I have created a new go-related artwork! The occasion is a logo competition for the 2021 edition of the Congreso Latinoamericano de Go, a go tournament for Latin American players that will take place online in October this year. Requirements for the logo competition were to include a visual reference to the game of go and a representation of Latin American culture. I immediately thought of the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, such as the Incas, Mayans, Aztecs, Olmecs and Mixtecs, and started looking into their art. Particularly some of the Mixtec drawings resonated with me, and I used them as inspiration. In the logo we see a richly dressed figure with eagle headgear similar to that of Aztec eagle warriors, placing a stone on the go board. The color palette is also taken from old iconography, with the skin being red, and the clothing and jewelry being white, turquoise and golden. The figure is seated on a stool covered with a jaguar hide; both the eagle and the jaguar were symbols of power and divinity in ancient Mesoamerica.
For logos and trademarks I often first draw a rough sketch with pen on paper. I scan that line-drawing, then trace it on the computer and refine it. In this case, after I finished the color version on the computer, I still had inspiration left and came back to my original line-art on paper. You can see the final result of the black and white original above, after I added detail to it. Lately I make most of my design work in Photoshop, but when I draw by hand on paper I feel more free and creative. Drawing by hand can be almost meditative for me: I lose myself in the flow of creation and the details of the artwork.
The deadline for the logo competition was 5th of September, and its winner will be announced on the 8th. Fingers crossed! (EDIT on 20th of September 2021: Unfortunately I did not win, but my design did get an honorable mention)
This is not the first time that I made artwork for the Latin American Go Congress. In 2019 the organizers of the congress commissioned me to make a drawing, and to print 1000 postcards for the event that took place in the Nihon Ki-in da América do Sul in São Paulo, Brazil. I drew a toucan (see images above), a bird species indigenous to large parts of South America, taking the place of legendary go player Honinbo Shusaku. The go match in the artwork is one of the most famous ones ever played, known as "The Ear Reddening Game". The match is at its critical stage and the toucan is about to play a move that went down in history. Reportedly, when Shusaku played move 127, it mentally shook his opponent, Gennan Inseki, so much so that his ears turned red. If you look carefully at the cacti in the drawing, you can see that their fruit are starting to blush.
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Since February 2021 I've been working together with Artem Kachanovskyi 2p to create the European Go Journal, a monthly magazine about the game of go. The magazine includes news from recent European go events, notable news from the Asian continent where pro tournaments are more frequent, game commentaries, interviews, and recurring chapters like "Art & Photography", "World of Tesuji" by Alexandre Dinerchtein 3p and "Thirty-Six Stratagems" by Dai Junfu 8d.
My tasks for the journal are varied. I am the lead proofreader/editor, I adjust details of the layouting to improve looks, and I design the cover of each edition.
The creation of the covers is a lot of fun. I try to use different go-related artwork from as many different people as possible to showcase the diversity of the go community. This blog post looks back on the covers that I've made so far and gives a sneak peek into covers that are yet to come.
Covers so far: February - July 2021
So far six editions have been published, with artworks by the following people:
Covers yet to come
Below a sneak peek of what is yet to come.
Currently Alizée Chabin (from France), who is also known online as Kalyptane, is working on a custom cover with a nautical theme - front and back - for the August 2021 edition.
For the September and October issues, I found candidates in two amazing artists from Russia and Turkey. September will most likely have a cover made by Alexandra Khokhlova, whose art I spotted on her Instagram account. The October issue will suitingly be adorned with autumn colors - I saw this illustration of a girl fighting off her mental demons in a Turkish go magazine called Tasli Yol (translates as "Stony Road"). That was a few years ago, and it was printed as a small picture. It is made by professional illustrator Gonca Mine Çelik and deserves to be in the spotlight.
Recently Harmen, a foosball buddy of mine, was in the hospital for surgery. My friend Bart had the great idea to send him one of my cards with a "get better soon" from us. Then I thought: why not make art specifically for him? Recently Harmen's dog and best friend Jillian passed away, and after posing the idea to some people close to Harmen and getting the green signal, I decided to go for it. I had just one photo from Whatsapp to work with and I took me two days to finish the artwork. This was the result.
A few days after we posted the card to the hospital we got a message from Harmen. He loved it!
Peter Brouwer and I have been working on a go-book this year which will be published in a couple of months by the Kiseido Publishing Company. The book will be called Weird and Wonderful - Vol. 1. Extraordinary Moves by Professional Players. This will be the first volume in a series of three, with the second volume focusing on unusual joseki and techniques, and the third volume being a collection of spectacular go problems.
