Art of Noah by Kuang Hong

Had the honor of writing the foreword to Noah Kuang Hong's new artbook that's just been published in China. 2 volumes collecting over 15 years of his digital paintings, it's really something to behold.

We've known each other well over a decade now, some of my earliest experiences in learning about art, Photoshop, and defining my own colors and aesthetics as a photographer came from working together ...

 

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Motherland Chronicles #34 - In the Secret Garden

Motherland Chronicles #34 - In the Secret Garden

Photography: Zhang Jingna
Hair: Kelsey Petersen
Makeup: Lindsey Rivera
Model: Kalli Keith
Photo Assistants: Andre Wijono, Tobias Kwan, Michelle Herbert
Dress: Michelle Hebert

We revamped motherlandchronicles.com! Do check it out! :D 

Shot this when I was in LA a while ago. I think the process was rather interesting, so once again I'll be sharing about the process from inspiration to final image! :D 

The start of making this shoot was rather stressful. I was in LA doing recording for the Motherland Chronicles' Kickstarter video, and Toby and I had been busy with finalizing our script the whole week, so I only got around to thinking about the shoot the day before it was happening.

At first I thought about shooting on location since I do a lot of studio work when I'm in NY. I'd looked around for potential places online and settled on one to scout, but when we got there, I found that I wasn't feeling inspired for it. So I scrapped the ideas I had in mind for the venue and began thinking about alternatives. The answer turned up with LA Flower Market. When I saw those marigolds, I was so elated I bought them all. :D

The rest of the day was spent planning out details about the concept like hair, makeup, etc. I'd already confirmed Kalli as my model and Michelle to provide her dress, so it was mostly a matter of how to style and fit the elements together. 

Hair:

My love for braids kind of exploded after I got my own hair done at Pennsic War a while ago:

So I kind of built upon that along with what we did for Ea, and came up with the hair in this shoot:

Temple Jewelry:

Also something that came from my time at Pennsic. Because Motherland Chronicles is inspired by the idea of Russia, I took a class at Pennsic about Russian fashion from the 10-13th century which was very interesting. One of the things that I really liked was the temple jewelry/kolts.

From Ancient jewelry headwear of Russian women on viola.bz

It's usually worn with or as part of a headdress, but with how detailed the hair was already, I didn't want to over-clutter or cover up the braids, so I pinned them individually into Kalli's hair instead.

Makeup:

Rather straightforward, the few times Lindsey has worked with me in LA has her set for exactly how I liked that painterly, rosy-cheeked, pre-raphaelite-looking girl. We referenced back to what she did for Porcelain: 

This remains one of my favorite pictures. ❤

The set:
 
I finalized the idea and built it in the morning of the shoot with Toby's help and Michelle and the rest assisting. When the it was completed, it felt as magical on set as it does in the photograph. It was beautiful. 

The smoke was the final touch needed to complete the image -- the element that made the scene magical. I worried for some time about how to properly execute the effect without a fog machine on hand, but thanks to Andre and some dry ice, we managed to make it happen. 

I'm somewhat inspired to do a series with this if time permits, but finding the perfect looks that would match from flowers to dress will be more difficult. We'll see how that goes. :D 

Overall it was a really fun shoot and the whole team worked very hard, so thank you everyone who helped out that day. ❤ 

To end it off, here's Toby's accompanying illustration from the same week: 

Motherland Chronicles #34 - Flowers by Tobias Kwan

Beautiful isn't it? I hope you enjoyed the post and thank you for reading. :D

Motherland Chronicles #13 - Girl with Flower

Motherland Chronicles #13 - Girl with Flower

Probably not what one expected when Toby and I finally collaborate. Eerie is eerie. And I already tried to make her less creepy. 

Anyway, Vietnam trip has been great~ Shot album cover and artwork for a singer, lookbook for Phuong My, and a cover story for Elle Vietnam. Off to Singapore the day after tomorrow, can't believe I'd been away for 4 months! Feels like it's been so much longer. Excited to be home for my birthday.

Inspirations #2

My favourite people from CGHUB! <3

The Little Mermaid by jeffsimpsonkh (Jeff Simpson)
veil by tobiee (Tobias Kwan)
Lookout by flaptraps (Richard Anderson)
Vampyr by EmmanuelMalin (Emmanuel Malin)
Ten of Swords by davepalumbo (David Palumbo)
Stem by noah-kh (Kuang Hong)
so close by matayosi
Chaperon by Alexandre Day
Sunny November by NikYeliseyev
Epilogue by TomScholes (Thomas Scholes)

Aren't these amazing? I love everyone sooooo much. If you browse through their galleries you can definitely see where the vibrancy of my work has been coming in from as of late.

