Illustrated Travel Journal: Part 12

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I know I’d been counting down my time left in Korea since about 6 months in, from then already dreading the impending end. And soon those 6 months quickly became 3, then 1 month, and that became 1 week, then suddenly 1 day. And now I write this after a blur of almost 3 weeks post-Korea from my bed in South Africa wondering where my year in kimchi-land actually went and if it all even happened at all! So, while I fend off the already-present nostalgia, here is my final chapter from my last month in SK.

Mon 05/02/2018 – This one time I was sick. For like a day.
Okay, so I’d only really been sick once in Korea and it was just a couple months into my contract and I should’ve gone to a doctor but things were still rather overwhelming back then so I didn’t. Fast forward 10 months to winter, a sore throat and last minute curiosity, I decided to use this as an opportunity to visit a Korean doctor. And an ear-nose-and-throat doc no less. But more for the experience than the meds. 1

With a recommendation from friends for a nice doc, I rocked up with no appointment and waited about 10 min to see Dr Park. Less than 5 min, a quick chat, check, scope down my throat later I was done and given a 3 day prescription and an invoice for W5000 (like R50!). At the pharmacy they then individually package your pills into morning, noon and night packets per day (fig. 1). So easy and inexpensive! Overall review: unnecessary – maybe. An experience – worth it! 

Wednes 14/02: Galentines Day
When you’re single or can’t be with your bae on Valentines Day, you can have a Galentines Day with your besties and go shopping, beer drinking, curry consuming and beer ponging. On a week night! Yay! ❤
(P.s I miss you guys already! </3 )
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Mon 19/02: The final week
My last week in Korea only had 2 days at school luckily. Monday was my final teaching day (ever!) and I had 5 classes of gr 4 so I drew a tree on the board, gave each kid a leaf-shaped sticky note and I told them I was “LEAF-ing” so they could write a little goodbye note and stick it on the tree. The joke was 90% wasted on them. Sigh. But I got a few creative or cute notes worth keeping and some soppy goodbye hugs. Sweet, man.
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Tuesday, being the closing ceremony day, meant we left at lunch time for our final teachers’ dinner/farewell for a large number of teachers changing schools. This as always, was filled with a lot of food (marinated BBQ pork this time – SO good!) and soju (mostly thanks to my gr5 co, Minkyung/my soju partner in crime over the year with Ms Min (crazy, fun and mother of 2) close behind if not the instigator as well as pourer-of-her-own-drinks. Of course my luck in the seating arrangement was me being placed right next to the principal and vice with the “higher powers” around them. A couple of hours and soju later, I had to say my final goodbyes to 2 of 3 of my co-teachers as we parted ways for the last time.

Friday 23/02: Ms Kang’s lunch
2 days before departure.
As my main co-teacher, personal co-ordinator, Korean translator and teacher of gr 3-4, Ms Kang and I spent the most time together over the year and she kindly invited me to her house to cook for me as a farewell. I got to meet her 7 year old daughter (who was super cute but got frustrated that I couldn’t understand her speaking in Korean) and her husband. My last dose of Korean hospitality.


Sunday 25/02: Departure Day4b
It arrived. And so at 9am I left my apartment for the last time, with two bloody heavy bags in tow to the airport for my flight at 12:45. Yes, I was early. Very early. But the inevitable had to begin at some point, so I’d rather be early than to be left behind. I’d expected the whole leaving thing to feel a lot more final. But it felt so normal. So unexpecting of the finality of it all. After a 2 hour-ish flight I landed in Beijing ready for an 8 hour layover – only to find the wifi would not let me connect. Thanks, ma’China!5

In that time I bought some Yaun (¥), some coffee, drew a bit and walked in circles for 8 hours in preparation for my impending 14.5 hour sitting test on the flight to Joburg.6
One hour into my longest flight (ever!) and I was already questioning how I was going to make it through this! Luckily I managed to sleep through a lot of it thanks to my packed necessities:7
My exhaustion was then met by an awful experience in OR Tambo at Joburg with delayed bags, rude staff and nearly missing my connecting flight due to the short layover time… and some tears, but I made it to PE in the end! Finally home in South Africa after 32hours since leaving my Korean home, and I miss it already…8

Thanks for scrolling!
This is sadly the final instalment of my South Korean Travel Journal.
New adventures are in the pipeline though…
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South African Flower Cards ~ FREE PRINTABLES

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Each card was lovingly hand-drawn and painted before being digitised and uploaded for you to print at home for a loved one. Choose from four beautiful South African flowers with the option of a special wish on the front of the card, or opt for a blank template to write your own message or your loved one’s name. Folding instructions below. 

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©Amy Slatem 2018. For personal use only. 

Special Message Cards:

Print the card to suit the special occasion.

To download:
Click on the card name below (will open in a new tab) > (right click) save image as > then print as A4 (don’t fit to page)

Blank Message Cards:

Write your own message or loved one’s name in flower’s banner.

To download:
Click on the card name below (will open in a new tab) > (right click) save image as > then print as A4 (don’t fit to page)

HOW TO FOLD:

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  1. Fold A4 printed page in half horizontally.
  2. Fold in half again so the flower is on the front. Open the card and write your message on the right inside page.
  3. Tadaah! You’re done. Now pop it in an envelope. 

Please do not edit, re-purpose or sell these files or printouts. For personal use only.
©Amy Slatem 2018.

But please do show me your finished printed cards by tagging me on Instagram @shmaymee.

The Nguni cow’s portrait

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Nguni Portrait – Ink on paper, A3 200gsm.

