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Monday, September 18, 2017

My Dog Socks Launch Oct 15, Kids Dogs Drawing Competition

1) My Dog Socks Launch, Art Exhibition 
Sunday 15th October, 2 pm ~. Melbourne.  
Venue Ford St Publishing, 162 Hoddle Street, Vic (map).
RSVP Paul at  
Please join us and celebrate My Dog Docks a new picture book by Robyn Osborne and Sadami Konchi to be launched by Ann James. Enjoy the art work exhibition, too. Ann is such a special person in the children’s book world - Illustrator, author, cherisher of creators, promoter, Pixie O'Harris Award, recipient of the national Dromkeen Medalthe Order of Australia and my mentor! She loves dogs, too! Yes, my mentors Helen Chamberlin and Books Illustrated (Ann James, Ann Haddon) are coming! Many peak bodies are celebrating my newly illustrated trade picture book. ISBN : 9781925272826, 9781925272833. 
2) Draw your dog and win a box of books that includes a signed copy of My Dog Socks!  
Call for kids's entries! School holidays are coming up. Get your kid's creativity happening to this COMPETITION! Great prizes including the illustrator Sadami Konchi 's latest book written by Robyn Osborne. Got to be in it to win it. Read below for details. 
About the author: Robyn Osborne is a Queensland author, teacher and animal fanatic based on the Fraser Coast. "Going Camping" is on the Qld Premier's Reading Challenge book list. Robyn has won a number of writing awards and been published in national journals, newspapers and magazines. In 2011, she was one of only eight participants chosen nationally to attend the prestigious Allen & Unwin/Qld Writers Centre mentorship in Brisbane. Robyn shares her home with an elderly canine and a not so ancient husband

About the illustrator: Yes, Me! Sadami Konchi is an enthusiastic children’s picture book illustrator, award winning portraitist and event/conference sketcher, based in Sydney. One of her greatest strengths is drawing/painting empathetic lively portraits. The BA from Sydney University in linguistics and sociology gives her deep text analyses and good research skills to illustrate a story. Sadami has been one of the highly commended artists in the Arts Access Australia Art prize, a Doug Moran semi-finalist (twice), in top 600 at a world watercolour competition. 

I deeply appreciate the support of peak bodies :  Australian Society of Authors, Accessible Arts NSWAustralia Council for the ArtsArts Access Australia, National Association for the Visual ArtistsKu-Ring-Gai Art SocietyMarrickvile Council, Parramatta Council, WestwordsImmigrants Women Speakout, Sydney Sketch Club and all the people who have encouraged me = YOU.  See you soon and there, Friends! 
Happy Painting!  


Sunday, September 10, 2017

2017 Semi Finalist of Doug Moran Prize!!

I've become a semi-finalist of Moran National Portrait Prize 2017 with the work, "Publisher Helen Chamberlin." Scroll down to "190" in 200 semifinalists. Doug Moran prizes recognise both excellence and creativity in contemporary Australian portrait painting with the world wealthiest prize. Works capture Australians from all walks of life.   
My statement of the portrait. 
The work shows the moment famous and experienced Publisher Helen Chamberlin returning manuscripts to an author. She always respects writers and illustrators at any level and keeps herself humble and quiet. She’s a mixture of shyness and determination for authenticity in work. When I suddenly got disability in a leg, Helen’s beautifully edited work has given me the hope and the dream to illustrate picture books at the bottom of life. Today, I’ve become a successful artist and Helen is my mentor. My dream is becoming true! Thank you, Helen!!  

I wrote about Helen in the blog, "Helen Chamberlin, my great editor/publisher."  
Publisher Helen Chamberlin 
A winner will be awarded by A$150,000 and A$1,000 is to every finalist

Moran is one of the most renowned and coveted portrait competitions in Australia and the world. Because of the very high level of criterion and many entrats's try, it is very hard to get in. An experienced art supply staff compares the difficulty to  "Jack Pot" or "Lottery." So, when the Moran notice came, I shouted in joy, "I made it!" and ..., sobbed. I've worked hard on both rehab and art activities. Big efforts slowly and steadily have begun to bloom out. All my supporters celebrate it. If you like, have a look of my Face Book. You can see many people and big names in publishing industry, too, showering me nice words. 
It's turning into a great year for you, Sadami. Congratulations.

