Art & Design

   

The Inspiring Zen Pencils

Posted by

<
>

After eight years in the corporate world, Gavin Aung Than tore off his necktie, left the office job and went on to be a full-time illustrator and cartoonist. That story’s awesome enough, but Than’s current project Zen Pencils offers many more injections of inspiration.

Than takes invigorating quotes from historical figures and cultural icons and illustrates a comic around them, either featuring the speaker of the quote or applying the quote to a fictional situation. This synthesis is very effective, and the process and artist behind it is well worth a little further examination.

“I was looking for a project that would combine all of my interests – cartooning, design, illustration, history, science and pop-culture into one dream project.” he explains.

Than’s wide variety of interests are reflected in his process for choosing quotes. “I’m willing to adapt almost any quote from historic figures, comedians, athletes, poets – as long as the message is positive or makes me use my brain…plus I don’t have to worry about running out of material because I have the whole of history to draw upon.”

Zen Pencils has found enough fans to support Than away from the nine to five world (“it’s generating enough income to cover maintenance costs, but not enough to retire and move to the Bahamas”), and some recent strips have become viral hits.

Than cites this strip based on a quote by Neil Gaiman, which led to the author championing the work on Twitter. Income and endorsements are great, but Than’s goals for Zen Pencils are higher-level.

“I was trying to think of ways to create comics for people who don’t normally read them and maybe even help some readers who are looking for inspiration.”

If you’d like to see some lovely cartooning, or just need a bit of a muse, you should check out Zen Pencils.


Photo & Video

http://www.milkbarmag.com/2015/04/02/the-10th-whitelion-bail-out-charity-fundraiser/

The 10th Whitelion Bail Out Charity Fundraiser

Bail Out's plans to help out Melbourne's disadvantaged youth.

http://www.milkbarmag.com/2014/10/15/the-fox-darkroom/

The Fox Darkroom

Snap away with The Fox Darkroom, a mecca for photography aficionados to learn all about the traditional methods of black and white photography.

http://www.milkbarmag.com/2014/05/30/somewhere-else-video-sings-of-summer/

Somewhere Else video sings of summer

It almost sounds like the premise of a reality TV show: pile a bunch of artists in a bus for seven days, send them across Mexico and see what happens.

What's On

http://www.milkbarmag.com/2015/09/01/limb-the-label/

LIMB: The Label

Melbourne based fashion brand LIMB strives to create garments that challenge the consumerist fast-fashion that our society has become so prone to.

http://www.milkbarmag.com/2015/08/25/the-great-craft-beer-taste-off/

The Great Craft Beer Taste Off

The Aussies and Kiwis battle it out over who makes the best craft beer.

http://www.milkbarmag.com/2015/08/20/rising-star-michael-shafar-on-melbourne-comedy/

Rising Star Michael Shafar On Melbourne Comedy

Our chat with comedic actor Michael Shafar on performing on Melbourne Comedy's Rising Stars.