Friday, 20 January 2017

Looking back at 2016

Now I have come back from holiday and started a fresh year of 2017, I would like to write about how 2016 has been for me.

2016 was definitely a year of "change." I had signed up to do a year of editorial work with a Japanese magazine and I had few series of jobs that came via my illustration agency. I was also finding that the balance of doing day job and doing illustration was getting off balance. So I decided to put myself in the full-time illustration life. (Regardless of whether it was going to pay me or not, I had some savings and just wanted to try.)

It was really hard for me to be a full-time illustrator. I realised that being an illustrator is a very lonely work. Until February 2016, I spent more than half of the week working in a busy cafe. Serving coffee and food, meeting people and working with a team of colleagues. Suddenly this interaction with people had stopped and I felt very uneasy. I felt like I was being depressed from stuck at home.




New illustration created for Illustrated 2016 from sketches at Kew Garden earlier in the year.

So I decided to keep myself busy. -busy with creating illustrations. I applied to participate in exhibitions and fairs.
I was invited to take part in Illustrated 2016. It was my first major group exhibition to take part in central London. Then an interview with a Japanese web magazine came along. The t-shirt I designed was in a group exhibition in Tokyo during the summer. I was also invited and decided to take part in a group exhibition in Japan in the winter. I also spent a good time creating illustration for TFL competition - which I later found out I was shortlisted.

そこで、目標を立てて、それに向かって作品を描いていくことにしました。何かしら目標があれば、それに向かって続けていけるかなと。ロンドンでのいくつかのイラストの展示に参加を申し込みました。そこで、『Illustrated 2016』に招待されました。これは私にとって初めてのロンドン市内での大きなイラストのグループ展参加でした。そして、その直後、どこで私のことを聞きつけてくださったのか、ウェブマガジン『灯台もと暮らし』さんからも取材をしていただきました。夏にはTシャツデザインをしているDesign@rt Museumでの東京でのグループ展があったり、また12月にはLaundry Graphics Galleryにて、グループ展にも招待され、参加いたしました。夏に、コンペに向けて描いた絵も入選し、2017年春からロンドンの交通博物館で展示予定です。

Laundry Graphics Gallery, Record jacket illustration  
Laundry Graphics Gallery, Record jacket illustration

Now I have written and looking back at what I have done in 2016, I was able to do a lot more illustration than previous years. Not enough to be full-time though but I re-discovered my love for being an illustrator. I have also found out that I want to be around people. Being around people is also an inspiration for my illustration. So for 2017, I am still keeping my illustration as my main priority but I am going back to my day job to maintain myself illustrating with a happy mind.


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