14 February 2012

Nordicomics workshop in arctic Riga

Despite the temperatures well below zero, last week in Riga kuš! hosted the traveling Nordicomics workshop organized in cooperation with the Finnish Comics Society.

Seven artists: Mari Ahokoivu and Heidi Salminen from Finland, Esben S. Titland from Norway, Mikkel Sommer from Denmark, Maria Dziarmaga from Poland, Ingrīda Pičukāne and Oskars Pavlovskis from Latvia came over to explore the deep freeze and create Riga inspired comics, which will be published in a set of postcards. (first Nordicomics-Rigacomics postcards ever!)

To warm up for drawing,  EatRiga alternative tour guides zigzagged us through the city to get a closer look and feel of places, especially those outside the centre district, that otherwise we might have never visited or would have just walked by without noticing.

Indeed it's hard to believe but here once was a river that gave the name and place to the city of Riga

Did you know there is a bunch of very special Riga characters?
Some guys were built in old church walls, some are still sitting on top of buildings and churches in a form of a cat or a rooster...
some other might work at, or follow you from the Central market...
or maybe hide inside the beautiful wooden buildings in Maskavas forštate or Āgenskalns...
Mikkel Sommer and Esben S. Titland probably found a few more behind the hot heaters inside the very beautiful wooden Jesus Church in Maskavas Forštate area.
On Wednesday night at Nabaklab we closed the Nordicomics exhibition (showcasing the works created during the Nordicomics  previously visited cities) with comics presentations and a comics battle.
Mari Ahokoivu draws and teaches comics, and her comics blog is the longest running comics blog in Finland!
Ingrīda Pičukāne revealed some very interesting details of her creative process
Oskars Pavlovskis has recently returned from a study semester in Lisbon and definitely has met many impressive and inspiring characters as we can see in his illustration...
Our cameras unfortunately blurred the pictures of the presentation by Esben.  However, he took part in the comics battle and won it along with Mikkel!  For the first time there were 2 winners - Riga is truly inspirational, told you! 

 A few more impressions from the comics battle:
Mārtiņš Zutis

Mari Ahokoivu (or 2 of them?)
Ingrīda Pičukāne draws one more cute kitten; there can never be too many of them!

And finally some impressions from the workshop itself:
On the last day Ingrida and Oskars find out they have drawn the same character
Oskars Pavlovskis' Sketch
Ingrīda Pičukāne's Sketch
Riga by Maria Dziarmaga
Heidi Salminen sketching faces of Riga
Trams in Riga or trams in river by Oskars Pavlovskis
by Esben S. Titland
by Mikkel Sommer (or Esben S. Titland?)

by Mikkel Sommer

Esben and a kitten by Mikkel Sommer
by Mari Ahokoivu
The Nordicomics workshop and the exhibition was supported by: The Embassy of Finland, Latvian Art Academy, Eat Riga Tours, Finnish Comics Society, Latvian Contemporary Art Centre, Nabaklab, Norden Culture Point, kuš!

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