I had the opportunity recently to paint cows again for a commissioned ink work, which is now in its home in Hermanus enjoying the ocean air.

Some notes on the process:

  1. A fairly rough sketch in 5B pencil on some paper to warm up and have a better look at the image – hey bingo, a separate artwork (below).
  2. Plot the basic lines in 2H pencil on the A3 paper using a light box (read: my window) and the reference image for proportion accuracies.
  3. Ink time! Start with large areas of washes in very watered down ink where the darkest areas/shadows lie in the image.
  4. Work on layers, painting smaller areas but darker shades, building up the details.
  5. Work
  6. Work
  7. Work
  8. Use your finest paintbrush, add the detailed finishing lines, like lashes and stray hairs.
  9. Sign.
  10. Hey pesto. Nguni portrait done 🙂
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Practice sketch

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All images are © Amy Slatem.

King Protea Wallpaper – free download

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So while everyone else spent their weekends getting married, engaged, making babies etc (thank you for that, Facebook), I made this thing. And I want to share my love thing with everyone. So go ahead and give it a download (link a bit below) and protea-fy your computer and phone because our national flower is just that beautiful.
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Click on the size below to download, then save as…

DESKTOP: 4:3 Fullscreen // 16:9 Widescreen (recommended)
PHONE: 450 x 800 slim (iPhone 6 etc) // 500 x 750 wider


ARTWORK PROCESS // DETAILS


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The artwork was all done in Photoshop using a Wacom Intuos Pro and a variety of PS brushes, finished off with a bit of background paper texture.

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Thank you!
Want more, more often?
Follow me on Instagram @shmaymee


Photo/mock up credit: Carlos Martínez 

Hello there, Adele.

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Adele has just recently released her single ‘Hello’, taken from her new album, 25, (release date: 20 November).
The song is great. Like really. Which is why I decided to pull out my (rather dusty) inks and brushes and while listening to this goosebumping song far too many times, I did an Adele-portrait-meets-lyrics piece.
I ended up simplifying the original artwork in Photoshop because there was just too much text… this should explain why not all the lyrics made it on in the end. But that’s just the fine print. Who reads fine print anyway? (I’m joking)

1I started the painting as an A3 landscape (I’m not sure why that made sense at the time) which was just a bit too big to fit in my scanner at the end. So the only way to really digitise it (other than photographing, but that’s not accurate enough) was to scan in the image half a side at a time, left then right with enough overlap each time. And yay Photoshop (and Google for showing me the answer) and its highly impressive automatic stitching command: Photomerge (File > Automate > Photomerge).

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1. I was originally going to manually try match up and layer the two scans myself – this would’ve taken a lot more time, effort and inaccuracy.
2. This shows the stitching that PS did by itself. Pretty incredible. I pulled the two pieces apart just to show how it merged the two separate images so perfectly together. I initially thought it was already flattened because it looked so natural.
3. How it looked immediately after it finished rendering the Photomerge. SEAMLESS!!


Adele by Amy SlatemFinal artwork ^^
Reminiscent of Billy Joel’s Piano Man actually…


Adele-OriginalThe original artwork scanned in (more text – but it looked too much like a beard so I erased it)


Adele-eyesAdele se oogbolletjies. (detail)


PROCESS PHOTOS…42


In case you STILL haven’t heard it…

Joburg Art Fair 2015

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Having heard a number of good reviews about it, I went to go check out the Joburg Art Fair held at the Sandton Convention Centre for myself this weekend. Mmmm… there really was such a great collection of diverse contemporary art featuring some big names in the South African art scene and beyond.
It’s was definitely well worth it being able to see the work of artists I know of and have learnt about in school and varsity, or just generally admire. Let’s name drop a bit off the top of my head… William Kentridge, Lionel Smit, Athi-Patra Ruga, Ed Young, Brett Murray, Nigel Mullins, Nicholas Hlobo, Anton Kannemeyer, Roger Ballen and so many more.
Overall, it was well worth the R130 entrance for an afternoon spent walking around the lovely venue looking at works up close, then afar and getting to bond with my camera for a change and being able to admire the textures and painterly/material details of the actual artworks made by hands I admire.
So I’m sorry if you missed it, cause you missed out. Maybe next year, doll…

35-NigelNigel Mullins

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Johannes Pokela

2619_comboOne of my favourites (the artist’s name wasn’t there, sadly). Loved the realism left to clash with the loose brushstrokes and white canvas.

31Claudette Schreuders

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Lionel Smit

16-Lionel-comboLionel Smit

8 9 11-Cloe-ReidCloe Ried

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Ed Young, Buttercup

20_skullboySkullboy (If only I had R12 000 lying around… Love this guy!)

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Market exhibition, Pretoria

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Last weekend (20 June) I had the opportunity to show some work at the launch of the Market on main Pretoria. Very cool space up at 012 Central in Pretoria CBD, interesting recycled furniture in the converted warehouse, and of course amazing stalls (both food and fashion).

On arrival (and slightly late after getting lost a few times and being totally freaked out by the don’t-give-no-f*cks taxis everywhere) I was given an entire space for my own, and right at the entrance. Art-in-a-converted-shipping-container :D! Thanks to Alex (seen below) for organising all of this on behalf of the Market!

If you’re interested in buying a framed original, I’ll be updating my Shop page soon soon!

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0Part of the preparation for the event was editing through all my works, picking the best, cropping and mounting them in the frames.
I blame my phone for the not so great photo quality…