Saturday, August 11, 2018

STGCC 2018: Booth Highlight - Inky Cat Studio Has Art with A Lot of Purrsonality


For the past few years, Red Dot Diva has introduced artists and creators who will be showcasing their artwork at the STGCC (Singapore Toy Game and Comic Convention) Artist Alley. This section of the show is where the local and region's creative heart beats, producing all kinds of interesting art, craft and merchandise.

There is something special for cat lovers at this year's Artist Alley. Look out for Inky Cat Studio, whose main subject consists of felines, illustrated in adorably quirky ways and scenarios. If you are not that into cats, Inky Cat Studio is very versatile, and also produces cute images of bears, rabbits, raccoons, as well as more traditional subjects like human portraits.

In this interview, Red Dot Diva talks to Stephanie Hew, the lady behind Inky Cat Studio, about her art style and artistic influences.



Red Dot Diva: Hi Stephanie! Please tell the RDD readers a little about yourself, how you got into the career of illustration and graphic design.
Stephanie: Hi everyone! I’m Stephanie Hew, the illustrator behind Inky Cat Studio :) I’m an Australian living here in Singapore with my husband and 2 cats.

I’ve always been creative and loved technology since I was very young. I started with traditional media like oils and watercolor and then when I got my first computer I discovered the world of digital art and kept on teaching myself the software and techniques. This was all happening on the side while my full time job for many years was in higher education. After a few years in Singapore however, I decided it was time for a change and to take my long time passion seriously and see where it could take me. It was a difficult decision but with the encouragement from family I made the leap and started Inky Cat Studio.


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Diva Interviews OKAZU, A Sumi-e Artist & Live Art Performer


Last week's Japan Park SG exhibition was quite the cultural fest on all things Japanese. In particular, Red Dot Diva thought the events held on the Omakaze Stage was very engaging.

The schedule of stage events ran the gamut of talks with cosplayers, wrestler Jushin Thunder Liger, robotist Professor Tomotaka Takahashi, various types of traditional dances, a party with girl band Poppin'Party as well as veteran rockers Sunplaza Nakano Kun & Papala Kawai. However, Red Dot Diva's favourite performance on stage was the live drawing of samurai sumi-e art (Japanese black ink brush painting) by OKAZU, a talented artist who hails from Osaka.

OKAZU is well-known for his sumi-e art on historical samurai and warriors, but he also does fantastic artwork of characters from manga, anime, Western pop-culture, and even comic book superheroes!


On stage during the Japan Park SG show, in less than 30 minutes, OKAZU created striking warring samurai images that seem almost alive, as if they are to jump through the white canvases. Accompanied by a cinematic soundtrack, his live performances were both elegant and visually powerful.



Red Dot Diva had a chance to interview OKAZU at the Samurai Room on the 2nd day of the show, and learned more about his motivations and inspirations.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Japan Park Singapore, 4 & 5 August 2018 - Experience the Delights of 47 Prefectures of Japan!


Just for this weekend, you do not need to fly to Japan in order to experience the traditions, and gather insights on the lifestyle and culture of the country. You just need to head to Japan Park Singapore exhibition at Suntec Convention Centre!

The show is a one-stop destination for a taste of all 47 prefectures in Japan. It is an ambitious feat that was pulled off by the show organizer Amuse Entertainment Singapore, together with partners Bushiroad, OJ Partners and WAttention, and support from SOZO (the creators of Anime Festival Asia), Japan Creative Centre (JCC), JNTO Singapore Office and JETRO Singapore.


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Based on the media preview of Japan Park Singapore, here are some of the Wonderful Things to Experience at Japan Park SG:


WA-SHIOK GOURMET FESTA
When it comes to priorities, good food is pretty much at the top of the list for most locals. In the WA-SHIOK Gourmet Festa area, one will find much delectable yum yums to choose from!

During the media preview, Red Dot Diva had a taste of the sausage from Teppei Syokudo booth. The juicy meat had a flavourful crunch to it. Don't miss getting one of these!

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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Returning Guests for STGCC 2018 and Lego Area for the Harry Potter & Voltron Fans!

The Singapore Toy, Games and Comic Convention (STGCC) must be rather lucrative for comic book artists. Their booths are usually swarmed with fans from Red Dot Island as well as those who check in from countries around the region, where it is difficult to meet well-known comic creators face to face.

Coming back to this year's convention are last year's guests Frank Cho, Arthur Adams and Joyce Chin, as well as Agnes Garbowska! Fans who missed meeting them in previous shows, can have another chance to get their comics signed or request for commissions and sketches.

It was in 2015 when fan favourite Agnes Garbowska was a guest at the convetion. Her whimsical, uber-cute drawings were a hit, especially with the younger folks, and the lines at her booth were mostly 20 people deep most of the time! Her style of art shines in titles like "DC Super Hero Girls" (DC Comics), "My Little Pony" (IDW Publishing) and "Grumpy Cat" (Dynamite).

