Monday, April 27, 2015

Short listed for the Reportager Award 2015

After hundreds of entries were made their way through a series of judging, my graphic memoir The American Immigrant has made the short list for the Reportage Award 2015. The award, sponsored by Reportager and Moleskin, encourages new, existing and emerging talent and projects in the area of reportage and documentary drawing. It also seeks out original projects, which are journalistic and documentary in nature and are created from original primary research sourced on location by the artist.

In addition to the award and grant, Moleskine reserves the right to commission the winning artist/journalist to report on an event (timing, location, and event to be at Moleskine's discretion). Travel expenses, accommodation, and subsistence up to the value of £1700, will be available.

The exhibit will be at the University of the West of England F Block Gallery (Bower Ashton Campus) in Bristol, UK, from May 8th to the May 15th (save for the 11th, which it will be open for private viewing).

This is definitely not a show to miss, especially if you're a huge fan of documentary drawing and comics journalism. I'll be featuring quite a few never-before-seen pages from my first book, so you have no excuse to not make it if you're living in the UK!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Farewell to a Good Friend and Mentor

What better way to spend the evening than with good friends, music, and drinks.
When I first came to South Korea about 3 ½ years ago, I had nothing to my name aside from the clothes on my back and the two bags on my shoulders. I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t have a home, no money, and I couldn’t speak any of the local language to even be able to ask for help. But there was one person that I was lucky enough to meet on the boat traveling to Korea, who befriended me during my first critical baby-steps into this country, Dag. 

And snapping back to the present, I’m even luckier that I got the chance to meet this friend one last time before he leaves Asia, for what may potentially be forever.

Ever since our chance encounter, Dag has been like a mentor to me, always being there when I needed it, and ready to part advice on traveling, education, and life in general.  He inspired me in my early days of teaching; Dag had worked as a language teacher for over a decade in Slovenia, during the Cold War when the Eastern Bloc was still a reality. 

Where Dag has lived for the past few years, out in the countryside.
He's also shared with me a renouncing for travel--a self-proclaimed “travel junkie”—who traveled multiple countries on foot, train, bus, boat, and even horseback, in some cases. That drive to see the unknown is what brought Dag to Korea over five years ago, when he sold his car and bought a plane ticket out on a whim. And now, after over half a decade of dealing with discriminatory visa policies and hassles with immigration officials in South Korea and Japan, Dag has sadly decided to say goodbye to Northeast Asia.

 Thank you, Dag, for the excellent weekend of drinks and music among the rice fields and cherry blossoms of Wonji, along with being able to see you during your last weekend here in South Korea and Asia. 

I hope your future endeavors in Australia, the Blue Mountains, and South America brings you a good change of pace and happiness throughout your life. Hopefully our paths will cross again in Chile in a few years!

Until South America, adios!
 Also, if you're curious to catch up on Dag's travels, he has a blog! (And yes, that is me passed out his shack...)