Love · Reply ·11 · 7 September 

Sadami Konchi
Sadami Konchi Oh, so supportive Libby, thank you very much. My first Moran in was "Dignity." I'll keep up portraits as well as illustration.
I popped up an art supply to put perspex into the portrait for Moran. I met a man who told me, "1,100 entrants tried Moran." When I heard that number, my legs began to shake. The staff and I looked at "Helen." "Ah, beautiful!" "Very sensitive, soft portrait." Their say tickled me. I deeply appreciated their support.

This is my second time Moran semi finalist ( A first time Moran semi finalist mentioned above). A second time is not luck, we say. These Moran experiences give me confidence. It also encourages me to explore more and learn in portraits. Exciting! A big and beautiful new horizon comes up in front of me. Let's go! 
All the works of semi finalists look great and very unique. Wow, I'm among the big names. Anyone can be finalists and a winner. I'm ready to "heart breaking," though, I'm very positive and happy! 
Friends, Happy Painting! Thank you for support for ages. 


Monday, September 4, 2017

Won WestWords Pinerolo Illustrators in Residency 2017!!

Friends, wonderful news that I've got WestWords Pinerolo Illustrators in Residency 2017!! Only two seats are available. Margaret Hamilton will mentor me, 23 – 27 Oct in the beautiful Blue Mountains. 
In 2017 WestWords & Pinerolo have partnered to offer two emerging children’s book illustrators a week in residence at Pinerolo: The Children’s Book Cottage at Blackheath, in the beautiful Blue Mountains. The residency aims to extend illustrators’ knowledge of picture book creation and design, the process of publishing and the publishing industry, being mentored by Margaret Hamilton, a professional publisher of picture books for over thirty years. The self-contained, self-catering cottage offers tranquility and an inspiring working environment with electric blankets, a wood-burning fire and air-conditioning, for cosiness and comfort in all weather. Fully equipped kitchen for your convenience. 

Sadami studied sociology, linguistics and social work at the University of Sydney and specialised in the areas of the Medicare system, human rights and endangered languages and is an award winning watercolour portraitist. 
In her practice as a picture-book illustrator she seeks to bridge between the text, reality and imagination. Figures appear lively and emotional. Her style is broad, from whimsical cartoons to fine art for multifarious subjects. She was an Accessible Arts NSW grants recipient in 2015.
Her second book My Dog Socks, written by Robyn Osborne, will be published by Ford Street Publishing in October.

For more information click here.

This is a WestWords project in partnership with:Pinerolo logo

When WestWords rang me up, I became speechless and trembled like when I had got Accessible Arts NSW grants in 2015. My mentors have celebrated my good news, Ann James, Ann Haddon and Helen Chamberlin. I'm excited to see Margaret Hamilton AM in the beautiful Blue Mountains! 
I deeply appreciate these people's support :  Books Illustrated, Helen, all established top Australian illustrators/authors who have encouraged me, Australian Society of Authors, Accessible Arts NSW, Australia Council for the ArtsArts Access Australia, National Association for the Visual Artists, Ku-Ring-Gai Art Society, Marrickvile Council, Parramatta Council, Westwords, Immigrants Women Speakout and all my friends = YOU!  Whooo hoooo! 
Friends, Happy Painting! Let's make a dream come true. 


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Child's Body Language

I came cross a boy studying German in front of me at a same table in a library. I enjoyed to observing a child's body language and interaction between a tutor. Before the teacher came, I asked the boy's mother for permission to sketch him. NOTE : I hid my sketch book from the boy so that I would not destruct him. Friends, capture the critical and interesting body language in your sketch. The boy looked having a great fun in drawing and colouring. 
"Today, your father asks me to teach you counting, too," the teacher said. I assumed his father was a German speaker. The boy's mother was an English native speaker, late twenties. His father was in late thirties. The private tutor was a lady, early twenties. You wonder why I could get each person's age so precisely. The boy asked around us, "How old are you?" A good question to know numbers! "When I was born, I saw a dinosaurs walking around my house!" The smiling teacher SERIOUSLY explained the concept of million. Unfortunately or fortunately (?!) the boy did not get it well. Probably, he encountered such a huge number for the first time in his life. I should have said, "In million steps and years, you can walk to the sun from here." But the boy was much smarter than me. He simply said, "You look like my grandma." The boy's say made us laugh. 

