Illustrator or Salaryman? Is there even a Choice?

After speaking with many of the artists at Design Festa it looks like the state of illustration in Japan is horrible and it is impossible to be a fulltime illustrator in this country. After you overcome the obstacle of finding work the pay is horrible. Editorial illustration in magazines and newspapers doesn't exist. That's why if you are an illustrator from the US/UK/western world you should be greatful that you dont live in Korea, Japan, or China where being an illustrator is super tough/impossible. Yes there are japanese illustrators, but the ones you know are probably famous and rare. Look at me, i'm not a famous illustrator but i can still live off of illustration. There are so many others in the UK an the US living off of illustration. I am so lucky. not in the conventional sense. I have worked so hard for what i have now, so its not really luck. But i am so lucky that I am american and speak english because right there opens up a huge market, the UK/US market that pays a whole lot better than the asian market. I am lucky that i got my start in the US and that i can make dollars and pounds. This has allowed me to live in China and Japan. How awesome is my life? i draw pictures for a living. I ride my bike through Shibuya and Harajuku in Tokyo Japan every day too and from Japanese class. last year i was riding through the streets of beijing, all on the strength of illustration. Its just really sad to see that all these talented japanese artists don't stand a chance in the japanese market. It seems like there is no such thing as a real freelance illustration career. they will have to follow the rules of japanese society and career paths. So, at least briefly while the feeling is still there, I feel greatful and almost feel like i can pat myself on the back because of where i've been and where i'm going thanks to my illustration career. A lot of it though is that i was lucky enough to have been raised in the US.....basically that im not Japanese. This is not a racist post, its just the sad truth of the illustration industry that i have seen thusfar during my time in Japan.

Posted byJason Raish at 10:31 AM 1 comments  

Design Festa 2010 Spring - Day 2

"My Darling is a Foreigner" i wonder how this movie is received here.

My teacher Eguchi sensei on the left and a guy who is a grown man who's wife lets him walk around in a middle school girls uniform by her side.

i saw a guy in panda make up near this thing too. I didnt see what happened next. acutally there aren't that many pictures because i didnt have time to look around that much cuz i had to stay in my booth.

the girl with the rubber ducky gag ball in a swimsuit all day.

this girl Makoto was across from us and was all tuckered out.

how freaky are these things? its suspected that some or all of them were men too. they even had fake legs.

Marco said that this man/woman was singing the song from Laputa(Castle in the sky), the Miyazaki movie, really badly all day long in a booth near them.

space is tight in the booths. these girls had to sit like this with their skulls crushed behind this table all day long for 10 hrs.

its easy to forget that tokyo is by the sea. right behind here is the harbor. anyway Tokyo Big Sight is humongous. So my final verdict is that Design Festa is awesome and super recommended as a spectator but being in it sucks because you dont get to see anything being shackled to your booth.

Posted byJason Raish at 10:30 AM 0 comments  

Design Festa 2010 Spring - Day 1

Tokyo, Japan. Design festa is the biggest art event in asia with over 2000 booths full of cool art, illustration, painting, design, crafts, clothing, jewelery, live painting, music, performances, weirdos, cosplay, and weirdos. its super fun and i recommend it for anyone in tokyo at the time. they have it a few times a year. I rented a booth with my friend Fumiko aka Fumi Koala, my old Illustration class buddy from FIT.

night before. got 3 hrs of sleep. had to print so much stuff and prepare so much crap. i dont know if i would do this again. there are so many things you have to think about and so much money you have to spend. renting the space costs like $380 for both saturday and sunday. renting the walls costs like $260!!!! electricity costs $75!!! and then you have all your ink and paper and other costs.

tokyo big sight looks crazy. its huge. like jacob javitts center size

fumikos dad came at 8 am in the morning to help her and then just dissapeared with the job was done.

outside wall of the booth. thats fumikos huge bird apartment painting.

girl next to us was tying these s and m things all day. she had like 5 little paintings on the wall. one of many many many booths that leave me scratching my head and asking why they paid $600 to be here for two days.

i love this guys naive paitings.

my classmate from spain rented a booth too. Marco Pardo

Chihiro was there too. she drew my friend Salih

and jennifer

her artist name is Carapapa. which means potato face in spanish. previously we saw a real life japanese carapapa at an izakaya

this guy was just drinking sake out of a bottle whilst walking around.

this girl was in a swimsuit all day which is cool, but then she turns around and looks 15 with a rubber duckie gag ball in her mouth. there was a website and i went to it and it looks like maybe its a website for a fetish photographer? another head scratcher

some building on meiji dori in shibuya across the street from the taito game station. its pretty cool to see all the various establishments through the core of the building.

it was a meeting of old FIT japanese buddies. Fumika, Yuri and Shunta were all roomates on 18th street in chelsea in NY. Vivi was my roomate on 52nd st. there were also a few other from fit there as well. Shunta is a funny guy who gets super drunk and falls asleep all the time. he had these and said if you take these you are guaranteed no hangover the next day. I don't know if thats true or not cuz i made sure i didnt drink too much because of design festa again the next day. im sure they dont work though.

you gotta love these girls fumika and yuri

i can walk home from shibuya. the liquid room in ebisu is on the way.

Posted byJason Raish at 1:02 PM 0 comments