Artwork, Commemorations, Reflections

Here’s to a Hopeful 2019!

Takahashi-sensei here! Omedeto!

Happy New Year one and all! 2018 has come and gone and now we enter 2019.

For me, personally, 2018 has been one of the best years of my life. The themes of which are opportunity and earning respect. Opportunity does not strike often at my home of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, especially with the job market in shambles. The biggest one of all was the 2026 Winter Olympics bid, which unfortunately more than 50 percent dissed. But it was a time for me to show everyone how talented I can be, even without a degree. (tuition prices ain’t going down anytime soon!) I had even begun this website, dedicated to my exploits in creating I.P.’s happiness into everyone’s lives. Though it’s only half a year old, I’ve already ammased just over 1 thousand hits from not just Canada or my neighbor to the south, but places I thought it’d never be big in; the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Finland, India, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand! Unfortunately, none came from Japan, a country which I adore dearly, and where I wish to base my career path in.

My spirits are now at an all-time high. Let’s hope things stay that way from here on in!

New Year Mural 2019.png

News, Reflections

C for Yourself…but only in your Dreams

Konbanwa. Takahashi-sensei reporting.

I have a heavy heart right now. And what causes this heavy heart to jolt my body with pain? Calgarians have decided not to C for themselves what the 2026 Winter Olympics could do for Calgary. Therefore, we will not be among the final cities in the bidding for the rights to host one of the most celebrated events in human history. It will be either Stockholm or Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Then again, I believe it is fair that Stockholm gets the right to host the games in over 100 years. The Swedes have never won any bid for past Olympiads; the most significant loss for Sweden was that Ostersund, which was bidding for the 1988 Winter Games was defeated by Calgary. We Canadians should learn to be more considerate of our rivals nowadays. The same country can’t hog the spotlight all the time. The United States, particularily, got a little greedy by hosting the Summer Games in Los Angie(1984) and Atlanta(1996), just 12 years apart(It should have been awarded to Athens or Toronto!). Meanwhile, Calgary(1988) and Vancouver’s Winter Games(2010) were held over 22 years apart.

The campaigning I did independently and with YesCalgary2026 beginning this July has only marked the beginning of my career. Though this chapter had a bittersweet ending, I still feel more than sweet enough. I made an impact.

I even went the extra mile; I actually violated the Olympic Charter’s rules regarding mascots. Even if Calgary won, Hick & Hia would be ultimately disqualified for being shown off far too early.

For any future sporting event to take place in Canada, I will be extra careful and keep anything relating to it a secret for the time being. Lesson learned there.

Calgary will still be a nice little city to live in for awhile. At least we’ve got 2030 to look forward to, right? Wait and C, everyone…wait and C.

-Akira Takahashi, November 13th, 2018

Artwork, Commemorations, Reflections

Lest We Forget

Hello, everyone. Takahashi-sensei reporting.

Today is the 100th anniversary of the end of the War that should have been the one to end all wars. Unfortunately, despite the Allied Forces’ best efforts to prevent another one through the Versailles Treaty of 1919, the world would not be at peace for long. Meanwhile, Hitler managed to overthrow the German government to form the Nazi Party, and Emperor Hirohito wanted to ensure that Japan and then-occupied Korea would be free of any western influence, thanks to their affinity for invasion of other neighbouring countries. Because of these, including other attrocities soon followed, the start of the Second World War became imminent by 1939.

If only we had known sooner.

I have created a piece dedicated to the soldiers who died in the battle of Vimy Ridge, France. It was a battle that was won by Canada, and has remained property of the Canadian government ever since.

Remebrance Day 2018

One day, this Earth will be rid of any meaningless conflict.

-Akira Takahashi, November 11th, 2018

News, Reflections

Next Week: A Disneyland Vacation PLUS…a brief salute to Walt Disney himself

Hello! Takahashi-sensei again. Jeez…this sleepy-arm syndrome has been killing me for quite a week. I hope there’s a remedy for it somewhere. Anyway, in spite of it, I’m happy to announce that I will be going to Anaheim, California with my relatives for a week-long getaway at Disneyland Park and Resort.

Yes, I’ve been a fan of the works of Uncle Walt, just like any other child living on Earth. He still remains an important figure in the world of arts and entertainment. Not only did he construct a massive animation team of talent at a young age, he managed to outdo the competition, even during the Great Depression (you could very well say that the Fleischer Brothers were copycats). His team did what no other studio could do before: make a short subject cartoon with sound (Steamboat Willie(1928)), made the first use of Technicolor film (The Silly Symphony, Flowers and Trees(1932)), emulated live-action human movement through rotoscoping, whilst others made rubber-hosed figures, built a camera that could allow for multiple layers of artwork to be used in a single or multiple frames (which is now a staple in many digital graphic art and design applications), and made a full-length feature film (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs(1937)) while others made short subjects out of their work.

Despite the success of the daring entreprenuer, however, his future projects of the early 1940s (namely Pinocchio and the expensive magnum opus concerto Fantasia(both 1940))would financially underperform domestically and abroad. But most of the flops were all thanks to endeavors of America’s enemy at the time, Nazi Germany, since World War II had already begun by that time. Fortunately, Disney’s team was funded by the U.S. Military to make propaganda films for the war effort. And single feature-length stories being adapted to the screen after its fifth film, Bambi(1942) were temporarily replaced by cheaper-to-make anthology films. They subsequently ended up becoming profitable enough for Disney to continue his passion of developing more detailed single-story films, even at the risk of going bankrupt. This led to the release of Cinderella(1950) at the start of the Baby Boom.

The 1950s became a potential era of success for Disney and his ever growing and changing team, thanks to the invention of the affordable television, which Disney’s team embraced thanks to a deal with ABC, which would later be bought by them in the 1990s. And guess where much of his profits went to? You guessed it: the development and construction of the major amusement park and resort in one, Disneyland, which would open in the summer of 1955! Walt, even after Disneyland’s grand opening would become a believer of this innovation that kept creeping up upon the world. He enlisted many engineers in hopes of making his newly envisioned project EPCOT a potential city of the future, but continued enlisting artists and animators for work on more animated projects, the last of which was The Jungle Book(1967), released a year after his untimely death at age 65. 50 years later, many creative minds and workers from sectors of the world to this very day continue to nurture his lifelong dream…of making Earth a place for the dreams of the people to come true. And it took even more than wishing upon a star to make a difference in the world that way.

This concludes my tribute to our friend, Uncle Walt Disney, whose animated works of art and appetite for innovation continue to stay true to the dreamers of today, and pioneers of tomorrow.