I was recently featured on Roman Cortez's mini series called "The Hustle", which is a series of short interviews that feature artists, directors, actors, chefs and other creative people to help inspire the next generation of young creatives. check it out and don't forget to subscribe to the youtube channel here!
2016 has been an awesome year full of fun projects, awesome clients and all around good times. So what better way to finish off the year than with a trip to Japan! I had the honor of being a guest at the first annual Tokyo Comic Con and it was an awesome show! Let's rewind a bit to see how it all went down.
Earlier this year, my good friend & long time collector Shinji was visiting LA from Japan. He came by my art studio with a proposal of having me paint a mural live for the first ever Tokyo Comic Con. In true Godfather style, he gave me an offer I could not refuse. LOL
I was given creative freedom and full trust on this project, after a quick brainstorm meeting with Shinji I found out that DC Japan had a big involvement in Tokyo Comic Con. I took this as a cue for the theme of the mural. I also found out that everyone in Japan is eagerly anticipating the Wonder Woman movie in 2017 and just like that... I had my subject.
After I was happy with the concept and the composition, I pulled up the Montana Gold color chart, which you can be download from their website. I picked out all the colors I would need, then I bought all the spray paint online and had it shipped to Japan.
With all those things in order I packed up the fam, jumped in an uber, headed to LAX and hopped on a flight to Tokyo!
Godzilla movies and food, I was surprised how fast the 12 hour flight went! lol
As soon as we landed we hit the ground running, the transit system is really user friendly if you grew up in NYC, it's just way cleaner and more polite.
This isn't a travel blog so I'll keep this part brief but I will say that we touched down in Shibuya, Tokyo, Chiba, Ginza, Akihabara and Kamakura, which was where the following pic was taken.
If you really want to see the trip in detail you can backtrack on my instagram account @kanokid.
Once we spent a week exploring, eating and site seeing it was time for me to head to the convention center and inspect the wall that was being built for me to paint. When I got to the convention, Shinji and the crew were all business, everything was legit and super organized. Thank you to Mr. Ochiai, Mr. Kiuchi, for your tremendous efforts in installing this huge canvas. And huge shout out to Mr. Oishi an organizer and all the sponsors for allowing this awesome opportunity.
Miko Kuroki kept me company throughout the production of the mural, he used two cameras for all the footage on this video, extraordinary work! I'd also like to give a big shout out to Moto for being my translator and for keeping me hydrated during the process. enjoy the video!
The mural was completed on Saturday evening and brought in to the convention center where it was waiting for me on Sunday. It was nice to see it presented as one of the main attractions inside the con.
After my job was done, I could finally enjoy the convention and make the rounds. The convention was packed and there were cosplayers everywhere.
I did say Cosplayers right? you know your boy just had to...LOL
I got to meet some fellow artist and fans, since I couldn't bring any of the spray paint back with me, I signed a couple of cans for them.
Last but not least I got to meet one of my favorite sculptors and designers to follow on instagram, Taku Obata! He's a beast, check out his work.
Japan was an amazing time and this trip was super epic because I got to bring my wife and kids. It was fun traveling, painting and playing rockstar for a full 10 days. I'm so thankful for all the awesome opportunities I get in this art life. I'm looking forward to putting more art and good vibes in to the universe for 2017. Thank you Shinji!!! We Love japan!!!
Every San Diego Comic Con is a unique experience for me and this year was no exception. A few weeks prior to the annual event I got a call from Warner Bros. TV department. They where interested in having me and 5 other artist paint murals at their big Comic Con party at the Hard Rock Hotel roof lounge. Each artist was assigned one of DC's Shows currently produced by WB. I was assigned Teen Titans Go!, which was right up my alley since I currently work at WB Animation, lol. Here's a step by step on how everything went down.
Like most awesome projects in the art world, things are due yesterday and there's always a creative rush you have to learn to acquire and flow with. I hit the drawing board and came up with something I felt excited about! I always go straight pencil & paper first, things just flow more organically for me. Next I scanned that bad boy in and off to WB it went, guess what? first pass...Approved! ( here's the part where I do a two step because I'm feeling like the man!)
At this point, I know the wall I'm painting at the event is 8 feet by 12 feet and that WB has requested water based paint to avoid celebs collapsing from fumes, lol. I have my drawing scanned in and I download MTN's color chart for their new water based spray paint. It's a pretty cool project, check out this video.
I jump in to Photoshop and do a quick color mock up utilizing mtn's color chart. WB is not asking for a color mock up, but at this point this serves as my guide for my paint supply. It always helps to be organized when you go buy paint, I'm in and out, no autographs please....kidding.
A couple of days before the SDCC event I found out that we'd only have one day to complete our mural, I had originally planned on using atleast a day and a half. Luckily, the portable walls WB built where being stored at WB's main lot at their Design Studio, which is right up the block from WB animation.
After all that I packed up my paint and head out to San Diego!
Oh I almost forgot, while all this is happening, I also had to design a Teen Titans Go! T-shirt that would be given out at WB's SDCC party.
Thank God someone invented video, because I'm tired of posting pics and writing, LOL. Here's a time lapse of how it all went down at the Hard Rock Hotel. Shout out to WB and Dc for throwing an awesome party and for showing love to the artist.
And here's a picture of my final piece in all it's glory, lol. Anyways, thanks for stopping by and reading this post, I mean...who reads blogs anymore? lol
My good friends at Dream but Don't Sleep TV are launching a new web series featuring artist they find inspiring. I'm honored to kick off episode 1 and I'm super excited to see future episodes of DBDStv.
Last week I received this really cool email, which I was given permission to share. I'm really fortunate to do what I do for a living and I like to share whenever possible. Instagram and Facebook are awesome tools to connect with people, but sometimes you lose track of how you're being perceived and how you influence others. This email below made my day!
Fandango recently bought the youtube channel Movieclips and has been creating new content which is generating a lot of interest. One of their newest series is TAG, where they film time lapse videos of artist painting murals of whatever movie that's being promoted at the time. I was honored to be the first artist to launch the series and totally lucked out by getting to do Furious 7. A huge shout out to my boy Tracy Tubera for referring me for the gig and to David Gonzalez for bringing me on board.
I met with the awesome crew at the Fandango Offices in Santa Monica. We discussed the project in detail and went over specs of the filming on location at Universal City Walk.
After the legistics were all worked out I hit the drawing board! I handed in a rough sketch of my concept for the mural, than we went back and forth a couple of times before we had something everyone was happy with.
Once the sketch was approved the crew scheduled a walk through of the filming location. I got to see where I was going to spend my day painting, Universal Studio City Walk baby! I was pumped!
I was able to inspect the wall the day before the shoot, which was being stored at HD Films In North Hollywood. I projected my sketch on to the wall and did a light trace so I could have a guide for the live painting, since I would only have about 6 hours to knock it out.
Here is the final Furious 7 TAG video, clocking in at 163,830 views! Furious 7 rocked the box office and the Fandango crew rocked this production! It was so much fun to work with a young professional energetic crew, everything went smoothly!
Here's a still of the final piece, which now hangs in the Fandango office in Santa Monica. I'm psyched for the future of this series and for all artist that will be coming on board.