Asia / USA

  • Art › digital
  • Art › drawing
  • Art › illustration
  • Art › painting
  • Comics › graphic novels
  • Writing › fiction

American artist & author based in East Asia | BFA in Media Art & Animation | Former Prof. of Computer Graphic Design

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Most Beautiful Accident

March 18, 2021, 5:31 am

The breeze was both warm and cool as it brushed wispy fingers through your hair as you strolled through the thick willow tree canopy at the palace gardens beside the out of sight stream on that lucky afternoon you met "her".


The memory of a chance meeting with a delightfully enchanting young woman just days ago rises up to fill your senses. The fragrance in her hair. The nervous smiles. Those stolen sideways glances. That incidental brief moment of touch. The colors and sensations wash over you like a clear gentle tide as you remember her parting words before disappearing, "Meeting you is the most beautiful accident." READ MORE from the original post...


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This piece was created entirely with Autodesk SketchbookPro on a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 hybrid tablet with stylus.


Towards the end, there were so many layers that the painting process slows a bit due to the amount of resources on the cpu.


It began with a sketch I started shortly after arriving to America from Korea in early spring 2020 in the basement guest room at my folk's place while we were deciding and pondering what life held next for my family.


At first, the young lady looked like an older Korean 'ajuma' (word meaning married woman with a connotation for lacking youthfulness) so after my wife's artistic critique of it I upgraded her facade with a more youthful appearance. Sometimes it helps to set it down for a while and come back with a fresh pair of eyes to see what I was blind to before.


After starting a new job as a graphic designer working long-distance off-site, then eventually moving to a new city, getting my son set up for school and settling into the job and new place a bit more (oh, and did I mention that I broke my foot that kept me at home for 6 weeks and 7 months later I'm still healing it up!), I eventually picked this one up and tackled it again.


It really took over the course of the entire year to reach a place of finish for this piece!


Wow, 2020. You amaze me.

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My 2020 Job as Graphic Designer

March 18, 2021, 4:38 am
The Hero Banner
Feel good buttons
That bike looks like its part of the photograph, but it isn't
Category buttons in a painterly style

So long, 2020.


You were a memorable year.


Yet, I'd like to forget you for a handful of reasons.


I guess I should say I'm grateful.


In some respects I am. In others...a tad resentful.


I am grateful (very!) to gain employment so quickly after jumping from Korea to America - especially during a time when the 2020 pandemic made getting or keeping a job challenging for many. (I feel their pain as my 2011-15 period was a jobless one - as a newly wed father to boot).


I'm now working as a full-time graphic designer for a bicycle company.


I'm a tad resentful for being forced out of Korea a second time.


But I am have been reminded lately online by a pastor friend of mine from Ghana, that whatever the enemy intended for evil, God will use for good.

So, even though I am not where I want to be, I have decided to do my best in the circumstances I find myself and show forth an "excellent spirit" like Daniel the Prophet of old.


I make computer graphics, designs, websites and manage online retail Shopify shops for a bicycle company (trying not to repeat myself).


I do enjoy the work. Especially when I can do something that requires a tablet and stylus to paint or digitally touch-up or add aesthetically pleasing design elements to. But there's also web code and product data I have to squint my eyes at occasionally.


I'm glad they hired me. My portfolio demo-ed my strong points with color and arrangement, but my work was mostly character illustrations intermingled with some graphic design but not much to show for the retail biz. They went out on a limb for me and we've produced exemplary work on their venture into online retail so far.


The screen shots I'm sharing above are from our new Head Bike USA site. I start with the raw graphic materials and use photoshop magic to seamlessly place the elements together (although, I don't use Adobe Photoshop to do it - I highly recommend Affinity graphic products, because they're not "software as a service" nonsense).

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Eureka! You just solved a Poirot mystery illustration at Displate

March 18, 2021, 5:38 am
Somebody happy buyer bought a Poirot art poster on metal sheet.
Yay! I made 2 dolla!

A cool, comic-styled illustration-design just sold at Displate! 


A lucky someone will have this metal poster of 'Mystery to Me, Mon Ami' comic-styled illustration of Hercule Poirot, sleuth extraordinaire, delivered to their door and magnet-hung upon their home gallery wall.


Well even though I only made $2 on a $44 item (after the 33% coupon, and 23% in fees and taxes) - I'm still just thrilled that you selected a work of mine from the vast sea of art to take home and adorn your wall. Thanks, whoever you are!

Are you Poirot mystery fan, too? Check him out at Displate for a metal poster:

or at my Character Issues Art shop for a T-shirt, phone case, etc.:

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Dear 2020,

May 12, 2020, 5:32 am

Dear 2020,


Just before you arrived, I was living and working comfortably in South Korea. I had a job (well, 3 in fact) teaching English and Art to elementary, middle and high schoolers - though still just getting by. And, after years of suffering in sardine can styled apartments where one could plant a foot in the center of the room, and with the other, step and reach out to all four interior walls, I finally managed to have a place that was big enough for my family of 3. I lived near to my friends and family in Asia, and I provided a valuable service to the communities there.


