Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tomie dePaola Award + Mark Twain Secret

Tribute to Mark Twain

Many of my favourite picture books while growing up were written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. His delightful stories and wonderful art were staples during my childhood story-time. So you can just imagine my excitement when I discovered The Tomie dePaola Illustrator Award!

Wow, The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators has provided me an opportunity to show my artwork to The Legendary Tomie dePaola! #HappinessOverload!

This year's theme is "black and white", and the subject is a passage from one of these classics:

Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain

The Yearling” by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Super tough choice , as all three are such great stories. But I have a connection with Tom Sawyer, because at his age I too was quite the troublemaker. I wasn't as sneaky per se, but let's just say trouble always found me.

For me, the passage that best embodies Tom's character is the iconic fence painting scene. The scene is so perfect. I can envision Mark Twain's delight as he penned the precise moment that Tom turned the situation around so that Ben actually wanted to do Tom's chore for him. Hopefully you can envision this too (hint: tree branches!).

Originally I wanted to create a paper-cut design, but after exploring several different compositions, textures, and styles, I went with a mix of traditional watercolour and digital painting.

I hope you enjoy this piece as much as I did creating it!

Monday, November 5, 2012

:: Picture Book Idea Month ::

Wednesday, February 10, 1982

Ever since I was young, I was always pretty comfortable drawing. It came natural. It's easy to be good at something when you have confidence.

Unfortunately I lacked the same conviction with my writing. As hard as I try, I have great difficulties honing and crafting my written ideas. My problem stems from my obsession over details. I need to communicate all ideas clearly, concisely, and perfectly. That is a lot of self-imposed pressure.

Confession - tweeting is actually quite laborious for me. I write and rewrite all my tweets many times before hitting send.

I fully understand and recognize the magic, power and beauty of well placed words. Great writing can communicate complex ideas with brevity and style. Great writing can paint fantastic worlds without a paint brush. Most importantly great writing can inspire. And that is what I want to do, oh so very badly.

Well, something changed exactly one week ago...

I signed up for PiBoIdMo. "Picture Book Idea Month" is a 30-day challenge for picture book writers. The concept is to create 30 picture book ideas in 30 days. There are over 700 participants world wide!

This fun month-long exercise has allowed me to write freely without all the pressure. The result has been absolutely amazing! I have written down and sketched out a dozen solid picture book ideas. I have also completed three written manuscripts and most importantly I am really happy with my writing!

So thank you Tara Lazar. Thank you for curing my writer's block and providing me confidence to write. You are a star!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

:: Bring Your Disc to Work Day ::

Spirit of the Game

Bring Your Disc to Work Day is an annual ultimate awareness day where ultimate players are encouraged to promote our sport simply by bringing a disc to work!

Bring Your Disc to Work Day 2012 will take place on Thursday, September 27th! Bring your disc to work, school or wherever and help promote the sport of Ultimate!

Ultimate Canada needs your help in promoting the sport of Ultimate. There are over 30,000 registered players in the country, but lots of people still don't know much about the sport (is that played with dogs?) or realize how popular it is. If you like Ultimate and own a disc, then bring your disc to work on Thursday, September 27th as part of our national Bring Your Disc to Work Day initiative to promote Ultimate in Canada.

Since I work from my home studio, I thought I could contribute by creating this "Spirit of the Game" print! In 2007, Toronto Ultimate Club had a new intiative to help raise awareness of Spirit Of The Game (SOTG). SOTG means respecting your teammates, opponents, the rules, the community, and the game.

This rotating ambigram design was hot-stamped on discs and distributed to all TUC members. The discs have found their way all over the world, including this orphange in Kenya.

Available now on my Society6 page!

Monday, September 10, 2012

:: Society6 store ::

Chinese Zodiac 2012

Hey Friends! I've set up an online store for the Chinese Zodiac designs. They are all printed on American Apparel Organic Fine Jersey T-shirts. All designs are available in 13 different colours. For the super-fan there other assorted goodies too!

