Artist PJ Patten will talk about the creation of graphic novels at Surrey Art Gallery on Jan. 9. (submitted photo)

Artist PJ Patten will talk about the creation of graphic novels at Surrey Art Gallery on Jan. 9. (submitted photo)

VISUAL ART

In Surrey, graphic novelist to detail path from homelessness and addiction to ‘Tower25’

PJ Patten’s ‘About the Creation of Graphic Novels’ session at Surrey Art Gallery

A graphic novelist will share his story of homelessness, drug addiction and drawing at Surrey Art Gallery’s first Thursday Artist Talk of 2020.

PJ Patten’s “About the Creation of Graphic Novels” session is free for all to attend on Jan. 9, starting at 7:30 p.m.

At his talk, Patten will share the artistic process behind his graphic novel Tower25, an illustrated memoir detailing a period of homelessness in his life after a decade of drug addiction, as a young man living on a beach in Southern California.

“The book depicts his inner struggle, how he overcame various obstacles, and how he ultimately came out stronger,” says a bio posted to surrey.ca. “He will discuss some of his personal life events, as well as the larger role that journal comics played in his healing and recovery from addiction and personal trauma.”

Born in Japan and now based in New Westminster, Patten is a graphic novelist, visual artist, tattoo artist and writer. He draws inspiration from the ancient Japanese art of Haiga and Southern California’s skate/surf/punk culture. Early on, he designed images for skateboards and surfboards. Later, while living in a remote Buddhist temple, he apprenticed in wax and sand-casting methods for bronze casting, and in bookbinding methods.

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Patten’s Tower25 will be published in 2020 on cloudscapecomics.com, a portal for B.C. graphic novelists that is dedicated to “fostering a community where all comics creators can network with each other while developing their craft and continuing to push the boundaries of the comic book medium.”

Thursday Artist Talks are presented by Surrey Art Gallery Association at 13750 88th Ave.

Looking ahead, the next talk in the series is Feb. 6 with Victoria Mitchell, on “Returning to Your Creative Passion.” Mitchell has had a lifelong passion for translating her emotions and perspectives into mixed media paintings, according to a bio: “At the age of 46, during a difficult life change, she resigned from a 22-year career as a registered massage therapist and yoga teacher. Choosing to give time to her creativity and return to her love for visual art was a significant step in her life, and she now once again gives life to her feelings through painting.”



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