Hello Kitty & 99 Friends show at PIQ, NYC

hellokittyand99friendsatpiq

A lot of amazing artists are participating Hello Kitty & 99 Friends show at PIQ which is located in Grand Central in New York City! The artwork is currently available in store and via contacting the store, ask about the list of artwork here: customerservice@piqproducts.com. We were all asked to select a Sanrio character from a list of most of the characters they’ve ever had! I somehow got Sugar Bunnies even though I was invited late. I was more than happy to join in.

I got to spend the weekend and reconnect with one of my BFFs from college, Lauren!

I got to spend the weekend and reconnect with one of my BFFs from college, Lauren!

Some of my favorite pop surrealism artists had work in (including Toki Doki) and there was a lovely graphite drawing by Camilla D’Errico (favorite) and a cute dinosaur work by Mab Graves.

Not only is there rad artwork but there's also cute toys and goodies!

Not only is there rad artwork but there’s also cute toys and goodies!

My phone very sadly was dead by the time I got to NYC (I flew in 2 hrs before the show) so all photos below are by Clutter Magazine. Check more photos on social media with the tag #piqhk99 !

piqhhellokitty995994_0

piqhhellokitty995965

This is the work I made -- I got the Sugar Bunnies!

This is the work I made — I got the Sugar Bunnies!

piqhhellokitty995949_0

piqhhellokitty996033

Photos above by Clutter Magazine.

Mew for Today: Kawaii Tarot Cards

testworld

Who says the occult can’t be kawaii? For a long time I’ve loved tarot card art and the amount of dedication it must take to finish such a large deck. It’s a stretch, something totally new I never considered really doing. I know this is the next step!

So my next huge personal project is designing an deck of TAROT CARDS >> This is big for me to admit. Dedicating my next year/s to producing extensively designed mixed media tarot cards (78 in a deck) that will be available as very limited large prints until the entire deck is complete and then they will be made into decks of cards included as a lovely kit complete with a book written by a friend on interpretations.

I’ve also recently become obsessed with cute tarot cards such as those by Sanrio, Aya Takano (THE BEST: top of my wish list), the numerous cat and animal tarot cards, etc so I had to feature them! I’ve always wondered how I can add a totally different style/take into the world of the tarot.

The first of my new prints will be on show RAW located at the Murat on [official date announced!!] March 19th (buy a ticket ($15), you wont regret it! if not in the area comment and receive a free print at $30~). “XXI The World” is the first card and, as stated, will be first available at RAW.

ayatakanotarot

ayatakanotarot2

ayatakanotarot3

twintarot

Hellokitty_Tarot_Cards2

Camilla d’Errico is No Ordinary Love of Mine

As is pretty obvious by my own work and features here, I am involved in and very supportive of the Pop Surrealism movements in Los Angeles and Tokyo. Having seen Camilla d’Errico‘s work at Hello Kitty’s 35th VIP Aniversary Party in LA I just had to promote and feature her work and really wanted to understand a little bit about what makes such a beautiful mind, as communicated on canvas, tick.

How long have you been painting?
I’ve been painting (exhibiting) since 2005.

Did it ever become your main focus?
No, painting has never actually been my main focus, though it took center stage in 2007-2008. I’m a comic book artist, first and foremost, but after I first started showing in galleries, and my work was well loved, I was propelled into the Pop Surrealism movement in Los Angeles and I went with it!

What has been your favorite exhibition?
My favorite would have to be the Hello Kitty 35th Anniversary show in 2009. It was fabulous and so many artists interpreted Hello Kitty (I love HK btw) and it was a very well organized and fun show.

What inspires you most?
I’m mostly inspired by manga and anime.

What has been your favorite painting you’ve created?
No Ordinary Love because it has very special meaning for me. It’s about love, and not giving up on love, but holding onto that hope so dearly … until you are able to be reunited.

Do you have any crazy stories about one of your pieces?
It’s not crazy, per se, but I find it hilarious. My painting, Mountainhead, is a Helmetgirl with the biggest helmet you’ve ever seen. There are bits and pieces of everything on that helmet, completely overpowering her small frame. I painted that for my sister AdaPia because she is always thinking, plotting, planning. In fact, she’s my business partner! So I always like referring to her as Mountainhead.

