Hello, readers! It’s been a while since I’ve been able to write here! I have been making new artwork since my last blog post, but some I can’t reveal yet, others I just have yet to write about, and others still I am not done with. It’s always busy nowadays; I’ve forgotten when I was last able to say, “I’m bored.” But that’s probably a good thing, yeah?
For my return to writing here, I’ll start with a piece I exhibited last weekend at the art gallery during Kawaii in Manila 2. The event title sounds cute, but there’s more to it than that. In their words: “The meaning of Kawaii has gone beyond its original sense. It is no longer just a word that means “cute,” “pretty” or “adorable” in Japanese. Kawaii is now considered a global phenomenon because of its great influence in art, fashion, beauty and even food. It is not just an appreciation for all things cute and fun but also a way of looking at the world in a happy and positive light. Kawaii is a culture enjoyed by many people from all over the world including the Philippines.”
I’m honoured to have been invited as one of the featured artists for such a visionary event! The participating artists were given a task to create an artwork based on the theme ”My interpretation of ‘kawaii’ and how it influenced my art”
My exposure to the kawaii aesthetic stemmed from growing up watching Japanese animation. When I was little, I just happy to be entertained by cute-looking characters, and enjoy the colorful visuals and upbeat music. As I grew up, my appreciation also deepened and I sought to learn more about their culture. This led to my penchant for Japanese folklore, and being enchanted by ukiyo-e (traditional Japanese woodblock prints).
I combined those thoughts and memories into this piece, The Boy Who Drank Stars. This refers to Howl, as he is depicted in the Studio Ghibli adaptation of the novel, Howl’s Moving Castle. Ukiyo-e and anime have greatly influenced my drawing style, as you might observe in this illustration. I designed this outfit for Howl, taking elements from traditional Japanese clothing and mixing it with the iconic coat he wears in the film. I also gave him a fox mask because there are parts of him that remind me of kitsune from folklore — mischievous shape-shifting tricksters with magical abilities, who can turn out to be wise and loyal guardians.
The event was held at Whitespace Manila last Saturday, September 6. Since my artwork is a mix of traditional and modern styles, I decided to go the same way with my outfit for the event. It was also a celebration of Japanese fashion and culture, after all. I really love the look of kimono and hakama. I wish I could dress like this all the time, heheh.
You may check the Kawaii in Manila Artist Directory to see more of the exhibited pieces and other featured artists! お疲れ様 !
I’ve been wanting a Howl’s Moving Castle case for my phone, so I thought to try modifying my drawing a bit to see how it would look if I had it printed by Society6 like I usually do for custom designs.
I actually really like it! I’ll be getting this for myself, and if you would like it as well, now’s a good time because Society6 gave me a Free Worldwide Shipping + $5 Off Phone Cases promo code for now until September 14, 2014 at Midnight Pacific Time! They’re available for a bunch of different iPhone models.
● Click on this link to activate the promo: http://society6.com/jinjoson?promo=dca600
● Then you can use this link to go directly to the product page for this illustration: The Boy Who Drank Stars or just look around as you like. The illustration is available as prints and other wearable items. The promo code works for other illustrations in my page too!
I had some print requests for this piece from people at the exhibit, so I find a bit more free time, maybe I’ll prepare a print run where I produce the prints myself and sign them. My warmest gratitude to everyone who took the time to talk to me and express their appreciation at the exhibit! <3