Northern Lights and The Parade of Lights at the Adelaide Fringe

The Parade of lights is on again at the Adelaide Fringe this year. I don’t normally go into the city for the Fringe, since I’m a bit anti crowd but decided to go mid week. It’s worth having a look while it’s on at the Fringe and it’s FREE!

The first time I saw the parade of lights was back in 2008 and it was called the “Northern Lights” since it was on North Terrace (love a good pun) which is over 10 years ago. Looking back at the photos I can see technology has improved so much since then.

In 2008 LED light technology was just a funny word and camera phones were a novelty that were tacked onto your state of the art samsung flip phone. The following photos were taken with a Canon IXUS 70. A 7 megapixel camera with face detection technology, pretty standard for the time:










The photos came out quite well for that particular camera and the projection technology that was used during the time.

Compare it to today’s technology in LED lights and phone cameras and there’s a huge difference! It’s now called the Parade of Lights and boast a “Northern Lights” experience near the museum. It’s definitely worth seeing! The camera I am using is actually a phone called google pixel which has somehow become a mini computer in the palm of my hands. The camera is 12.3mp but on top of that it has aperture control settings similar to a DSLR. However I still feel a DSLR camera would give a user much more control over settings then the google pixel.


The images are much brighter and closer to life, all in a small device. Although it just wasn’t the camera that had improved. LED light projection is fantastic these days and computers can handle a lot more then 10 years ago.

I hardly see anyone with a DSLR or camera anymore unless it’s for a specific purpose. I wonder in future will cameras become obsolete much like other analogue media?

I can’t wait to see what this will look like in another 10 years!

Artist Illustrators Inspiration

Illustrated playing cards designs

I still haven’t got the hang of this blogging thing have I? I’m sure I will one of these days!

A few weeks ago there was a mega toy fair in my sleepy little town. I normally head to these in hopes of finding a rare doll or something nostalgic from childhood something I expect fellow collectors will understand. One day I will find a rare doll worth $700 on ebay for $1 in a sale.

By chance I came across a stall selling vintage playing cards. What attracted me to these cards was the design on the back. All the designs are done by some talented artist and remind me of my childhood. I think this has taught me to be more thorough when looking through stalls because you never what you might find!

I have to admit I have no idea who the artist are on the back of these cards, so if you have any information I would appreciate it. Below are the images of the cards I found, aren’t they great?


Illustrators Links

Helpful links

I promised myself that I would get back to proper blogging after I’ve recovered from some big life changes. Turns out blogging can be a lot harder if you feel like you’ve got nothing to say. While I’m trying to find my voice here are a few useful links –

5 Fears that Keep Artists from Posting Online – Kelley Mcmorris (why you shouldn’t be scared to post work online, I do know of the irony here)

Pikaland – Amy (useful resource for aspiring illustrators)

A new squad of super heroes – because I just think it’s great!

Just make it already! How to boost your sewing confidence – Heather Lou (While it’s about sewing, the same can be said for any type of personal project, too many times at school I didn’t hand something up or start something because I felt it wasn’t good enough. I think we all need to get past that.)

Walking through the witches – Mica Angela Hendricks (Going through her process of creating a new illustration. ‘Like Just make it already” she goes into just creating)

That’s all the links I have for this week. Hopefully the next time I blog, I’ll have some something to say.

Travel Type

The sign writing of Quorn

A few weeks ago I took off on a road trip across Australia. I intended to go up the Oonandatta track and then spend a few weeks in the Northern Territory.

One of the first stops of my road trip was a tiny town outside of Port Augusta called Quorn. The main attraction of Quorn (and why I was there) is the Pichi Richi railway. The Pichi Richi Railway is a heritage railway located in Quorn. It runs regular train journeys on the oldest remaining section of the old Ghan railway. This particular day I rode on the Pichi Richi explorer

After riding the Pichi Richi explorer and having a walk through the town I began to notice the lovely sign writing that was around the township. It was nice to see the history of the township and the pride of the town, through typography on the buildings. A lot of the signs looks like it was kept up and restored over years.

Sign writing of Quorn

The old sign for the tourist emporium, which no longer exist in this location. It has moved over to the Quorn railway station, across the road from this building.

Sign writing of Quorn

Sadly this tailor and outfitter is no longer here, but it’s nice the owner of the building has kept the sign writing. 

Sign writing of Quorn

A lot of these places, no longer exist in the township but the typography still remains today.

Sign writing of Quorn

Sign writing of Quorn

Billards sign on the wall of a bookshop. I’m unsure if this place is still open.

Sign writing of Quorn

 Emily’s bistro is still open in Quorn and makes some lovely food.

Sign writing of Quorn 

Other building such as the Bank SA building have now been re purposed into accommodation, which is great to see. 



Taiwan Travel – what I should have done


Early last year I decided to go on a massive South East Asian holiday, I traveled to Philippines – Taiwan – Japan. Being half Asian (and unable to speak any other language than English) I could write a book on how awkward it is.

One country I definitely enjoyed during my trip is Taiwan, although most of my holidays overseas or interstate end up having a Griswold Vibe to them, it makes the holidays more memorable. However I would like people to avoid the mistakes I made with these helpful tips and I made HUGE mistakes which I’m not willing to admit on a blog yet…..