Favorites
Color? teal
Food? steak
Animal? pug
Music? really into Dubstep right now
Magazine? Shojo Beat
Movie? Spirited Away

Do you have any advice for readers interested in turning their hobby into their main focus?
It takes a lot of determination, focus and willpower to move from hobby to professional. I suggest doing a lot of research about the specific artistic field you want to go into. That’s easy nowadays with Internet, but it’s good to also meet people in person – go to galleries, talk to the curators, owners, directors. Get a good feel for what’s going on. Also, make sure you know and define your own style. Be confident and comfortable with what you are creating. And in the beginning, it’s always a good idea to start slowly; don’t leave your ‘day job’ until you’ve built up a good client base or a collector base. And never give up, even when things seem bad; it’s just a learning phase and you’ll come out stronger.

What do you feel is a recipe for success?
Skill + talent + passion + determination + work ethic and a good dose of people skills!

Are you Miseducated?
Totally! When I was growing up, and even throughout college, everyone tried to persuade me not to go into comics because it isn’t a lucrative career. It’s barely enough for anyone to live off of, unfortunately. But I was obstinate and I wanted to be a comic artist above all else and I persisted in my dream. So first of all, I’m Miseducated because I didn’t do what I was told would be best for me, and also because I’m a self taught painter. Some of my fine art teachers told me I had no skills as a painter, no style … and as much as I am humble, I do get a kick out of knowing I’ve proven them wrong!

Gallery

6%DOKIDOKI Fashion at The World of Popples in Tokyo

I’m always excited to see what the 6%DOKIDOKI girls are up to as their shop is always one of my absolute favorite places to hang out in Harajuku. Their stage shows and events are always so colorful and delicious, it’s impossible not to want to jump right into the photos!

The girls had a fashion event in the Popple room and created the cutest outfits you could imagine, complete with large Popples surrounding their stomachs! Looks like a cute cushion when you’re not wearing it? Or rather a baby boppy? 😉

dokipoppleroom

dokidoki

More great photos singing with color here and here, at TokyoFashion. Fashion and show photos thanks to the wonderful girls of 6%DOKIDOKI.

Adorable Japanese POP Art Embroidery Patterns

I recently stumbled upon Danielle Thompson‘s world of deliciousness online, Kitschy Digitals, and have fallen in love with her sweet take on embroidery! She offers embroidery patterns and digital scrap-booking materials that are kitschy-sweet.

I’m definitely digging the cameras and I cannot wait to give these a try!

full_PDF
IMG_2990

Downloadable Sanrio Patterns

patternview

My Melody Tea Party & Sanrio Rainbow Pattern

If you’re also feeling embroidery and pop colors try these Sanrio patterns I’ve had stashed for ages, both free for personal use! The wonderful J Tan made these and previously uploaded them for us to try (RIP Geocities).

Gala Darling the De-luxe Blogger

Gala is a delectable dame with an even more amazing (if that’s possible) message! She’s a fashion icon, blogger and international playgirl. We happen to live by the same sort of mantras and for the same purposes so it happened that we instantly clicked and that she would love to chill with Miseducated and let us in on her own creativity and inspirations in life. Come along for the ride!

gala3s

Where do you get your clothing inspiration?gala3s
It comes to me from all kinds of places. Haute couture, street fashion, movie stars & guttersnipes all provide their own unique perspectives & I love to put them all together in a big mish-mash. I have to say though, I don’t often imitate things I’ve seen — the majority of my looks, for better or for ill, are things that come from my imagination, or just from standing in front of my closet & pairing things up.

I think the best looks are unpredictable & a little bit “off” — I don’t relish being appropriate or fitting in. Actually, this morning my boyfriend & I went out for brunch & when he saw what I was wearing, he just laughed — a headband with a huge flower & some netting on top, a shredded black knit sweater, a leather miniskirt, engineer boots & a hooded black faux fur coat. All to go out & eat strawberry pancakes. But I think life is for living, & if you don’t dress up, you’re missing out!

Any cute and quick DIY tips for readers?
I’m not a big DIY’er, actually. I have never been very “crafty”, I don’t know how to knit & I don’t make doilies or tea-cozies or mittens for dogs. I’m just not very clever that way & a lot of people are, so I would prefer to pay them to do a good job! If I DIY anything, it’s really simple — like I’ll take a Hallmark bow (the kind you would put on a gift) & stick it to a headband, or wear pearls around my ankles or something. I like doing the kind of thing that takes three seconds & doesn’t require much more than a safety pin or some double-sided tape…

Where do you find inspirations from the world around? What really inspires you to work?
A. I have always been compelled to write, which I guess makes me lucky. I know a lot of people want to be writers but can’t seem to muster the enthusiasm to carry on — I really think you either HAVE TO write or you don’t, & if you don’t HAVE TO, you’ll never really improve. Even when I was a kid I wrote all the time, I would write short stories on my lunch-breaks when I worked at awful jobs (like selling advertising for newspapers or when I sold home loans & term deposits in a bank), I always have paper on me so I can make notes when I’m in Wholefoods or whatever. So the compulsion, the need, the madness, that’s what inspires me to work. Even if I shut down my website tomorrow, I’d still be writing. I do it for the love, not because I need to make a buck. I think that makes all the difference.

