend is a great person I haven’t seen in a while.