This is where I share a mix of my illustration and a touch of pretty things and places I've discovered in my day.

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spirited Away in Jiufen.

Nestled on a mountain top and decorated with rows of lanterns, Jiufen is a great little town to visit. The crowds are insane over a long weekend though, and we went back again during the week to soak up some more of the magic of this town. This generally includes exploring the maze of alleys of steep steps whilst enjoying delicious snacks bought at the stalls on the way. My favorites was the huge mushrooms - barbecued with butter and spice - served cut up in a little cup and the prawn balls served with pickles - yum!. There are some fantastic tea houses dotted throughout the little town with up to 5 floors of beautiful booths, nooks and crannies to sit in and enjoy some traditional Taiwanese tea.

There are too many things to take in at once and for creative inspirations I decided to focus on one thing at a time. So, Spirited Away it is - Jiufen was part of the inspiration of the film. Apparently Mr. Miyasaki visited the little village on a mountain and was charmed by it. I'm not surprised - it is wonderfully charming! I've compared some of the scenes - have a look for yourself! I've included a quick drawing I did there too.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Taiwan retro.

Retro is not big here. In this restaurant it's a different story however - the owner is a serious collector so his restaurant is a perfect showcase for his huge collection. There are so many signs, photo's, objects, packaging and toys that you don't really want to sit down and eat your meal. It's fascinating - it's all Taiwanese, with some fantastic Japanese influence from the time Taiwan was still ruled by Japan (1895-1945). I loved the beauty products, the cigarette boxes and prints - the children's toys were pretty damn scary though. I will definitely go back there to take in more detail.

The food was really good too, the spicy cauliflower with black bean, tofu and spring onion was my favorite. You can't have it all though - like most eating places it all still seems quite makeshift and some water ( no idea how retro the water was..) seeped into my boyfriend's loafer while were having lunch. Haha..

Ps: My sketchbook scene is from a street scene (very typical) in the area.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I've started.

My next exhibition is poking it's head out somewhere in the near future. I'm planning to sell some original artwork
as well and not just digital prints as before. So the planning is completely different.. I can't just redo anything that
I don't like and I need to plan a bit more meticulously before I just start drawing. I've started with a little robin,
a bit of a daily project - drawing a student in each of my classes every day, as well as a peaceful tea scene from
Jiufen. I had to trace the scene on a new page as I do the coloring and line work separately - without a lightbox -
what a pain! I forgot how tedious it is working with tracing paper.. So we went to find the little art alley in Jonghe
in search of a lightbox - and the art material shops is just amazing! It's just huge and filled to the brim of all art
material imaginable. Massive calligraphy brushes and all materials have every brand in every shape and size
available. Anyway, off to work on my new big shiny light box.