Do you carry your work into your home (can we see???)? Do you find it creeping into other endeavors you take on?
Absolutely. This probably sounds super-pretentious but I think people’s lives are their art. You know, even if you’re a rad sculptress or an incredible mechanic, the WAY you live your life is still the most defining thing about you. I like to bring beauty into everything I do, because that’s how I am, I am obsessed with love & beauty & deliciousness, so yes, it more than creeps in!

gala3s

When moving somewhere new, what’s the first place you have to set up?
Funny you should say that because I just moved in with my boyfriend! The first things I set up anywhere are always my work space & my wardrobe. They are kind of one & the same a lot of the time. My new office also has my huge closet in it, & all my accessories, etc., merchandised like mad & displayed all over the place. I have my favourite pair of shoes (Alexander McQueen) on the windowsill, a purple glitter skull wearing sequinned Mickey Mouse ears on my desk & two bulletin boards propped against the wall waiting for pictures, clippings, photobooth strips.

Your favorite 3 stops:
New York City is my #1 lover. No other city even comes close. But I love Paris, Los Angeles, Austin, Las Vegas, Berlin & Amsterdam a whole lot too. Sorry, I can’t boil it down to 3 & I refuse to cut the others out!

What scent of incense would you prefer in your home? (feel free to create-your-own)
I used to burn Nag Champa obsessively when I lived in New Zealand & I still like the smell of it, but these days I am more into scented candles & essential oils. I really love jasmine, vanilla, rose & ylang ylang.

What hobby are you into lately?
Getting cozy with my lover, RSVP’ing to ridiculous events & taking my partner-in-crime/photographer with me, & thinking about interior design constantly.

What is your lifestyle mantra?
More magic all the time.

3 things you can’t live without right now:
1. My boyfriend, known colloquially as The Dish. He is such great company, he’s totally authentic & he is so effing cute, I want to jump his bones all the time!
2. My new-to-me vintage faux fur coat. It is big & fluffy & the perfect length. I wear it almost every day & cannot get enough of it.
3. My Moleskine daily planner. I am a total organization geek. It is incurable but I love it.

What are your next plans and goals? Give us an indirect sneak peek, if you’d like!
Oh but that would be telling! Sorry, I can’t. Suffice to say, you will not be disappointed!

What’s so great about today? .. and what do you do to prepare for tomorrow? How do you make sure each day counts?
Strawberry pancakes with my boyfriend; rad conversations; The Dish singing songs he makes up about me; cuddling with the dog; organizing my office even more; planning my social calendar for the next week (photoshoots & fashion shows & working out at the haunted mansion), etc. etc. etc.

Tomorrow I’m going to sit at my brand new desk & listen to some good tunes & write, write, write. I will probably make a coffee run in the morning & then hole up & be as productive as possible!

I make sure each day counts by always focusing on the positive. It’s really easy to get bogged down when you’re thinking about a bill that needs to be paid, or the argument you had with your friend, or the jeans that don’t fit, or whatever — life is full of challenges but you get what you focus on. So keep your eyes to the skies, be grateful for what you have, express love in as many ways as you can, & work to create a life that makes you truly happy.

Do you find your work taking time away from other hobbies and interests? Or is it your all-consuming passion?
I used to talk about how I worked 24/7, & I still do, but it is much more intense now. I used to have time to go shopping all the time, or kick back & read a book, or whatever — that kind of thing is pretty rare these days. I’ve taken on more obligations & while I love them, it certainly does suck up my free time. It has always been this way though, just to a lesser degree. Thankfully it IS my all-consuming passion & there aren’t many things I would rather be doing!

How do you prefer your environment to look?
Colourful, exciting, invigorating. Actually “colourful” might be a misnomer. I like a simple, clean palette (like black & white) with bright pops of colour — does that count as colourful? I don’t know. Aaaaanyway, my room has white walls (which I love) & I bought an indigo desk to go in the middle. I want to paint one wall with blackboard paint — maybe in vertical stripes? — & there are going to be sparkly or high-gloss accoutrements everywhere. I love a simple or plain canvas with ornate madness placed among it. That is so my style.

