Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hammer Head

Hawaii Politics

Ahh Tom Brower. The State Representative from Waikiki and Ala Moana spent the beginning of the week as a hammer-wielding vigilante, smashing shopping carts left abandoned (and sometimes still in use too) by homeless people in his district. Brower said he was tired of the eye-sore caused by the stolen carts and frustrated by a lack of action on the part of the city.
For a lawmaker to take the law into his own hands, though, is a bit--comic worthy?
So Brower thinks he can just smash all our problems until they're gone. Homelessness? Check. How about a blazing fire? Well, he'll sure give it a swing...
Brower said yesterday that he would hang up his hammer and cape and call his vigilantism quits. Some advocacy groups and other organizations have called on the House to take disciplinary action against Brower, saying his actions were highly inappropriate for a state lawmaker. To which, Brower replied by smashing a coffee table in half.

Splintered Paddle

Hawaii Politics

Honolulu City Councilman Stanley Chang introduced a bill in September that would, essentially, make lying down on the sidewalk in Honolulu's three special business districts illegal. 
Yesterday, the most recent draft was deferred in committee by a vote of 3-2, meaning it will die unless another new draft is created.
Overall the reaction to the bill stalling was positive here in Honolulu. Opponents say that the bill is unconstitutional, as it violates the law of the splintered paddle--Kanawai Mamala Hoe--part of the Hawaii State Constitution, and that it targets the homeless specifically. Supporters, many of whom are small-business owners, say the bill is necessary, as many of the homeless in Honolulu sleep in front of stores in Chinatown, Waikiki and the Capitol District and can be disruptive to business.
I wondered what King Kamehameha the First, the creator of Kanawai Mamala Hoe, would think about Stanley Chang's bill. I wondered what other solutions would be viable other than opposing Kanawai Mamala Hoe. And then I wondered how people would react to an image of Chang prepping to splinter another paddle over the old King's head. So many questions...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sometimes I like to paint zombies

I have a problem.
Sometimes, I like to paint zombies. Bloody, gory, sometimes silly, but zombies nonetheless. I love zombies. They're one of the only horror antagonists that can be absurd and terrifying at the exact same time. I love the theories behind various zombies too and the mixture of occult and bio-warfare they conjure. I also love the idea that, individually, they're no big deal, but in a massive group (or herd as they're called in AMC's The Walking Dead) they're nearly impossible to escape.
Plus, they're just really fun to draw!
I was asked to do some zombie illustrations for my buddy James Charisma's magazine Abstract, for a Zombie Survival Guide story.
I only managed to do this one. Unfortunately, James felt his publisher would find the illustration too violent and asked me to redo it.
Some of you may know that Hawaii is currently in the midst of s special session of Legislature to decide on a Marriage Equality bill. As political correspondent for the Hawaii Independent, I've been busy at the Leg every day last week and (likely) every day this coming week as well, so I told James I wouldn't have time to redo anything. Which means the poor zombies in this image would never get to be admired without this blog.
Anyway, the original concept for this image was "Go Mobile" as in, find a vehicle and drive through the herd, killing as many zombies as possible—or at least that's how I interpreted it. Maybe the killing part I made up. But I mean, come on, what else do you do when zombies attack? Invite them to a game of Backgammon? I don't think they'd understand the strategy very well.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Monolith

Now that the Hawaii Independent has published it's first tablet magazine issue, I can upload the cover art I did for it to my blog! 
"The Monolith" was commissioned to go with a piece by veteran reporter Gerald Kato about public authorities like the Hawaii Community Development Authority or the much hated and now-revoked Public Land Development Corporation. Donovan Dela Cruz was included in the bottom right corner specifically because he was (is) Mr. PLDC - the others, Gov. Abercrombie, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Stanley Chang, David Ige and Ikaika Anderson are all either pro public authorities or are running for the important 1st Congressional seat of Hawaii soon and will have to decide where they stand on public authorities for their platforms - I can already take a guess.
Kato discusses the origins of public authorities and Robert Moses ("The Power Broker" is a book that should definitely be read by anyone at all involved with government, planning or communities - so everyone) to contextualize what's happened in Hawaii since the 1970s and, especially, today. 
I'm not necessarily against public authorities, which can partner more easily with the private development sector to sometimes accomplish great works for the people. The problem is really oversight and accountability. The authorities act as a buffer between the public and government which allows for fudge-room, shady dealings and easy ways out for officials. 
Below is a link to the excerpt from Kato's piece. The rest you'll need to read in the tablet magazine which is available on iTunes for a mere $1.99. It's like the Atlantic or the New Yorker for Hawaii.

"The Authority," by Gerald Kato:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Couch beneath the heavens

Getting into that Corel Painter again. Still pretty hard to figure out which brushes do what since they're all named obscure things like "wide, flat, wet brsuh" — super helpful. I'm also still not sure if I should be trying to use layers at all, or if I should try to do it traditional-style and just paint everything right onto the canvas. 
This piece accompanies a poem written by Kelsey Amos. Hopefully they both get selected to appear in Hawaii Review Issue 79. Still waiting to hear.

UPDATE: Hawaii Review selected Kelsey's poem and my painting to appear in HR issue 79! Look for it at the end of the Fall semester.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Daft Experiments from the Moon

Wow, I really need to do a better job of posting my art right after I finish it, otherwise I forget to do it, months go by, and by then I don't always even like it anymore - defeats the purpose of a blog, to be sure.

Well I'm working for a new place now that Weekly exploded, which also gives me more time to do stuff like this piece. I wrote a review of Daft Punk's Random Access Memories for INhonolulu Magazine which will go live this coming Friday. This is original artwork I created to go with it.