Alternative Light set up.
In the beginning of the summer, I completed a book cover illustration for a client self-publishing on the Amazon Kindle. For his novel, The Blue Marble Gambit, Mr. Holt requested an illustration in the style of my drawing "The Cartographer's Library," which I made back in college. This is what I came up with. It was a fun project and we were both very satisfied by the result.
You can view the book, download a sample chapter, and purchase it from Amazon.
That's a working title.... Here are some photos. I don't think I'm going to post any more of this until the finished product - I am expecting to be finished building around September 1 and lighting/ photographing by mid September.
Here are some shots of my current diorama. This will be another forest (like one of the scenes I made for IP,) though on a smaller scale (60cm x 60cm x 30 cm, or 2ft x 2ft x 1 ft.) It will feature, hopefully, 3 characters (made from polymer clay, not rapid-prototyping) and lots of other details. I will try to post the concept sketch tonight with some color studies.
My "studio" space setup in my apartment
One of the 3 characters
My family visited me in Japan last week and brought my art supplies! So I've been doing some fast miniature sculpting. This guy is about 4 inches high. Because the oil-based clay attaches and separates pretty easily, I've been experimenting with different "costumes" made of large, general forms, which has been a good exercise in character design.
Today I went to Roppongi Hills to check out the French Window exhibit in the Mori Tower. A ticket had been generously mailed to me by a friend I met here on the subway, which let me see not only the exhibit, but let me into the planetarium and on the very top of the building (the whole museum complex was on the 52nd-55th floor of the tower!)
The French Window exhibit was very strong - they had some of Duchamp's readymades, including one of his (in)famous R. Mutt urinals. I also particularly enjoyed the work of Laurent Grasso, Claude Closky, Cyprian Gaillard, and Saadine Afif.
The Planetarium was more a series of installations about the universe. By far, my favorite was the room modelled to resemble a 1000 light year big section of the universe. The stars, little lights hung from strings, were positioned precisely as they are in space all around the room. You could stand in the middle of the room and view everything from Earth's perspective. A very stunning, immersive installation. They also had a section where they put stars from constellations like Orion with the depth separation that we cannot view from earth (since we see them head on) with a little viewfinder that enabled you to line up the lights and see which constellation they made. Pretty cool, alas, they didn't allow pictures.
They DID allow pictures on the Skyway though. There were stunning views of Tokyo. Of course, I had to take a panoramic shot:
Already nine days since my last post? Since then, I've gotten the face makeup down on my own (first attempt took me two hours, which I've whittled down to about an hour and fifteen minutes), performed almost all of my "general cues" (we have small, background-type roles throughout the show in addition to our main act) AND started in my main act itself (Poles/ Trampoline.) Learning all of the choreography for my main act in two days almost made my head explode, but I kept it together and, even if I was a bit stiff and over-focused, got through my first performance without (really) crashing into anyone else or being on the wrong end of the stage.
I have two more cues to polish up and start performing in the show and then my schedule will settle into just performing/ poles training, so that I can increase the difficulty of my tricks and my presence in the act itself (right now, though I am performing in my main act, all of my actual Chinese poles/ tramp tricks are minimal and easy, so I can get accustomed to performing.) Chinese Poles is new for me, but I feel like I am starting to make steady progress and at least the tramp is there to make me feel a little at home.
I gotta say, one of my favorite parts of work ("work") so far has been getting to interact with the audience. Not only at the bow at the end (where you finally understand that the modest/ quiet Japanese crowd actually adored the show the whole time) but during my act itself. There are several times where I slide to the edge of the stage and have a few moments to play with the audience in the first few rows. It's always fun, whether the person gasps, smiles, or gives polite little encouraging claps when noticing me. Once I settle into my "character" a little more, I think this will only be more fun....
Picture: the heel blister(s) that have been plaguing me since day 1:
The last 3 days have been a whirlwind of training and things to remember, so I am too exhausted to write anything coherent, but here are some pictures from my makeup tutorial sessions. I have been learning to do my own makeup for my act; this is me in my act costume before a photo session.
I am wrapping up my first book cover project - this one is for an author who is publishing directly to the Kindle. I'll link the book when it's available online. The client wanted "the Earth being lowered into a set of alien jaws."
Below are pictures of my apartment in Tokyo - this is a temporary residence, though. I'll be moving in about a week. The place is really nice and has more of a hotel suite/ studio feel, without any kind of living room. I've noticed that the place is designed around energy conservation - I have to plug my room key into the wall at the entrance, for example, to turn on the generator that controls the lights in my room. So every time I leave, the lights are guaranteed to be off, and I'm guaranteed to not misplace my key inside, which is cool.
Other crazy features include precise controls for the water heater (I can set my bath water to heat to an exact temperature) and a toilet that automatically learns when I use it most and preheats the seat for me ahead of time. I have to carry around my appliance guide so that I know which buttons do what, but I'm starting to figure it out.
Entrance (The little brown thing on the upper right is my plugged in room key)
Main Room - Bed/ Desk and Kitchen on the right
Laundry/ Sink (Shower is to the right)
Bath/ Shower (The whole room is designed to get wet, so you can adjust the shower head depending on whether you're showering/ bathing.)
So for those who don't know (though everyone who reads this probably does) I just moved to Tokyo to start a job as a performer on Cirque du Soleil's show ZED. While in Guatemala I tried keeping this space exclusively for art and created a separate blog for Guatemala; that wasn't really working, so I'll post everything on this blog from now on ranging from musings about Japan, to Cirque stuff, to more art. I'll even tag everything so that you can filter it if you're only interested in one category or the other.
Before I go, I just want to brag(?) a little bit that I watched 4 movies and 1 documentary on the plane ride over here, including The Dawn Treader, Mystic River, The Book of Eli, Karate Kid, and My Kid Could Paint That, which was easily the most interesting of the bunch.
...It's finished! More pics and information below....
Figures were projected onto large sheets of plywood with a projector before being cutout with a jigsaw. Each piece was then painted a two tone red/ black and given a glossy, protective finish. Figures are arranged and mounted on the wall to depict a double layout [a higher level double-flipping gymnastics skill.]