Hong Kong Histories

I've been neglecting this blog (and blogging in general) for a long while because I needed some time to think about stuff pertaining to identity. Needless to say, a lot's gone on that I haven't shared here, and I think I've desensitized my introversion enough to share a bit more. My short-term hope is to finally manage to write about my work and processes here without the icky fear of censorship. 

So anyway, let me show you this new thing! I worked on this series with author, Jane Houng, called "Hong Kong Histories". As the title implies, it features a lineup of historical figures who have lived in, and contributed significantly to the development of Hong Kong. 

This was originally meant to be an editorial series for Sing Tao News, but it got picked up by The Commercial Press for book publication instead! Another one on the shelf, huzzah! 

The book is pegged for release this Fall 2017! :)

Sample thumbnails

Sample thumbnails

This is a deviation from my typical process (I usually send 3 layouts for my clients to choose from) because of the schedule delays, contract updates, and the usual editor's shenanigans. Production was halted for a short while after the first 10 illustrations were made, but when the book deal was secured, I had to go atomic-roboto for the 20 remaining portraits. I was also wrapping up a very exciting project (which I'll share here soon) when the contract was updated, so yeah, this year has been rife with schedule-juggling acts; not that I'm complaining! It almost seems miraculous earning a living doing what you love/set-out to do what with all the odds against you with freelance illustration -- the risks are definitely not lost on me and yet here I still am.

Process-wise, this was a bit of a handicap for me because of the style-switch to a more painterly route. I usually lack the patience for polishing paintings, once I see the main blocks set up. Also, I had 30 of these babies to do. Painterly style is not exactly my weapon of choice on such short notice, but because I already began the first 10 pieces this way, I had to default to the look for cohesion.

30 illustrations. That's a bit of painting muscle flexed! I learned to be very discerning with establishing focal points and working on multiple portraits at a time. Although I'm still usually torn between cartooning & realism. I reckon with enough mileage, my natural hand should peek out further.

I'm also very grateful to have this second time working with Jane. I learn a lot about my process and limitations on the job. She's also taken such good care of me on my first book job last 2015! So I'm incredibly glad for her support. ♥