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.
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.
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.
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
One of my customers on Etsy, William Sheehan, was happy with his order and asked me if I'd consider doing a private commission for him. William is 54 years old and has 20+ years of experience in chess under his belt. Only recently, about two months ago, he got into go and has already reached the level of 14-kyu. Previously William ran a chess club and as he is now fully submerged into go, and plans to start a go club. He showed me the logo of his chess club that he made himself (see picture below), in which he incorporated the blue and red colors of the flag of Chicago. The stars in the top left corner are taken from the same flag and the buildings in the background form the skyline of the city.
We exchanged some ideas and soon I understood that the go logo was to be quite similar, but that I was free to give it my personal twist. William told me that he lives close to the Midway International Airport, and that's where the name of his club comes from. Soon after, I got the idea to include an airplane in the design and have it take off from the go board. William had also mentioned the tarmac of the airport and this gave me an idea for the go-position: the go stones shown in the logo form a ladder that resembles a tarmac and emphasizes the movement of the plane. The ladder is good for White: White is in atari, but can move out with the next move, connecting up to his corner stones and breaking free, just like the plane.
Interestingly, although the blue of the plane looks darker than the blue of the sky, they are in fact the same color. It is an optical illusion caused by the black skyline. Another optical illusion is at play in the go stones: did you know that when go stones are produced, the white stones are made slightly smaller than the black ones? This is done because white objects seem larger to our eyes. I experienced that first hand during the design process: when using same-sized stones for black and white, the white stones appeared much larger, and I had to reduce them for a balanced composition.
For the font of the letters we ended up chosing a mechanical-style font called 'Noise Machine'.
If I'm ever in Chicago, I look forward to dropping by at the Midway Go Club.
I made a logo for IGLO - Internetowa Go Liga O!
IGLO is an online go league that was started around the time the covid-19 pandemic began. The league was created by Cezary Czernecki, supported by the Polish Go Association, and is now running its 9th season with 57 players competing. Participation is free of charge and most participants are from Poland and Ukraine, but anybody is welcome to take part. Each group consists of 8 players, in which each player plays against seven others, one game per week, The players compete to promote to the higher rated groups and, when results are suboptimal, can also fall down to the groups below. When a new player joins, he/she will be placed in a suitable group relative to their playing strength. IGLO includes regular lessons and game commentaries by top European players Stanislaw Frejlak 7 dan and Lukas Podpera 7 dan.
You can find out more about IGLO on its website here.
A new monthly go magazine is born, called the European Go Journal. This is a great initiative by Artem Kachanovskyi 2dan professional, under the banner of the European Go Federation.
Artem got in touch with me earlier this year and told me of his aspirations to start the journal. His plan was to include a chapter on go-related art and photography in each edition and he asked me if I wanted to take part in it - as a way to make the magazine more interesting and at the same time promote my illustrations and Etsy shop. I agreed and chose "The Ear Reddening Move" for the first edition, an artwork I did on commission for the Latin American Go Congress in 2019. The artwork and a small background story about it can be found on page 35 of the journal. Artem also asked me advice on the layout and design of a magazine, and because of my experience as an author of go related articles and the 2016 European Go Yearbook, I ended up proofreading the whole journal. I also created the cover for the first edition, which features a beautiful artwork called "Hope" by French illustrator Camille Lévêque from Stoned on the Goban.
The February 2021 edition of the European Go Journal is now available, free for download. The magazine will appear monthly in both online (PDF) and printed (paperback) form.
If you want one or if you want to support future editions, please have a look at the Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/europeangojournal
The plan is for me to stay involved in the making of future editions of the journal. I will edit, proofread and design the cover. Artem has asked me to use one of my own artworks for the March-edition and I am thinking to make a black and white version of my go playing cat for the occasion.
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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