The link below includes a FREE SHIPPING promotion (expires Sept.16)

:: http://society6.com/HilaryLeung ::


:: two clever threadless subs ::

It's not Brain Surgery

The Devil is in the Details

"Your challenge is to create a clever design.

Create a design that will make friends, enemies, and strangers smile. Keep in mind that we're now printing Threadless + Gap designs on tees for men, women, kids, toddlers, and babies. So your design can be whimsical, funny, or beautiful."

It's not Brain Surgery
and The Devil is in the Details are my two submissions to the Threadless loves Clever challenge sponsored by GAP.

Please feel free to vote on the designs that you like.

it's not brain surgery - Threadless T-shirts, Nude No More

The Devil is in the Details - Threadless T-shirts, Nude No More

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

1000strangers @Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition

Rosedale Station (Spring)

I'm really excited to announce that after a decade of attending the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, I'm finally exhibiting this year with my 1000strangers work.

But that's not all! I will also be sitting next to super talented and good friend Peter Schacht. Just like the good old days at Sheridan College!

While Peter will be showing off his latest beautiful paintings (acrylic & oil on carved wood), I will be exhibiting original 1000strangers sketches and Limited Edition (10) Archival Giclee Prints. I had a lot of fun composing my thoughts on each individual piece, so please be sure to click through them, like this sketch.

Show Details:

July 6, 7 & 8, 2012
Nathan Phillips Square

Booth: ORANGE #30 (along Queen Street)

Free Admission

Friday 10:30am-7:30pm
Saturday 10:30am-7:30pm
Sunday 10:30am-6:30pm

Please drop by this weekend and say hi!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Maurice Sendak Tribute

Maurice Sendak

"Where the Wild Things Are" was my favourite picture book while growing up. Being a young trouble maker myself (that was regularly sent to my room), I could relate to Max. Many years later while working in the picture book industry, I've appreciated Mr. Sendak's contributions even more. He was bold. He was honest. He was a trailblazer that paved the way for all children book authors past, present and future. Maurice Sendak was an inspiration to us all.

Rest In Peace Mr. Sendak, you will be missed.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Toronto Comics Arts Festival

TCAF 2012

The Brothers Leung are presenting at the Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF) on Saturday May 5, 2012. "The Pirate Girl's Treasure: Read and Create" takes place on the 2nd Floor: Appel Salon, Novella Room from 11:00am-11:45am. The brothers will talk a bit about themselves, tell the story of "The Pirate Girl's Treasure" and lead everyone into a series of fun origami activities!

I will also be exhibiting all things Ninja Cowboy Bear at table #267(second floor) on both Saturday and Sunday.

Note: We are on the SECOND FLOOR near the back... just follow the ninja balloons!

Hope to see you there!

More TCAF event details here.

Friday, April 20, 2012

:: San Diego Comic Con ::

To commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan and John Carter of Mars, my best friend Vince Chui and I collaborated and created this piece for the 2012 San Diego Comic Con souvenir book. We are both huge Frank Frazetta fans and of course fans of the classic He-Man action figures. This was a super fun project, so there will be more collaborations in the near future!

Happy 100th Tarzan & John Carter

I also created this little piece below to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Marvel Superheroes Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man, and Iron Man. This was also a blast! I haven't drawn superheroes since I was a teenager!

Happy 50th Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man, & Iron Man

If you're interested in reading why we created these pieces, please continue reading...

So my best friend Vince Chui is getting married! Being the best man, I had some responsibilities including the very important bachelor party! Vince is a great guy and I wanted this to be something super fun, something epic, something that he'll never forget... Solution - The San Diego Comic Con!

Brilliant! Since our teenage years, we've talked about going to the legendary "Comic Con". Years passed, but we kept talking about how we would make the trek one day... y'know when we were older.

Ha! Being ever so proud of myself for coming up with the idea, I did a quick search online on basic logistics like flights, hotels and admission. I quickly discovered that due to fire and safety regulations, there is a limit on the number of fans that can attend. And the 2011 Comic Con admission tickets sold out in 6 hours.

