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Evolving as an artist, new works, new exhibition

This year marks the 10th anniversary of my first exhibition which took place at the Setagaya Museum in 2004. In 2007, I held my first solo show, and though I sold most of my pieces, I wasn't quite happy with my level. I continued to learn, grow, and evolve as an artist, but it always felt like something was missing.
Since I've moved to Kumamoto, so many things have changed! I've found the right tools and materials, I'm more confident in line and layout, I feel like I've finally found my direction.
How did I go from having very little confidence to being consistently happy with my work? Here’s a list of things that helped me get where I am today and which will help me become the artist I want to be in the future:

  1. Studying the masters - by copying and not just looking, you will learn lots of new things. I do this with a friend and we discuss what we’ve learned.
  2. No longer drawing what I think others will like - you will be more honest to yourself about what really excites you
  3. Finding the right tools - I really like working with my current pens and paper. Drawing has become fun again - something I want to do every day. I switch back to digital for design, but now for drawing I’m 100% analog.
  4. Drawing every day - by starting a daily sketch Facebook group and using a small moleskine calendar book I began to draw daily whether I wanted to or not. I almost never used pencil, just went straight in with pen, and as a result I became more confident in my lines and shading.
  5. Learning when to take and ignore criticism - I love it when people pick apart my work even though it may hurt my ego. I listen to the points that were made and then objectively assess whether each point has merit. If it does, I apply the advice. If you wait a day or so, your pride will have healed somewhat and it gets a little easier.

Now that I’ve talked the talk, let me show you my most recent work. My latest three pieces are part of my “Noir" series showcasing three stars from three different decades. Recently-passed Lauren Bacall from The Big Sleep (三つ数えろ)(1946), a film noir classic; Audrey Hepburn looks great in ‘noir’ from Funny Face(パリの恋人) (1957); and Gregory Peck in pseudo-noir thriller Mirage (蜃気楼)(1965). 

Originals are B5, frames are B4

They will be on display at the 昭和でSHOW exhibition at Gallery Kopis and のらくら館のある森下文化センター in Kiyosumi-Shirakawa. These pieces have been framed and double-matted and are for sale separately or as a set. If you would like to purchase one or all of these pieces, please contact me at patokon.com@gmail.com. The price for each is ¥20,000 or ¥55,000 for the set.

Please stop by the gallery and look at the pieces and my newest portfolio. I wish I could be there in person as it looks to be a pretty great show.

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