Best of 2011 - Part 1

so 2011 was quite a dramatic year. I lived through the 9.0 great kanto earthquake/tsunami/radiation, the running of the bulls, the London riots, and another huge life disrupting year ending event. It was also a great year. A diverse year. I lived in 5 different countries in 2011. Japan from Jan-Mar. Korea for the month of April. Spain from May-July. UK from Aug-Dec, and USA for the Month of December. I saw the snow monkeys in Nagano. I went to the DMZ btwn North and South Korea. I saw the start of the Spanish protests at ground zero in Madrid. I camped on a nude beach in Spain. I got a personal tour of the BBC. I received a medal from the Society of Illustrators. I received many illustration awards. All this moving around made it hard to settle into one place and get my groove on. While it was cool, I don't think i want to live in 5 countries in 1 year again, it's too much. You have to make friends and say goodbye to friends too quickly. You don't get to assimilate into the country and feel more local and not like a tourist. Sure it's better than a 2 week vacation but if possible I would like to live somewhere for 1 year. I've lived harder and faster though. years ago in new york, and recently in tokyo i was at peak efficiency in the fun and work categories. Somehow accomplishing great amounts of work and great amounts of fun while getting just enough sleep. Maybe its because I didn't have time to get my groove on anywhere this year or maybe it's because I am starting to tire of the life of traveling? It's probably a bit of both. and i'm getting older. I don't feel as bright eyed and bushy tailed as i used to like when i was in China and Japan. Hopefully the 3 months i spend in New York growing my wings back will rejuvenate me and I will have that lust for life and my work that i used to. all that aside, 2011 was definitely one for the record books. Let's take a look.

these three dudes. what a bunch of dudes. I spent the first 2 weeks of 2011 in New York

Hill Country BBQ

Crif dogs bacon wrapped hot dogs and tater tots

Bologna and Cheese sandwiches a classic for me. but now so expensive, what gives?

back in tokyo at this awesome little old paper store.

my birthday, first time i got to wear this suit i had made in Beijing

alpagartas with my stuff sew ontop

Nagoya, snow monkey hot spring park

onsen town in Nagoya with tons of bath houses and this outside area too.

museum of emerging technology. ferrofluid and they strengthen or weaken the magnetic force around it so they can time its actions to music. crazy

whale sashimi. its pretty good. did you know this was right next to the shibuya 109 building? neither did i.

ikebukuro earthquake center. we received light training in various emergency situations. little did we know a few weeks later the 9.0 real thing would hit.

last meeting with my Japanese family, fu-balls and the sugimotos. a few days later it was earthquake time.

earthquake hit, all the foreigners ran away because of radiation ultimately so i figured i should to. mad rush to pack up my life and get out of japan. these guys helped

Korean Air is the not only has the best everything they also have the best looking flight attendants.

14 hr layover in Moscow. slept like this.

after fleeing to safety to yoon's house in seoul i spent the next week, 16 hrs a day working furiously on 3 posters with over 2,000 unique animals for a Bounce dryer bar campaign. It definitely payed off because it won awards from like 6 or 7 different organizations including communication arts, and the society of illustrators! and it was a decent chunk of change.

spent a month of 2011 in Korea

Seoul motor show. first auto show i've been too because i've always blown them off as a super dude thing to do which it is. but once you're in there you're reduced to a caveman like every other dude.

ate nakji finally, which is chopped up octopus that is still squirming around when you pop it in your mouth.

Yoon and I have had our little ping pong tournaments in many many countries and he came out ontop this time. just this time.

visit to the DMZ with embassy people. freaky to see the north korean soldiers staring at you.

I lived in Barcelona, Spain for 3 months of 2011. the view from our balcony.

Barcelona is a beach city. 10 min by bike and you're here. you can take the train here. or walk for 30 min. that's cuz i lived in the north. Marco lived a 10 min walk to the beach here.

finally got my Canon 5D Mark II after one got lost in the mail.

Spanish food is amazing. I really really like how they eat and what they eat.

Gaudi's Sagrada Familia is amazing inside. Barcelona has a bunch of his famous and less famous stuff.

the start of the protests in Madrid. ground zero.

the most gobsmacked i've ever been at a museum. Reina Sofia in Madrid with Picasso's Guernnica. its huge, meaningful, and rocked my world. Saw a lot of picasso in Spain and loved it.

street festival in Barcelonetta. unexpected fun times.

Festival de San Juan. jumping over bonfires is part of the tradition. its the biggest beach party of the year.

i can't lie, this CBO chicken burger from McDonald's was awesome. I think I ate this 3 times. shame on me i know.

San Fermin running of the bulls in Pamplona, the biggest party in Spain that goes for 7 days, 24 hrs. I got my arse kicked by this party. I went by myself and ended up the most drunk i've ever been in my life making this the worst best part of 2011

Salmorejo, variant of gazpacho, maybe my favorite

"teaching" Yuko's kids

i was amazingly hung over the day after the running of the bulls when they dragged me here, costa brava. i'm glad they did because it was amazingly beautiful

right before i left spain i visited valencia, another city along the coast. met a couple friends there, rode a bike around, and had a good time. bye bye spain. next up part 2 of the best of 2011 featuring London and New York