To make matters worse, I learned that the organizers implemented a new tiered system to order tickets. On an undisclosed date, they would release a link to register for a Membership ID number. Then on another undisclosed date, they would post another secret link for fans to order their ticket/attendee badge.

Tragedy! This idea seemed doomed before it even began. I started brainstorming other ideas for a decent plan B. Unfortunately everything else just paled in comparison. So I enlisted the help of a small circle of friends and set out to score some Comic Con tickets. I searched online and read anything remotely related to Comic Con for nine months... it became an obsession.

Finally on January 10, the Membership ID numbers were released and with shaky hands I signed Vince and myself up. My hands were trembling for excitement. I quickly alerted all my friends to sign up and they did. We did it - we completed the first obstacle! It was exhilarating.

Then it was quiet for a couple months. No news. Nothing. I'm not going to lie, it was pretty stressful.

March 1, 2012 at 5:31pm, I received an email update. "Comic Con 2012 badges will go on sale at 8:00am PST on Saturday March 3, 2012."

Crap! I had already booked an all day video shoot on that very Saturday! Fortunately our good friend Steve and Dave were ready and willing to try and secure our tickets for us. After reading and re-reading the detailed registration process document, we waited nervously.

A flurry of text messages from Steve later, we secured our tickets. Success! We are going to our first Comic Con this summer!

So to celebrate Vince's upcoming wedding AND our first visit to San Diego AND the Comic Con AND the 100th Anniversary of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan and John Carter of Mars, we decided to submit some fan artwork to the 2012 San Diego Comic Con souvenir book.

We later discovered that this year's tickets sold out in 90 minutes. Also we had to enter a hotel lottery, but that's another story...

To Be Continued...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

:: The Pirate Girl's Treasure ::

WOW! This has been a long time coming! My brothers and I are launching our very first picture book together. Our book is entitled, The Pirate Girl's Treasure An Origami Adventure by Kids Can Press. We have lots of Pirate Origami Book Parties planned all around the GTA and here are the first two...

Our first event, Origami for Pirates takes place THIS Sunday at Silly Goose Kids. This super charming toy store is located in the east end of Toronto at 2054 Danforth Avenue. I'm pleased to announce that Superstar Riley Galloway (from our book trailer fame) will be presenting with The Brothers Leung! It is going to be a total blast!

Origami For Pirates

For all our west end friends, we have our second book party over at Little Island Comics on Saturday April 14, 2012 from noon-3pm. Little Island Comics is the first kids comic book store in North America–maybe even the world - how cool is that?!

What can you expect from our book parties? Well, besides the interactive story telling, colouring pages and book signing, we will also be conducting an origami workshop. That's right, we'll provide paper and instructions for you to make some origami art! ...but wait, there's MORE!!!

We will also be giving away FREE Pirate Girl Bookmarks! These unique bookmarks not only help keep your page in your books, but after a couple folds it becomes your very own Origami Pirate Girl!

Pirate Girl Origami Bookmark

All our events are FREE and open to the public, so please come on down and join us for some Pirate Origami FUN!

Can't wait? Why not check out some of our YouTube videos like our Official Pirate Girl Book Trailer below.

Enjoy and hope to see you soon! Cheers!

Learn more about The Brothers Leung!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

:: 2012 WUGC jersey designs ::

On July 7-14, 2012, the World Ultimate & Guts Championships will take place in Sakai, Japan.

The World Championships bring the top Ultimate and Guts teams in the world together to compete for coveted Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. The Championships are currently held every 4 years, and each participating country is allowed to send one team in each division.

This championship is aiming 1) To support victims of Japan's earthquake and tsunami disaster. 2) To provide WFDF and all participants and guests with a unique and outstanding experience in Japan. 3) To build stronger international relationships between disc players in Kansai (west-Japan) area and other countries. 4) To develop awareness of the sport of Ultimate in Japan and worldwide for incorporation as an Olympic sport by using world class athletic fields. Ultimate Division is also placed as trail for World Games 2013 in Cali, Colombia and we are expecting to see many exciting games.

More details here.

