Archive for January, 2014

Draw Dragon

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on January 28, 2014 by lelandwong

Draw Dragon

drawing a dragon at draw me a dragon event.  NJAHS January 25, 2014   Photo by Ted Jang



Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 28, 2014 by lelandwong

mural and I

Can you believe I still get requests like this?

Hey Leland, can u design an event flier in exchange for tickets to the show plus exposure of your work such as placing your logo onto the flier?

OK…I admit I do get sucked into things like these things all the time.  It’s just the nature of doing art in the community.  I come from the days when doing things for the community was like a duty for the good of the community.  Always getting hit up to do free artwork and photography.  For the people!  People’s art!  Serve the people!  I’m crazy to be still thinking this way.  Not getting any money or very little money for doing art definitely does not bring food to the table nor money for my kids college tuitions.

Look at the recent Leway Reunion poster…that was free and I doubt if the Kanzaki’s are gonna even let me attend the reunion for free.

Look at the poster I did for WGUISFCT’s Winterblast, a benefit for Chinese Historical Society of America.  I didn’t get paid a cent for it.  CHSA made money on the event and I don’t think it even dawns on them that they should pay me a little for me artwork.

Then DBL comes up to me to do a free poster for Ohana E’s big picnic again.  I did the poster last year for them and they still made me pay to go to the picnic.  I even had to make potstickers for everyone.

The Miss Teen Chinatown poster I am only getting paid $150 for the whole thing.  For all the time I spent coming up with the design and pulling all nighters doing it.  Think $150 is getting me anywhere?   That doesn’t cover my monthly electric bill!

I am not blaming anyone… I blame myself for getting suckered into it.  It’s not like there are people lined up to commission me to do artwork or purchase my paintings or prints. Maybe I do need the exposure.

Yet it’s the only way I know to do art.  Would I be happy if a big corporation ask me to design a poster for their tires or cigarettes?

At my age I don’t need the exposure.  I am not like an art student that needs exposure.  I’ve been doing art for more than fifty years…exposure?  Ha!  I’m not some dumb kid that needs exposure.

On the other hand, if I really wanted those free tickets bad enough I might get suckered into it.  Hmmm….neh!…yeh…neh….

Draw Me A Dragon!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2014 by lelandwong


whelp, my first ever exhibition, From the Mist, of my thirty Nihonmachi Street Fair posters at NJAHS is coming to a close.  It was a successful five month run and we’re going out with a big bang.

Draw me a dragon!   That is what Warren Hom used to say to me all the time.  Of course I never drew him a dragon.  I always wonder what happened to him.  Last time I saw him he was sitting on the corner of Sacramento and Grant Avenue laughing to himself.

On Saturday, in the spirit of Warren Hom, I’m gonna be drawing dragons on shikishi boards at NJAHS starting at 2pm.  And if anyone wants to have one can have it.  Then after 3pm I’m gonna be cooking a big batch of Yakisoba with my electric skillet.  Yakisoba is actually Chow Mein.  But since we’re gonna be doing this in J-Town, we’ll call it yakisoba.  To make it authentic, I will be using yakisoba noodles which I will be buying in Japantown earlier in the day.  There is a slight difference between yakisoba and chow mein.

The day before I will be buying pork, cutting it up and marinating it with mirin, soy sauce, sugar, garlic and garlic powder.  I will cut up cabbage, onion, garlic, carrots, and green onions.

Here’s the procedure;  I will first fry the soba in the electric skillet, making the soba toasty and parts of it crispy.  Then take it out and set aside. 

Oil the skillet and begin browning the onions and garlic.  Add the pork (or chicken) and brown that.  Add the cabbage, carrots and fry that till tender.  Add soy sauce, oyster sauce and soba sauce.  Mix it around in the skillet and add the fried soba.  Mix it around.  add some sesame seed oil.  Top with seaweed flakes, bonito flakes and red ginger.

Then it’ll be time to fold gyoza around 3:30.  Gyoza is actually jiaozi.  Same kanji and all.  But to make it authentic gyoza, I’m gonna be buying the skin in J-Town.  Japanese gyoza skin is actually thinner that the Chinese style skin.  Hopefully I will have some help wrapping the gyoza.  I will fry it on the skillet, add glutinous rice flour water and steam.

Don’t know how many people are gonna show up.  But in the past, there’ never was a lot of people showing up at NJAHS art events.

Come on by!  Hope to see you there!


Leway Reunion Poster

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 6, 2014 by lelandwong

Leway Poster

Just slapped together this poster for the Leway Reunion. I’m doing this for the Kanzaki brothers so i doubt if I will get paid for this.

Page Three Photo

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on January 4, 2014 by lelandwong


Photographed last night on the corner of Sacramento and Grant Avenue with my iPhone5. This guy seems to do pretty well as a panhandler. He is not homeless.