(I'll also shamelessly admit that I'd received birthday drawings from jeffsimpsonkh, noah-kh and tobiee. A copy of The Art of Guild Wars 2 from Rich Anderson with a personalized sketch, and a print from David Palumbo during Comic Con. I know, I'm so incredibly lucky to be spoiled by my favourite artists. ;_;)

Booked my ticket for Toronto. Will be there from the 16th of this month till Jan 21st.

To be honest I'm a little bit excited and a little bit scared. I'll get to meet up with my best friend, possibly visit Montreal, I pretty much love all the Canadians I know so I love Canada already, but I'm so afraid that I'll just freeze to death on the streets one day. It's getting too chilly for me even in L.A. these days, I really wish I had better tolerance for cold. ;_;

Kuang Hong Postcard Collection

24 postcards

US15

Free shipping on all products worldwide till Dec 31st 2009.

All available titles:

Noah and I have known each other for some six years now. We've both grown and influenced each other so much over the years, thinking back, it's incredible how fast time flies. I'm so glad we finally got publish something together. (Well, at the same time anyway. Haha) He's preparing for an artbook which had been delayed for years and years, but hopefully with the new year coming it's going to happen. And if it does, we may hop by SDCC together. Crossing fingers now. :D

Inspirations

Spent the day catching up with my dose of CGHub that I'd been missing out on since the exhibition started.

Such an inspiring place, it makes me yearn to create new works (which I don't have time for, right now. gah~)

I love, love love his paintings. They're traditionals and go up to 60". Awesomeness.

Taron didn't post that much but he's like my new 3D hero. :D

Awesome is awesome.

Had dinner with Ray Toh, Gary and Wai Ming at Curry Flavor at City Hall. The taste was a little mild but the hazelnut chocolate was absolutely love.

Chatted about the most random stuff and found out from Gary that Lucasfilm Singapore is 300 people strong. Like woah. 300~!!!!! *_*

Wai Ming said if I'd like to join them I can start from working at the pantry.

After dinner we headed over to Mr Bean's for more drinks. Talked about random stuff like my experience/visit to Amano's house, anime, me getting called a nerd for all Gundam topics, the mentions of awesome young Singaporean concept artists, and a bit on Disney Animations, and Gary related his visit to Pixar.

His friends were loitering (wth?!) outside Pixar one fine day, a security guard saw that some of them were wearing the Lucasfilm's shirt and said like, "hey, I used to work in Lucas too!" And offered to bring the group of them in for a tour. =_=

It was fun. I haven't had such a kind of laughing session in a long time.

I'm going to be at the exhibition tomorrow and Sunday, drop by if you're free! Monday I'll be flying to Bangkok. Whee~~ :3

I get so jealous every time I look at artists' blogs because they look so... artsy. and fun. and well, artsy. And... you know... artsy.

It's not like I do not sketch and plan for my shoots (rarely, really. Although when i do sketch i hardly follow, or when i follow they hardly turn out like the sketches, and the sketches are horrible to begin with anyway, so why're they needed again?), but those papers just always disappear.

I promise the next time I have one I will keep them and make a little "zemotion's photoshooting zero to zero" with sketches, wip pics and much much more. From zero to shooting to finishing to how the next one begins, in hopes of decorating this little space just a little more. In fact, maybe I'll sketch up the whole thing.

On a second note, rummaging through things I'd done for school. There's a surprisingly large amount of writings and pictures I've long forgotten, I've even designed a set of underwear before. XD

The eye lingers a little longer on something because it is more intensely interesting than something else that's usually seen. Sometimes it's contradicting, sometimes, it's never understood.

Some of the last lines I wrote for the set, it's like, 2 pages long. x_x

And so, out of curiosity, the digging continues.

More photos, more writings, more sketches, more, and more, and more. Ahhh and melodies sounding half Bach and half opening-theme-song-ish, it's so random but they aren't that bad at all, pity they're only a couple bars long and I never finished any. Hehe.

Something epic is going to happen on Sunday. Epic~ Epic desu!