Loung Ung

I recently was commissioned to do a portrait of Loung Ung, author of First They Killed my Father: a Daughter of Cambodia Remembers and Lucky Child: A Daughter of Cambodia Reunites with the Sister she left behind. She is also a National Spokesperson for the Campaign for a Landmine-Free World. This portrait is to accompany an article written by Jeff Guerrero soon to appear in Urban Velo.

The original sketch

To prepare for the drawing first off I went to the library to pick up First They Killed my Father. It was finished in a matter of hours, leaving me sore-eyed and completely devastated. For bearing witness to such an immense event from our recent history, her book is a must-read, especially for this generation. I’m only embarrassed I haven’t read it sooner.

The pencil and ink drawing.

While referring to having “so much sadness I didn’t know what to do with it”, Loung, being only seven, eight – nine years old in the Cambodian killing fields, having family members taken away from her, said she used her anger to keep her from succumbing to the depression that led to others giving up, and even entire families to committing suicide. This rage allowed her to stay afloat… so in the illustration I felt it was necessary to there being water. Loung also wrote about being in the center of injustice and seeing how beautiful the sky could be – how it seemed so unreal that so much beauty could exist in the middle of so much suffering.

What to do if a car hits you

Another illustration for Urban Velo, to accompany the named article.

Initial sketch to work out composition

Sketch done using a photo reference (if the biker’s body looks somewhat gangly or effeminate, it’s because he’s modeled after the only person I had available at the time… which is usually me): hah, the hairy legs are actually somewhat straight from the photo!

The finished ink drawing, before scanning and digital color.

Illustration for Urban Velo – Zen and the Art of Urban Cycling

This illustration was done to accompany an article by Junji Miyazawa, titled “Zen and the Art of Urban Cycling” that will appear in the January edition of Urban Velo. Pencil and sumi ink on watercolor paper, colored digitally.

The initial outline drawing


Thought bubble

Jeff Guerrero! Ceramist! Bicycle enthusiast!

Yesterday this amazing package arrived on my doorstep from Jeff Guerrero: – he has a great collection of ceramics on his etsy shop, which is definitely worth checking out.

As well as being an incredible ceramic artist, Jeff also publishes this awesome little bike culture magazine called Urban Velo. See it on the web here.

The beautiful wheel-thrown stoneware “chawan” or “tea bowl” was fired in a gas kiln to 2200°F. During the firing, soda-ash was introduced, creating a natural glaze on the raw clay surface of the bowl. The inside features a smooth, glassy glaze: a Tessha, or iron red glaze, a traditional Japanese favorite.
The marbled effect is achieved by wedging porcelain into the stoneware (very difficult to do well).

This teacup is THE perfect size! I look forward to spending lots of time with it, and perhaps in the future will expand my budding Guerrero collection. 🙂