Monday, August 31, 2009

Lunch with Hideyuki Mori and Ryu Takeuchi

We had a wonderful lunch earlier this month with two young illustrators from Japan, Hideyuki Mori and Ryu Takeuchi who were in town for their traveling Sakura exhibit that landed at ISHI Gallery on St Marks and at the About Glamour Gallery in Brooklyn. The exhibit featured the prize winners from a recent competition sponsored by HYACCA, an organization consisting of groups and individuals whose purpose is introducing Japanese artists to the world. HYACCA literally means “one hundred flowers” in Japanese. The two artists were accompanied by their translator, a young design student who after meeting the illustrators gained a new appreciation for illustration. Hideyuki and Ryu work together; Ryu is responsible for a number of exhibits in Japan and the production of LABO Books. We had to apologize to our guests as we had only prepared enough food for just one guest so they were treated to a 3x3 Lite Lunch. We applaud their work in trying to increase awareness for young Japanese illustrators and we look forward to working with them in the future in some cross-cultural exhibits. Left to right: Translator, Hideyuki Mori, Charles Hively, Ryu Takeuchi.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

For What It's Worth No. 7

I'm continually amazed at the positive response we get from our magazines, whether it's 3x3 or our sister publication Creative Quarterly.

In a down economy magazines are having a hard time surviving and to be a young fledgling publication in these times has been difficult. We’re not backed by a major publisher, we’re not a spin-off of a larger conglomerate, we’re just a simple set of magazines started by individuals who believe that there is talent out there that’s not being recognized.

Entries into are shows continues to grow—we had our strongest showing ever in January at the heart of the recession. But we positioned ourselves correctly, our entry fees are low compared to most shows and we only select the best work unlike shows who seem to have a quota when it comes to filling their pages. When so many people are painting the economy as bleak we see colors.

It’s a time of innovation and there’s no better time to pull out the stops. In past recessions our design firm we would find that while clients tend to play it safe in a good economy they turn much more daring in a bad one—poor economies unleash the chains that holds back creativity. Sure it’s not all going to work, but it isn’t a time to play it safe, it’s a time to be bold and daring. And the work in our publications reflects that.

Creative people embrace downturns, it tends to get rid of waste, of duplication or incompetence. A bad economy focuses us. We’re only worried about today and not forecasting for the future. Things are clearer. More understandable. Black & White. There is no wishing there is only doing. And doing it like there’s no tomorrow. You can be fresh out of school or a long-standing artist or designer, it doesn’t matter, we’re all approaching the situation with a unique vigor and it will pay off. Maybe not monetarily in the extremes—do we want to go back to extremes?—but our work creates a worth of its own.

And good work moves people to action. Whether they buy a painting in a gallery, or respond to a poster for a Broadway show or an ad for apple juice, good work works. You keep producing, we’ll keep recognizing it and showing it and the world will applaud.