Sunday, January 29, 2006

Money Tree

I threw a Chinese New Year party last night. All my guests seemed to have a nice, drink, man, woman... except my best friend, Suba, missed the party because she's sick and was not well enough to show up.

I had ordered some flowers for the party a few days ago and they didn't turn out to be something I wanted when they arrived at the florist, so I just changed my plan and decided to go with a branch that looks like a bald bonzai tree. I stuck it into a pot filled with soil and covered it with some pebbles. It turn out to be pretty cool under my two paper lanterns. Half way into the party, Will suddenly remembered this tradition he learnt while he was in Hong Kong last year, and said, "I need a dollar note for the money tree." He got a buck and tied it into a bow on the branch. Apparently it's for prosperity.

Even though I'm Chinese and celebrate Chinese New Year all my life, my family never really follow closely to the tradition that has anything to do with prosperity or wealth because we're Catholics. To us, New Year celebration is thanksgiving and family reunion. Of course, after Will tied the first dollar bill on the tree, all my guests turned to me and asked me to explain about the tradition. I was puzzled but hey, it's money, so I guess I LIKE this tradition. Yes, everyone should tie money on the money tree for prosperity. In fact, next year I'll have an outdoor party. I have a bigger tree outside!

Everyone started pulling out money and made all kinds of origami to decorate the tree. It was hilarious! I haven't counted the total on the tree yet because I want to keep them up there for the whole fifteen days of the celebration. However, I did spot a few $5 notes and one $20 bill! Wow! Thank you, guys! It was quite a properous night for me. Thanks, Will. I'm definitely doing this again next year.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Little Shop of Horrors Poster

Here's another poster than I recently completed. It is another popular musical that audience are expecting to see the iconic image, in this case, a giant man-eating plant. David, the director, is staging the musical ala Film Noir style and that gives me a very distinct art direction for the poster. I requested David to provide me with a line or two of some kind of a "B-Movie-esque" poster tag lines to go with the campy retro movie posters, and he actually opened it up to the students to come up with something. They end up provided me with a long list of creative tag lines to pick from. I was just exciting that the kids get to participate in the creative process as well. In the illustration, I placed the plant behind a store window, which allowed me to position the title as the store sign on the glass window. Production Note: The illustration was done with a marker on paper and then scanned and traced in Illustrator. Colors were filled in later and a digital photo of a textured surface was overlaid onto the whole image to add a touch of organic and painterly effect.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Angels in America Poster

Here's the poster of Angels in America for the Jewish Community Center. Since HBO has popularized the play and the imagery of their promotional materials seem so familiar to the public, the challenge for me was to come up with something original; not to repeat something HBO had done. After meeting with Mark, the director, I've decided to take the conceptual route for the visual, as opposed to the approach of HBO which is pretty much a glorified still shot of a scene from the mini series. The final outcome was an image of a glint of hope amidst the destruction and darkness of Part One. Production Note: It was a bright sunny day on Sunday and I took a bunch of pictures at the construction site of my new office since they had just knocked down a brick wall a few days ago. The image on the poster is a composite of at least 6 still images. Of course the feather was also a separate image.