Public transport:

Taipei offers a 1, 2 ,3 or 5 day travel pass for all subway (MRT) and buses within the metropolitan area of Taipei.  I found this service to be invaluable while in Taipei. While the subway system is quite easy to navigate and buy tokens, the buses were a different story. The bus system is more dependent on the passengers having a travel pass. Tickets on the buses need to purchases after the trip and I found change is not given.  These cards can be purchased from subway stations. They also come with a handy booklet with places to visit (if you haven’t already planned) and vouchers for goods and services. I would only recommend if you’re in Taipei for longer than a week and want to travel to quite a few places. For me, the convenience of having a travel pass far outweighed the cost.

Mobile coverage:

It’s hard to believe but I found navigating my way round Taipei was almost impossible without mobile internet coverage. A smartphone was a must for me, since I had access to google maps, email (for accommodation confirmations) and google translate (which turned out to be quite useful in rural towns where english was not used on menus). Going to a Taiwan mobile  store when you first arrive to gain a prepaid 3G sim can make the difference between an uncomfortable travel experience to a freaking scary one! To gain access to a mobile sim all you need is an unlocked smartphone (one that works with Taiwan’s frequency) and your passport to sign up.

However if your like me and forgot to look this up before you went, Taipei’s main station has free wifi to find the address of a Taiwan mobile.

I hope you found this somewhat useful.




You are the sum of your choices. Your job then is to make sure that your ideas about what to paint are not wholly based upon either the acceptable or the taboo, but arise instead from what honestly fascinates and stirs you. You may feel vulnerable, but I see no way around that. I assure you it is OK to feel vulnerable – it is, after all, the human condition. In any case, your thoughts (and mine) are just as valid as anyone elses. Even though you share countless similarities with others, you are unique. No one has your mind or your feelings. They do not notice what you notice, and do not have precisely the same sensitivities or fears. No on has the same idea of God as you. No on longs to embrace life or ponders death and beyond as you do. No one is human in the same exact way as you are. Once you understand this, your task is to get in touch with yourself. Find out what moves you, what you believe in, what you truly understand about life, who you are, and what this great experience of being alive means to you. Then put it in your paintings.

Somewhere within all of us there is a wordless center, a part of us that hopes to be immortal in some way, a part that has remained unchanged since we were children, the source of our strength and compassion. This faint confluence of the tangible and the spiritual is where Art comes from. It has no known limits, and once you tap into it you will realize what truly rich choices you have. May each painting you do from that sacred place include an expression of gratitude for the extraordinary privilege of being an artist.

Richard Schmid – Alla Prima.



Link Roundup – life drawing

Edi Udo – and

Rosie Coleman –


Kakukaku Shikajika an autobiographical manga worth reading


I read a lot of comics, it’s almost obscene. I can remember reading them as a kid, rushing to newsagent looking for the latest issue of whatever I was reading at the time. I read all genres that perk my interest: Superhero, romance, action, indie.

Manga is a form of comic common in Japan. It covers a broad range of genres, but there are specific demographic markets that appeal to women 20 – 30 (Josei), girls 10 – 18 (Shoujo) , men 17 – 40 (Seinen) and boys 10 – 17 (Shonen). Of course this is just a generalisation, josei might appeal to young boys or shonen to women, etc

Of course I have multiple favourite manga authors but one that really has my attention at the moment is Kakukaku Shikajika by Akiko Higashimura. Currently 16 chapters have been unofficially translated.

Unfortunately this manga isn’t officially translated yet, I hope one day it is along with Kuraghime. The story of Kakukaku Shikajika is one, I can relate to and would be incredibly personal to Akiko Higashimura. She illustrates her hopes and dreams as a highschool student to draw manga full time, like most people though she’s a bit delusion on how to get to her goal. Until meeting a teacher who encourages her to draw everyday to gain entry into an arts college.

Kakukaku Shikajika is a fantastic manga to read if you ever felt some sort of loss or uneasiness in your life. It asks the question what happens after you’ve achieved your goal? What happens once you find yourself at a long loss (one that can last for years). Do you march on or lose faith in your ability to do anything? I think everyone has gone through a period like this in their life.




Dark Heart is the title of the 2014 Adelaide Biennial exhibition currently taking place at the Adelaide Art Gallery from March 1st to 11th May. The exhibition features 28 of the leading contemporary artist in Australia today.

Some exhibitions were held off site, while others are scattered around the Art Gallery of South Australia. One of the off site events was the Sky Whale.

Sky Whale was commissioned to celebrate the centenary of the city of Canberra. The intention was to created a balloon that looked like it belong to the Sky. A statement from the Sky Whale Wikipedia page:

“My question is what if evolution went a different way and instead of going back into the sea, from which they came originally, they went into the air and we evolved a nature that could fly instead of swim. “

I was fortunate enough to catch the SkyWhale in the botanic gardens at a viewing on the 1st March.


SkyWhale by Patricia Piccinini


Deflating SkyWhale by Patricia Piccinini

I wasn’t surprised by the comments I received on flickr and instagram about the Sky Whale. Most people either loved it or hated it. One person told me the Sky Whale is an embarrassing abomination. Another said it was a spectacular sight. Under Donald Norman’s aspects of Visual Design, the Sky Whale comes under visceral (concerns with appearances) and reflective (rationalization).

People either love or hate the Sky Whale when it is first gazed upon. However they may or may not come to understand and like the Sky Whale once the deeper meaning is understood.

Full exhibition list can be found on the Adelaide Biennial website.


Naoshima, Japan

Naoshima Art Island

Naoshima Art Island

Naoshima Art Island