We use body language lot to convey messages. It was fun to see the teacher's face expressions and body languages in order to depict adjectives such as cold, hot etc. The teaching materials were clever, colouring and pictures or the boy's favourite. Visual information helps a language learner build up word concept in mind. The materials keep a child's attention in learning. The teacher emphasised the similarity and the difference between German and English in sounds and spelling. The boy answered very well and the teacher very much praised at his answers! Nice! 
In my eyes, body language is common in different languages. What do you think? I hope the boy will have a rich language assets. When I attended the "Bridging Language Barriers Symposium" this March, Prof Ingrid Gogolin told me that in Europe, a person with two language is no surprise. "You need a third language in CV to compete with others in job hunting." The boy's teacher said, "I teach Spanish and German," two languages. 

After the class, the mother and the tutor loved my sketches and took photos. Only the boy could not get why the sketches very excited care givers. Btw, I'm a naughty grandma?! Yes, I said before their class began, "In German, I only know, "Ich liebe dich!"" The teacher translated it to the boy, "She said, "I love you!"" Hehehe. Love and smile are a universal language! Thank you for modelling. 
Friends, Happy Painting!  


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Possum Magic Coins Out! Cultural Identity.

Ah, Mem Fox and Julie Vivas, you've done magic again!! I've got two dollars Possum Magic coins out from Woolworth and Royal Australian Mint. See the second image in this post! Who can imagine picture book characters and its famous scenes have become coins? Four $1 coins and three colour-printed $2 coins retell Mem’s story illustrated by Julie. Their work has become our cultural icon that represents an Australian identity in a modern children's picture book history. Before the publication of "Possum Magic," Australia had been importing picture books from a northern hemisphere such as Europe and the States. They did not fit to Australian subjects, weathers, settings and English. There was a hidden and serious want among Australians for "Australian" picture books. It was risen from nationalism in parallel. Timely, in 1983, "Possum Magic" satisfied the desperate need and became a million seller in Australia and the world! By that book, other countries could/can know what Australia is in a socio-cultural aspect.  
So, "Possum Magic" has many Australian native animals, food, custom and social conventions. The story goes like this. Two possums live in an Australian bush. Grandma Poss uses "bush magic" to make Hush invisible. But when Hush wants to be re-visible, the two possums must go around Australia to find the helpful and culturally iconic food that will make Hush visible again. I've loved that book since I got. Btw, American blog friends may know Mem well, as she has visited the States lots and as popular as in Australia!  

"Possum Magic" has a famous behind a scene story, nine times rejections. Despite many times turning down, how did Mem and Julie successfully get it published? Changing setting was the key, which has led to triumph. Mem's say shows that the tenth publisher, Omnibus required more Australian animals and a national setting. Original protagonists, mice were changed into native possums and their gourmet world trip was swapped with a cycling tour across Australia to enjoy Australian ordinary and familiar food. I admire Mem and Julie's clever ideas, guts and perseverance to respond the difficult request, a cultural identity. I also know well that it's very painful to start over illustration, because giving up the original is equal to "Killing my baby!" and illustrators cry out -- can you imagine our pain? Julie did it! Mem and Julie's hard work has turned out the extraordinary hit and become legend. Today, "Possum Magic" is making a myth. Many picture books follow "Possum Magic." The characters come up here, there, everywhere in an Australian daily life -- children literature, educational tools, a musical play at a theatre, stuffed toys, etc and finally, "coins," our currency! In my view, it's become a prototype of Australian cultural identity! We proudly assert that "Possum Magic" is an Australian picture book. 
Friends might have questions on the Possum Magic Coins and how to get them. The information source is Woolworth. When I chatted with staff at Royal Australian Mint over the phone, she said, "The coins are very popular." Wow...! Julie, ear burning? ( NOTE : The Mint produces Australia's circulating coinage, coins for other countries, medals, medallions, tokens and seals for private clients, both national and international.) 
Sweet Julie sent me a friend request, when I started FB. Very happy. Btw, she commented the image above, "Thank you, Sadami your laughing Queen Elizabeth is a break through." Thank you very much, Julie. 

