This is the tagline of startdrawing.org, “the Asia drawing portal.” As Ernie said when he provided the link, “who knew such a thing existed?” Prepare to spend some time on the site if you are a fan of illustration. This brilliant portal created by artists Josef Lee and Sam Lay spotlights art and artists from Asia. The founders also often write insightful and informative commentary on the featured illustrations.
I began to bookmark some of my favorites, but then realized that entire sections were my favorites. The site is well-organized, with the illustrations divided into categories (some are in more than one) as well as by the artist’s country of origin. It’s also really interesting to browse by country, as your preconceptions about a particular country’s “style” may or may not be fulfilled.
My favorite category is Fine Arts. The style, subject matter and media run the gamut, from impressionist to realist to abstract to surreal. Another category which will hopefully expand is Motion. Here you’ll find the work of renowned manga artists as well as an a link to Rinpa Eshidan’s (an awesome art collective) YouTube channel.
If you want a suggested tour (and trust my eclectic taste), my individual favorites were:
Dennis Brown aka Bagger43’s bold work and FANTASTIC composition. I love the dynamic lines and curves created by his surreal and urban subjects. I thought of Archibald John Motley, Jr’s depictions of Chicago’s twentieth century African-American urban life when I saw the middle piece, possibly because of the lighting and distinction between the colors of the masks. The page also links to Bagger’s website and blog where you will find a drawing paying tribute to Voltron. A man after my own geek/art heart. (Philippines)
Tenmyouya Hisashi’s clever merging of highly traditional style with modern matter. Think Edo period meets sports photography and The Matrix. (Japan)
Lenovo (a company) provides the mother of all concept drawings for the Beijing Olympic torch. (China)
PiA’s fashion illustrations are fine art. Reminiscent of Picasso, and I love her figure’s proportions and her sometimes calligraphic strokes. (Taiwan)
Absolutely, there are some great Asian artists.
(Thanks again to Ernie for the link.)
UPDATE: I was so mesmerized by the art on the site that I forgot to give the site itself (and the founders) enough props. So I’ve updated the post accordingly.