When we last met Frank Cho, he had just kicked off a new fantasy series called "Skybourne" with BOOM! Studios. The 5-issue comic series wrapped up in February this year. He is currently working on several other creator-owned projects, including "Guns & Dinos" with Image Comics and "War Witch" with novelist Tom Sniegoski for Big Wow Publications.

Veteran comic book artist Arthur Adams will be meeting fans again, bringing with him his knowledge of the industry and art that spans across various publishing houses, like Marvel, DC Comics, Image and Dark Horse. He also founded a creator-owned comics imprint called Legend together with Mike Mignola, Frank Miller, John Byrne. The imprint was published through Dark Horse Comics before it ceased in 1998. His creator-owned "Monkeyman and O'Brien" from the Legend days still exists in various crossovers.

Joyce Chin is like a senpai to aspiring women artists who want to enter into the field of comic book art. She has been drawing for comics since 1995 and has worked for several titles like DC Comics, Marvel, Top Cow and Dynamite, like Vampirella, Red Sonja, Spider-man, Witchblade and Wynonna Earp, which is based on the supernatural Western horror TV series.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Welcome Comic Book Artists David Finch and Mark Brooks to STGCC 2018!


STGCC 2018 announced their first round of guests was well as opened online ticketing for the event yesterday.

Comic book artists David Finch and Mark Brooks will be meeting fans at the pop-culture event, held on 8 and 9 September at the Marina Bay Sands Expo!

David Finch started out in Top Cow Productions' "Cyberforce", working closely with creator and studio founder Marc Silvestri. After the run for "Cyberforce" ended, he created the titles "Ascension" with writer Matt "Batt" Banning, and "Aphrodite IX" with David Wohl.

In 2003, David returned to comics collaborating with Brian Michael Bendis on Marvel's "Ultimate X-Men" and "Avengers", as well as the relaunch of the superhero team called "The New Avengers". Sometime in 2010, David switched to DC Comics, providing covers for "Brightest Day" by Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi. He also wrote and drew for 18 issues of the "Batman: The Dark Knight" series, before moving on to "Justice League of America" and "Forever Evil".

As for comic book artist Mark Brooks, this is not his first time visiting Singapore. Mark, who has worked on various of Marvel's popular titles, like "Deadpool", "Ultimate Spider-Man" and "Secret Wars", made an appearance as a guest hosted by the now-defunct Invasion! Toys, back in STGCC 2012.

His career has grown in leaps and bounds since then, with his art gracing the covers and interiors of several Star Wars comics, like "Han Solo" which was published in 2016. The limited series garnered favourable reviews and earned Mark Brooks and writer Marjorie Liu an Eisner Award nomination in 2017. Not only that, his pencil work caught the eye of Star Wars creator George Lucas, and he had requested to buy every page of the original art from the first two issues of "Han Solo"! Wowzas, right?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Diva's Interview with Tomotaka Takahashi, Inventor of Robi the Interactive DIY Robot


Mention the word "robot", and most geeks would immediately think of the Terminator, or Robocop, the heroic Iron Giant, Wall-E, or R2-D2 from the "Star Wars" movies.

In real life on the commercial level, other than your Roomba, there is 34-cm tall Robi - a cute, portable robot that dances, speaks (yes, there's a Singlish option!) and walks. The robot comes in parts via subscription to the Robi Weekly Magazine, so there is also the satisfaction of building your very own Robi.

The humanoid boy robot is designed by Associate Professor Tomotaka Takahashi, CEO and founder of Robo Garage. Takahashi has invented several robots other than Robi. One of these is the tiny but sturdy Evolta, powered by Panasonic batteries. Back in 2011, Evolta completed the Iron Man Triathlon in Hawaii!

The roboticist is one of the special guests at the Japan Park Singapore event held on 4 and 5 August 2018 at Suntec Convention Centre, and Red Dot Diva manage to snag a short interview with him.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

ArtScience Museum's Marvel Studios: 10 Years of Heroes Exhibition Needs More Punch


The Marvel Studios: Ten Years of Heroes exhibition, which celebrates the 19 Marvel superhero movies in the last 10 years, opened to the public at ArtScience Museum on 9 June 2018. From now till 30 September, fans will be able to relive their favourite Marvel superhero movie moments at the show.

The project is part of a three-year collaboration between Singapore Tourism Board and The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia. For the exhibition, Taiwan-based toy company Beast Kingdom worked with Walt Disney for the concept and displays.



Within the exhibit hall, there are 10 different galleries featuring places from the movies - for example, Stark Industries, Aasgard, and Wakanda. Each of these areas have life-sized statues, static displays, or interactive areas for fans to get their superhero fix.

Red Dot Diva was at the special preview for bloggers to take in the signs and sounds of the exhibition, and here are some of the things you can expect.

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