Julie left one more comment! 
"Thank you, Sadami, I do admire your skills, Mem's workshops sound inspiring. Lots to do for book week. Take care." 
I replied. 
    Sadami Konchi Thank you, sweet Julie!! I DO and have been admiring YOU, as u know. You've taught me lot and helped me. I hope we'll bump on streets. You're busy for Book Week. I'm preparig for a book launch. Take care. Enjoy life!!
    Show More ReactionsReply21 August at 21:06Edited
Friends, don't easily give up a dream by rejections. "Possum Magic" got through baptism of fire for nine times. Very encouraging and inspirational. Have a wonderful and creative week. 
Happy Painting and Happy Dreaming! 


Monday, August 14, 2017

Winter Swimming, Tips to Capture Waves

I swam 800m in an icy ocean pool. It was all mine. At first, as if water were stinging me like pin needles. A few other people dabbed themselves for a minute and got out. I kept on as I wanted to make 500 m, at least. One gentleman came close to me and looked into my swimming from his curiosity for quite a while. I began to feel the fingers got white and lost sensation. Too cold to stay in the rock bath for more than an hour. Then, I got out of it. 

I saw a brave regular lady in a changing room. Yes, I learned to bring a "thermos" from her last year! We chatted. It was good that I could make a long distance. The leg rehab is not easy though, my positiveness makes others happy, too. The neurologists said, "It's a miracle!" with a big smile. Hahaha, thanks! Yes, I walk and stay in a good or best condition. I'm going to give the neurologists "My Dog Socks" signed by me.  
Yes, we tend to think waves are very hard. Try this -- simplify a topic = choose the most impressed one and focus on it = pick up the most interesting waves. Observe how they move. They repeat the movement. Understand the pattern of movement. Colours are up to you. Your colour use is different from mine. Use your own colours and show your own approach. Make lots of messes and have fun. You'll find your unique approach and the solution of waves. An artist's love towards a subject will come up in work, which will reach others hearts. 

Capturing waves is fun by wash techniques and colours. I want to apply what I've learned to depict a seascape in a bigger size paper and other general or abstract subjects such as still life or deep human emotions in illustration. Also, I want to study other masters's work like Winslow Hormer and learn different approaches to water. A long way to go. I'm only a starter and life long learner. 
Friends, Happy Painting!   


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Why Do You Draw?

A lady I sketched in a cafe asked me "Why do you draw?" I answered, "I like it. Joy." The lady showed a big smile and affirmed my say, "Joy!" I honestly told her, "Sometimes, artists get stuck in drawing. Not easy." She encouraged me, "Remember, why you draw and joy!" I've realised the answer is in me. After a good bye to her, I created this work and enjoyed washes. Wet-in-wet excites me!  
I feel "Seek and you'll find it," is true. Or, paradoxically, an answer is in her. Each individual will find a different answer that will respond to her uniqueness and who she is. I read through most classic psychologists' writings on personality and studied counselling psychology. In fact, a psychology lecturer assisted me to find who I have been/am/will be. The psychology lecturer recognised my artistic talent and encouraged me to be honest with myself or be an artist. I could not believe what I had and no confidence. To be honest with myself is not easy. First, a person needs to know who she is. My journey began. The kind lecturer suggested me to read some psychology books, respected my agency and let me make a decision. I read lots in uni. It took years for me to ponder about what/who I am and claimed, "I'm an artist." My seeking empowered me and liberated me. A lovely bonus is that I've started to work on what I will be most and fully. I focus on "now-and-here and future." 
I was not a good student (?!) though, lecturers have been cheering me up. Now, above, "Intercultural Communication" written by Prof Ingrid Piller is out in Australia, too (Edinburgh University Press). Nice to hear other former lecturers' celebrations. I'm looking forward to compliments books signed by Ingrid, probably, one of the most beloved linguists in the world! No kidding!! That lady has taught us and teaches around the world. Another linguist secretly calls her, "Super woman!" Yes, indeed! Hahaha, Ingrid, your ears must be burning? 

Today, I'm dead honest with myself = so happy to live an artist life, particularly, a picture book illustrator, a portraitist and a book cover designer. But I know the time when I wondered for years were very precious and important. It has made current Sadami. When I get lost or wonder in a journey of art, I will remember why I draw and joy. 
Btw, we're planning "My Socks" book launch. It will be fun in the mid October.  
Friends, Happy Painting and enjoy drawing!