And then you came along. Actually, you burst onto the scene. From the first month, my wife and son were quarantined for weeks on end when the Novel Corona-19 virus outbreak broke out while visiting parents in China. Then in February, after several attempts to get them on a plane due to constant air travel cancellations, I managed to get them out of their isolation and back into South Korea - but back into quarantine again - where they remained self-isolated at our home and I continued to teach while isolated at a mountain-top school location in a distant rural location for weeks.


Then, at the tail end of February, the virus was weaponized by a Korean cult group further enabled by an apathetic quasi-communist ROK government...seeing the handwriting on the wall that businesses and schools were going to close for an unknown period of time (and we'd not be able to have any income) we decided as a family to pack our bags in 48 hours and hop on the last flight out of Korea.  


Haha! But, you old wily 2020, that didn't stop me from teaching. No, sir. I began teaching English and Art again ONLINE. When our little family came to nest at my folk's home, I set up my lessons for internet classroom while at the same time we isolated for another two weeks! 


But I see that neither did you stop chasing me with the Covid-19 viral outbreak, for it followed us to the United States of America, and we came out of isolation for only one weekend before America started its quarantines and shutdowns, and back to into quarantine we went again. 

I'm dropping in this post a few online art lessons that I gave for my students far away in Korea. They were so excited to learn about digital art - I guess is was good timing that I had planned to introduce that from this Spring term anyway! We had prepared the pen/tablets well in advance, as I had found a great deal for a lot of 10 from ebay, plus the ones I donated to the school. We explored basic perspective drawing concepts and applications and how to use painting program Autodesk Sketchbook Copic Marker Edition (free and basic - not too overwhelming for beginners). We also colored scanned images like coloring book pages for them to get used to the joys of digi-painting. There are drawback to online lessons, especially when there are 15 students connecting all at once, but we still had a great time considering the circumstances. Those poor students...they were isolated for a long time on that mountain top, too, unable to visit home even on the weekends, but they persevered. It was good training, as we say in Korea.


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Art Class Demo Sketches from Fall Term

December 6, 2019, 9:56 am

From the middle of this year (2019), I have been teaching an art class at an "innovative Christian school" that provides a focus on variety of arts and lifestyle courses in the mix of its academic and faith/character/community aspects. So, it is a very innovative school.


This past term, I decided to take the students on a limited scope drawing class that started from the absolute basics.


While students are busy scribbling at their assignments I will promote the atmosphere of sketching focus by drawing with them. Here are a couple of the demos I provided to them. Not all my demos were pencil - some were eraserable black marker on a white board, some were done on a digital tablet. 


I'm a big fan of the upside-down drawing exercise from Betty Edward's famous book that one of my former art instructors inspirationally tormented me with ages ago, so we did quite a few of these with the intention of learning how to "see" and to "unknow" what we believe we know visually.


I decided on a short book by Luis Escobar, The Art of Drawfu, simply because it was simple and my new students needed something not intimidating to get them going beyond their artistic inhibitions. We drew simple designs, patterns, and simple characters from primitive geometry. We also briefly studied insect geometry and attempted to convert natural forms into cartoon characters (while watching A Bug's Life animated film in the background), and from that day is where the bug drawing came from. 


I also had them take a frontal image of a classic video game character, MegaMan (aka RockMan), trace over it with another sheet of paper using the natural "light box"-es that we had in abundance (aka windows + sunlight), then take another image of MegaMan that showed his inner robotic body parts as reference, and re-draw them into the traced outline of MegaMan in a creative way. The students really enjoyed this assignment, and I really enjoyed putting their spacial brains to work.



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Hello, Pretty Kitty~

September 22, 2019, 8:21 am

You're walking down the corridor on the way to the dining car when your eyes suddenly meet hers - a very fashionable white kitten with the loveliest, sparkling blue pools for eyes you've ever stared into.

Do you...?

A. Stop her with a smile, introduce yourself like a gentleman, and after a brief conversation ask her to join you in the dining car, go to page 52.


B. Quickly break eye contact with the fashionable kitty, shuffle along nervously look at how your shiny shoes blind you in the blaze of the afternoon sun and miss yet another opportunity to meet new and interesting people, go to page 7.


Continue reading at the link...

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Shhh! A Trade Secret!

August 10, 2019, 12:31 pm
Taking raw images, enhancing and combining them for excellent posts.

As an artist, it's not enough for me to make unique art and designs that will go on apparel or metal posters, or whatever viewer format it ends up on, without a means to connect to or build up an audience.