Having friends on both Team Hong Kong and Team Canada, I've decided to design some jersey concepts for both teams. Enjoy!

Team Hong Kong

Team Canada

Friday, February 24, 2012

Presenting: The Legend of Ninja Cowboy Bear Book Trailer!

At long last, here is the book trailer for my very first picture book The Legend of Ninja Cowboy Bear! Thanks to "The Fires Of" for the amazing music and Kidchuckle for the video conversion! Enjoy!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

:: how to play ninja cowboy bear ::

On Monday February 13, 2012, we interviewed some of Joshua Creek Public School's keenest kids. We will be posting that video next week. While waiting in the hallway to be interviewed, a few students were kind enough to explain how to play Ninja Cowboy Bear the game. These grade one kids were super stars!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

:: I want my hat back ::

I Want My Hat BackI Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is weird and wonderful tale about a bear looking for his hat. The artwork is absolutely gorgeous - beautiful palette and lovely textures!

Funny thing - the first time I read this book, the last two pages were stuck together. I did not see the epilogue with the squirrel. This accidental ending would have been stronger IMHO.

Regardless this is definitely in my top 3 Picture Book of 2011. Can't wait to see what Jon Klassen has in store for us next!

View all my reviews

Monday, January 23, 2012

:: happy year of the dragon ::

:: happy year of the dragon ::

Kung Hei Fat Choi - Happy Chinese New Year!

I have always seen a dragon head in the Chinese character for dragon - hopefully now you do too ;)

May the Year of the Dragon bring you good fortunate and great health!

Friday, January 20, 2012

:: schools visits & frog kisses ::

Wow! I absolutely LOVE school visits! I love them almost as much as I love drawing! School visits are so inspirational! The kids have a special way of rejuvenating my passion for creating picture books. Their excitement and honesty motivate me to elevate my craft.

On Tuesday, David and I were very fortunate to be invited to speak to all four Grade One classes at Joshua Creek Public School. Being a slightly younger crowd, I had prepared a special new presentation just for them - which included some fun new artwork and also some of my own grade one drawings.

Below are three slides that I shared with them...

To make our presentations more engaging, I asked, "Does anyone know who these characters are?" "Could you please tell me more?" and naturally "Has anyone ever kissed a frog?"

:: six of hearts ::

Long story short, my informal poll has revealed "1 in 100 six year olds have indeed kissed a frog."

I've had many important teachers in my life, but none more influential than my Grade 1 teacher - Mrs. Combs was warm, patient, pretty and always smiling. She was my favourite teacher.

My favourite teacher:  Mrs. Combs

Mrs. Combs gave each of us a journal and our assignment was to draw or write about something daily. As you can see from the above illustration (circa February 1982), I enjoyed this assignment. This is a portrait of me proudly presenting my journal to her at the end of the week.

Wednesday, February 10, 1982 was the day I knew I wanted to became an artist. Mrs. Combs gave me a perfect score! There was a sticker, "C" check mark, a star and these four legendary words, "Good picture! Nice perspective!"

Wednesday, February 10, 1982

It was the most exciting day of my six years of existence! I mean, I did have pizza the day before, but this was one hundred times better than that! Words could not describe how happy I was. I wanted to write more. I wanted to draw more. I wanted to find out what the big word "perspective" meant. I felt complete utter joy!

Well later I found out that perspective was a system that helps show 3d objects in space. But more importantly, I discovered how amazing that a simple word of encouragement had such a profound impact on a six year old's life.

Thank you Mrs. Combs - you're still my favourite!

Monday, January 2, 2012

:: tombstones ::


is my submission to the Threadless loves Death challenge. It was inspired by the exhibition Morbid Curiosity: The Richard Harris Collection.

:: tombstones :: - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Who is your favourite character: Ninja, Cowboy, or Bear?

Happy New Year! Happy New Video! Who is your favourite character: Ninja, Cowboy, or Bear?

We interviewed a Toronto Grade One Class and they tell us which character from our Ninja Cowboy Bear books was their favourite and why. This is my favourite part of being a childrens book author. Enjoy!