I've been thinking about the cover for volume 1 and recently came up with the concept that you see above. What are we looking at? An eccentric man, without a doubt. But not just any man. It is Cho Chikun 9-dan, legendary go player of the Nihon Ki-in, who came to Japan from South Korea as a young boy and grew to become one of the best and most exciting players of the country. Cho is well-known for his cheekiness and sharp play on the go board, and especially for his ability to make life in confined spaces. The go position above him refers to one of the chapters of the book titled "Double Ladder Breakers that Calmed the Gods". A double ladder breaker cancels out two ladders of the opponent simultaneously and rarely occurs. It is known in Japanese as 鎮神頭 (Chinshinto), stemming from the Chinese 镇神头 (Zhèn shén tóu). Its Korean name is translated from Japanese to 진신두 (Jin shin-doo). Three professional games that include this rare move are analyzed in the chapter, of which one was played by Cho Chikun 9-dan against Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan for the 20th Kisei title match in January 1996.
It is not yet clear if this design will make the cover, but I am happy with the new artwork. I am contemplating doing more go-portraits in this style. Is there a player that you'd like me to portray? Let me know.
My mind is blown. I never thought that someday my art would be tattooed on someone's body. But it happened. Jamie Coulthard from the United Kingdom had one of my go-related artworks tattooed on his arm. It's a surreal and humbling feeling. Thank you, Jamie, you're rocking it.
This go shape - the black stones - is called "kame no kou" in Japanese (亀の甲), translating to "the tortoise shell". Its Chinese and Korean names mean the same (龟甲 and 거북등 respectively). My drawing is a pun, showing "the tortoise shell" on the shell of a tortoise.
I made the original black and white drawing with pen on paper in 2014. It is owned by Dutch go-collector Theo van Ees.
The disc golf starter set that I designed for Frisbeewinkel last year has recently been produced by Disc Golf UK and is now available for purchase online! If you are interested, click here.
I am mostly impressed with the look and feel of the Bumblebee. It has a micro bead and reminds me a bit of the Whale by Innova, my favorite putter, although it is more flexible than the Whale. The Stag Beetle is even more flexible than the Bumblebee, and is an overstable midrange. The Dragonfly is the most stiff and sturdy disc of the set, and is an understable fairway driver.
I wrote more background information on the design and the symbolism of the stamps in a previous post that you can read here. Below are all the different color-variations of the discs. The Bumblebee comes in 5 different colors and the Stag Beetle and the Dragonfly both in 3 colors.
I was commissioned to make a logo for the European Go Journal.
The quill represents the written word. It draws a line on the go board, symbolizing the creativity and inspiration we take away from the journal, ready to be used in our own games of go.
Artem Kachanovskyi and I brainstormed about the design: it was to be simple but easily recognizable in different sizes, since it will be used on the new website for the journal as well as on the cover of each edition. We sent sketches back and forth. My initial idea was to have a fountain pen draw a go stone on a board. My second idea was for the pen to shoot or drip drops of ink that would shape into go stones. Artem preferred a classic quill over a fountain pen and showed me a picture of a quill drawing a line. This gave me the idea of the quill drawing one of the lines of the go board, which form the intersections on which stones are placed. This felt like a better metaphor for the journal, with the quill "preparing" the setting for us to play on.
I wanted the font of the text to represent the classy, old-fashioned atmosphere of the drawing and after confirming with Artem, we chose "Quintessential" for the job.
I made a color version and a black and white version for the logo. In the end I think I prefer the b&w one, as its go board feels less defined, which makes the movement of the quill more apparent.
Artem also asked if I could design a favicon for the website, which ended up as a cross-cut shape of four go stones. This was a shape that he had suggested during the creation of the logo as well, and it is very characteristic for the complexity of the game of go, because it usually indicates a difficult fight.
Artem and I are currently working on the fourth edition of the magazine, the May 2021 print, which will be published in the beginning of June.
If you are interested to get a copy of the European Go Journal, have a look at its Patreon page.
I made a design for Zomergo, a camp for go / weiqi / baduk players in the Netherlands that takes place in August every year. Although the game of go is the common denominator of the participants, lots of other board games are played during this event.
My design is for the "mug competition" of Zomergo: each year people can send in their designs. The winning design will be printed on mugs. Each participant will receive a mug with that design and their name on it. The white paper sign in my drawing is meant to write those names on.
If you are interested in the event, check it out at https://zomergo.nl/
The March edition of the European Go Journal is ready. The digital edition has already been distributed to the subscribers. The PDF is at the printer and a new, more luxurious paperback than the first edition will soon be posted to the subscribers that want to read from real paper.
For the cover I made a special black and white version of my artwork "Sniffing the Third Line". On pages 26-28 the color version of the same artwork is included with more background information on my inspirations for that painting.
I also helped Artem Kachanovskyi, the author and compiler of the European Go Journal, with the layouting and overall editing of the magazine. We worked hard together this month to create a magazine for European go with high quality content and I'm proud of the result.
This is only the second edition of the journal. I started working with Artem in the beginning of March, when I had just one or two days to proofread the entire first edition before we released it. We've come a long way since then, with already more than 100 subscribers! We are still perfecting the streamlining of the creative process.
If you want to get a copy, go to www.patreon.com/europeangojournal
Welcome to my website! My name is Kim Ouweleen, my artist pseudonym is Murugandi. I am an illustrator, graphic designer, author and go teacher from Amsterdam.
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