manga monster, toronto street art
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Manga Monster Magazine Article! This was a short article discussing the HEY APATHY! artworks and the influence that Japanese comics, film and art have had on my creations. As one can tell from my comic book style and subject matter manga and anime has played a major part in inspiring my creations. As a young child I used to wake up at 6:30 in the morning to watch anime shows such as Astro-Boy and Battle Ship Yamato before heading off to school. At this time I also interested in western comics but was already aware of the endless cycling of stories that these works presented. Watching battle ship Yamato was really interesting because it was the first time I discovered an animation that had a continuous and progressive storyline.

This led me to investigate more manga and anime where I discovered a lot more mature themes and artistic approaches than the western counter parts. The major difference was that manga and anime works were generally like extended graphic novels shying away from monotonous serialization. The stories dealt with counter culture, politics, human behavior using incredibly detailed artworks and storytelling. I was also really taken with the black and white aesthetic most of the manga incorporated.

This minimal color scheme seemed to have a maximal impact on me. On the one side I understood that this was certainly publication consideration allowing the company to produce massive volumes at a low cost however I also discovered an aggressive beauty in the two tone format. The black and white artwork was exemplified by the ideas. The work didn't need any additional coloring because the expressions were so striking. This approach forces the artist to excel at storytelling and allow for the rapid pace of production that lends itself so well to the artist's unconscious exploration.

In addition anime and manga I also happened across a number of Zen scrolls and the art of shodo in my studies. These works were often done as live performance paintings using giant sheets of white paper and broom sized brushes. The spontaneity of the black ink drawings and kanji characters heavily inspired the aesthetic of my paintings and live performances. I really started amalgamating the traditional shodo demonstrations with contemporary manga styles while working as a street performer in downtown Toronto. 

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