Tag Archives: art book

A New Project

Someone floated to me the idea of making an ‘I Spy’ book. This sounds quite daunting, but having a project that would last me a good while actually sounds very appealing to me. Like my previous piece, it would mean drawing much larger images in order to be much better for print. I wouldn’t rely too much on text because viewers could easily see them and psychoanalyze me to death. And come approximately five to six months time, I would have enough images for a small collection for print. The only downside is planning and coming up with images, but that’s already something I struggle with on a daily basis.

This wouldn’t be my first foray into making a book. I once published a collection of my thesis works. It was a way for me to exhibit small works and have people examine them at home at their leisure as opposed to being in a gallery. I didn’t really have any expectations when I made the book. I just wanted to have all of the works in a collection, and then I could move on. What I didn’t realize is that once I had it registered with an ISBN number, the Canadian book archives would also want a copy for their collection. It’s been years now, and many of the images in that collection is not as strong as I would like and not really representative of what I do these days. Looking at the image above, this isn’t really what I do now. I would like to think I am better than this. It would be a shame if I die and the only thing that survives of my work are those images in the Canadian library archives somewhere in Ottawa.

I think making an ‘I Spy’ book would be very much the same process as my previous book, but simpler due to the planned number of images. My previous book had roughly 60 images in it, while an ‘I Spy’ book would be more like ten images. It would barely be a comic book and more like a pamphlet. Due to the small number of pages, I’m hoping I could design the book and have it print to order, as in print them whenever someone buys them online, instead of having a minimum of 250 copies printed in the initial batch which would leave me with so many books I have no idea how to sell. I remember having my first book and looking at stacks of them and wondering, “Now what?” Do I call Barnes and Noble?

This “Now what?” situation is notorious especially living in Seoul and having no storage for anything. This is why I avoid doing sculptures these days. On my previous projects, I had all of these works and not know what to do with them. As pleased as I am with materializing what I imagined in my head into actual physical objects, they end up becoming more burdensome than anything. This is why I stick with small drawings.

In my previous work, the hunt for words and images is just a collateral activity. The main goal was to collect my works and present them to the public. Looking back now, it was obnoxiously arrogant of me. Who would want a collection of my works? I’m an unknown artist. Anyway, the purpose of an ‘I Spy’ book is the hunt for images, the artist and viewing his work (and knowing him) are the collateral. Older and more experienced, I know that no one gives a damn about me. Just make interesting images.

The biggest fear for me here is that it would mean stepping away from my usual style of work for a while, a style that I’ve been comfortable with for so many years now. But I guess we all have to change things up a bit sometimes.

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Missing Shirow

squid

One of my favorite artists is Masamune Shirow. This is the artist/writer who inspired what arguably are the best parts of The Matrix. Not only is his art amazing, but he’s also a very thoughtful writer. I first discovered him back in the 90s. I wasn’t very familiar with manga at the time. Manga wasn’t as mainstream as it is now. At the time, I was very much into titles from DC, Marvel, and Image Comics. I remember picking up Ghost in the Shell on a lark and was immediately hooked. Not only was the story interesting, I found Shirow’s side commentaries just as interesting. From Ghost in the Shell, I moved on to Orion, my favorite book of his. In it, he crafted an interesting world of technology and Eastern mythology, but unfortunately, it’s a world he never went back to. Most of his works have a futuristic theme and explored with humanity living with the ever-encroaching forces of technology. He seems fascinated with and yet wary of it. (Apparently, his fear of flying keeps him pretty much living like a hermit.) Most people would know him from Ghost in the Shell, the inspiration to The Matrix. And what’s an amazing testament to his genius is that Ghost in the Shell still holds up to this day. I couldn’t say the same for The Matrix.

This was an artist who drew what he loved, and it showed in his writings. He was interested in guns, robots, arachnids, philosophy, technology, and yes, beautiful women. Unfortunately, I think that’s all he’s been doing lately.

I miss his stories. I miss the world he crafted. I would gladly pay good money for the next Ghost in the Shell, Appleseed, Dominion, or Orion. But lately, all he’s been releasing are art books. Granted, they are very beautiful, albeit erotic, art books, showing what an accomplished artist he is. But what I miss is Masamune Shirow the storyteller.

ghost_in_the_shell

I want more of this. ^

shirow

This is fine. ^  There’s a time and a place for this. But could we have more intelligent stories and less cartoon sex?

 

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