Drawing Tokyo

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I’ve posted a bunch of times about my friends Luis Mendo and Adrian Hogan, and all of their drawing activities in Tokyo — which of course includes their monthly PauseDraw series. Airbnb has just launched a new activity service as part of everything the company offers, and Luis & Adrian were quick to offer up a Tokyo drawing tour. It includes 3 sessions done over 3 days (morning, afternoon, evening), and you can bet you’ll be spending some time drawing and sketching in some primo Tokyo spots. Definitely something to consider if you’re planning a visit to Tokyo, and would like to do something a bit different from the regular sightseeing and shopping.

PauseDraw

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Even though I’m no longer in Tokyo running my PauseTalk events, it warms my heart to see that its offshoot, PauseDraw, is still going strong. Unlike PauseTalk where talking’s the thing, the sister series is all about getting a group of people together to draw, draw, and then draw some more. Originally started by Luis Mendo (with a first edition in Amsterdam), he was then joined by Adrian Hogan once the series moved to Tokyo (along with Luis), and they’ve been going non-stop ever since. You can stay updated on upcoming PauseDraw events through its Facebook page and Twitter account — the next one takes place Sunday, September 11, 2016 (each edition usually takes place on the first Sunday of the month).

Hi and Goodbye

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Earlier this year, the fine folks behind the “moment sharing site” Hi (né Hitotoki) shared some big news: they would shut down the site on September 1, as part of a novel archiving project (here’s what Craig Mod had to say about the “Hitotoki Archives” project). We’re just a few days away from the site shutting down, which means you still have a chance to share a moment or two, that will be preserved on physical media.

I received a notice the other day to download all of my contributions to the site, which I’ve done. I was never a big contributor to the site, but it’s nice to see these shared moments again, and I’m thinking of incorporating them in my blog (as you know, I’m very much in an archival state of mind these days).

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SOLO (3 Years of Drawer)

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My great friend Luis Mendo is 3 years a “drawer” — the terms he prefers to use to describe his work as an illustrator — and he’s marking the occasion with his very first solo exhibition next month at Sorama (September 3-11, 2016).

Luis has of course been drawing all his life, but it was around the time that he first visited Tokyo — which led to a permanent move — that he started seeing a future where he followed his dream of making a living through his pens and pencils, leaving behind the career he had as an art director and graphic designer (although I’m sure he’s still producing the occasional brilliant piece of design work). I’m so happy to see Luis reach this point in his dream career, and the only thing that makes me sad is that I can’t be there at the opening to celebrate with him.

This Is October

This is this, and that’s that.

A bit of an update on the various things I’m involved with, starting with the very happy announcement that was made a week ago that PressPause is coming back for a second season, starting on Thursday, November 6 (at 20:00). We – me and my fellow organizers, Daryl Cole and Ryan Ruel – wanted to take some time to reconfigure things, in order to produce something that would work better in light of what we experienced with season 1. I explain it more in detail in this post on the PressPause site, but in short, we want it to feel more inclusive to people who can’t really commit to spending a lot of time on producing an actual finished game, but who still want to get a taste of what it takes to make one. We’ll still have lessons – and homework for those who want to put into practice what they learned – but we’ll also have a speaker each time, and we have a nice ending in mind that we’ll talk about more next year.

So if you’re interested in the making of games, and more specifically using Unity as a tool to make that happen, then please join us. You’ll find updates on the PressPause site, and you can now follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or subscribe to a newsletter.

As for PauseTalk, I apologize again for cancelling this month’s edition due to the typhoon. The typhoon business was actually all done fairly early in the day, and so there wouldn’t have been a problem, but I had to make the decision the day before, and didn’t want to take a chance – especially that we tend to get a lower turnout even when it’s just a rainy day. 

PauseTalk Vol. 82 will instead happen on Monday, November 10 – yes, it’s on the second Monday of the month instead of the first, to avoid clashing with the holiday and the end of Tokyo Designers Week. Hope to see a nice turnout then.

Although I’m not involved in producing PauseDraw, I’m really happy to see what’s happening with the series under the leadership of Luis Mendo, Adrian Hogan, and Eiko Nagase. After a summer hiatus, they were planning on restarting last week, which was also cancelled because of the typhoon, and so instead it’s happening today (Sunday, October 12). Follow them on Facebook or Twitter to stay updated on upcoming editions.

Lastly – but certainly not leastly – is our big Tokyo Designers Week edition of PechaKucha Night at the end of the month. As with the past couple of years, we’re having a big event under the dome on the TDW grounds, in a space that can hold up to 1000 attendees. I think we have a great lineup planned – with a possible surprise or two – and I’m especially happy that we got the creative director and lead dancer at the Robot Restaurant to present – should make for a fun presentation. It happens on Wednesday, October 29, and you’ll find the rest of the details here.

Oh, and I don’t mention it much here, but I do still write my monthly “On: Design” column for The Japan Times, which now gets published on the first Saturday of the month. The latest edition was published last week, and can be read online here.

So yeah, a big October (and start of November) with lots happening. Add to that much cooler weather and you have the makings of some nice times here in Tokyo.