That being true, marketing my artwork is a key component to putting my stuff in front of new eyes...that I hope will generate love in new hearts making new fans.


I recently was told by a coworker - a fellow teacher at the school where I work - that when he sees my pictures it has a calming and healing effect on his mind and emotion. This is what I hope to accomplish with my art and design. I want people to be postively impacted by the humor, interesting colors, emotive characters, and new ideas that I bring out in these projects.


But, people are inundated with visuals on a daily basis - that doesn't mean all the visuals they see are awesome, there is a lot of mediocre work out there, but the point is, people are inundated visually through all the many devices available in the contemporary life.

I believe that the result of inundation of a valuable substance is apathy to value.


So, it is important not only to make original art of high quality, but it is just as important to share that I make valuable art through high quality marketing messages, too.



That's why I wanted to share just one way that I create a social media advert to showcase a product. The image here is a brief static demo of an Instagram post which is aimed at gaining attention and guiding traffic to my website where my art store is. The demo is self-explanatory for the most part...the central image is the one I created and enhanced from raw images that had a lot required for me to do in order to make them 'pop' visually - some things are not revealed but the basics are there.

Now, even if I make attractive social media posts to *maybe* get someone to go to my website, I still need to think ahead to the end before I post a pretty picture: Have I prepared a pathway to an end goal for a visitor? (ie, does my product have a way to purchase, or does my art service have a call to action, etc.).

These days, I am using a 3-block posting scheme in Instagram. So, whenever I want to post, I need to think about 3 block designs (which could be one picture across three squares, or 3 separate images) and also about their end points by asking where I hope the visitor will be guided to if he or she is interested in owning that design at home. There's A LOT of work involved in that process from creation of the artwork, creation of the product, creation of the marketing visuals and message, researching the best # hashtags, and making sure the blog/store/website is updated at the bottom and my social media platforms are posting at the top, and so on. Whew!! 


Actually, I am very new to social media marketing, I'm learning as I go, I may be a little late to the party, and by no means an expert (the good news is that a good SM instructor said that there are no experts at this new thing yet!), but I have taken some courses from some much more experienced persons in the industry in the past year and in my little itty bitty spare time, I am experimenting with this marketing system and theory.

I hope you will become a follower of my art and even consider becoming a supporting Scratchbang fan of mine! Thanks! 

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Korean Caricature Portraits

June 14, 2019, 11:02 am


Interesting live drawings Korean children faces drawn last week!


I was asked to participate in a fundraiser fair by drawing cartoon versions of these beautiful kids.


It was fun but at the end of three hours I was in a full daze having done quite a few portraits without breaking my focus to get as many done as possible.


See the portraits here at Instagram!



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Cute to Cool Designer T's

April 7, 2019, 10:10 am

Did you know?

I make t-shirt designs with my character art?

Yes, I do!

I even had two purchases this week for two different designs at two separate stores!

So, come visit and browse my shops at TheWoodenBoy

(I'd like to work out a method to offer you my designers-only base price if you become my ScratchBang supporter. Ask me for details!)

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Jericho Story

February 25, 2019, 10:59 am

A fellow teacher was doing a puppet play with cut-out paper characters taped to wooden chopsticks about the Jericho story and asked me to render a few backgrounds for her class presentation. I had a few ideas and drew/painted them out. Take a look at them in my Instagram feed.


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A Game of Cat and Mouse

February 25, 2019, 9:58 am

It's a game of cat and mouse with these two.

What's going on? This week, and last, I had been teaching ESL lessons using a short story called, "Belling the Cat", by Eve Rice, adapted from an Aesop's Tale.

The mice have a meeting to decide what to do about the new cat in town and the proposal to bell the cat was accepted - but there were no volunteers to do the dangerous mission. Read more on TheWoodenBoy.

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Some call me Dan

February 22, 2019, 10:11 pm

Hi, I’m Daniel. Some call me Dan.

I just wanted to put a photo up of me to personalize my profile a bit more since I used my arts pseudonym and avatar at the front end.

It's the start of 2019 and this is what my life is like right now: I live in South Korea with my wife and son where I teach English at a Christian school. I also teach sword martial arts as a master instructor at the federation headquarters gym near Seoul.

I weave through this my art. On a daily basis, I use simple and funny line drawings to help me teach EFL to Korean kids — it really helps them to focus, be calm, and actually learn! From time to time I do freelance projects in graphic design or illustration… usually logos or character art for apparel/accessories. And when I'm not doing either of those, I'm illustrating my passion projects or writing fictional stories for these colorful, crazy, quirky characters I draw up from outta my heart and head.

Any support you can give will help to free my time up to focus on being productively creative. That's why I'm here on ScratchBang - and I hope that's why you're here, too!

Thanks for sharing, Dan. Your illustrations are great!
Posted By: carl
1060 days 20 hrs 48 mins 57 secs ago