Favorite music? and Why?
If I had to break it down, I’d say I listen to 60% hip-hop, 40% “other” — the other being a mix of electronic, singer-songwriter, indie rock, & uh, the unclassifiable! I love to mix it up, it’s not unusual for me to jump from Mobb Deep to Bauhaus to Tom Waits to The Legendary Pink Dots to Big L, & my iTunes is almost always on random. Hip-hop is really one of my one true loves, though — I find it hard to articulate how much I adore it.

Are you Miseducated? What makes you Miseducated? <3
Yes, absolutely! I’m miseducated because I don’t do what other people tell me to do, & I don’t follow conventional paths. I do what I feel on my own timeframe, & I am so much happier because of it!

Yes, absolutely! I’m miseducated because I don’t do what other people tell me to do, & I don’t follow conventional paths.

gala3s

.. and just in case you’re wondering, yes, her blog (iCiNG) is just as delectable as she is.

Finding Amber Renee, Miseducated Herself

A few years ago Amber and I met online, she emailed me as soon as she saw my cartoon pop on tv. She wrote me to tell me she liked the fun and cuteness of my animation. We realized we like very similar things and quickly became good friends! She also sent me a link to this amazing community site she was working on called “Miseducated”. When I saw it I loved the design and colors soo much! It looks so delicious that I want to eat it. I began to find myself going there when I wanted to see something pretty, or learn about a cute Japanese fad. This site has a sprinkle of everything I love!!!! I knew I had to find out about the girl behind this amazing portal of cuteness……..

I love Miseducated.net. It’s like the stylish 1960’s blended with Japanese cuteness!! What inspired you to start this?
Well once upon a time in 1996 I decided I just had to make a website or I would burst.. I studied web design, learned html and used MS Paint to create the first version of Miseducated. Since then it got sillier and sillier, more whimsy nonsense and inspiration by the gallon! It seemed only natural to share it with other artists and produce a collected blogzine of deliciousness on this world wide web.

How did you get into graphic design?
Oh.. I’d say it happened when I was a young girl who sketched doodles all day, I could never stop creating these whimsical worlds on paper!

Not only are you a designer but you are also an illustrator! What do you look for, for inspiration when drawing?
Vintage children’s books and Japan of course! I’m always obsessing over something… whether it psychedelic 60s art or 1750s French decor. I’m inspired by the world around me and the people I meet everyday — most of my art is based on icing explosions from my brain.

What are your favorite subjects to Illustrate?
Anything cute, psychadelic, fantasy or covered in sugar!

As a professional designer what kinds of jobs do you normally do?
All sorts of jobs. I dabble in everything so I often get asked to do nearly everything. In college I specialized in print design, magazine layout design and photography, today I usually bring in the bucks with web design and illustration. I sell my original artworks as well when I’m not moving across the country.

You have a very definitive style. What are your biggest inspirations?
Sweets, animals and wonderland! I’ve got this little world I’ve created in my mind which I’m always trying to translate onto paper.

Who is your favorite Japanese character? Why?
MOMO BEAR. A pink bear by Sony. Next to Hello Kitty of course. I grew up watching vintage Sanrio movies so nothing really surpases the magic, wonder and happiness that Sanrio provides.

I have to ask, What was your favorite cartoon show growing up?
Minnie Mouse! When I was really young, I often tried to dress like her and even made ears out of paper plates — haha. You can’t imagine my delight when I found gemed & decorated decora-style Minnie ear headband in Tokyo’s Disneyland! I felt like a new woman. haha

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Daquiri Ice from Baskin Robbins! Or Lollipop Candy from Baskin Robbins in Japan. :9

I know you love Japan. What other cities do you love to visit?
I’ve lived near Chicago my whole life so that’s a big one, I haven’t been to NYC since the black out (ha!), I’ve only been to Paris in the winter but still fell in love, Toronto is one of my favorite cities ever and I adore exploring L.A. with my very best friend and partner in crime. I love cities so I’d love to visit absolutely any city — they’re generally stuffed with art, culture and delicious food. I think the view of city lights at night is one of the most beautiful sites to be seen, it’s a nature that we built with designs made by women and men.

Your fashion sense is also super cute! How would you describe it?
How funny! and my father always commented ‘I don’t think that matches..’ I always mixed and matched everything I liked, colors, styles, decades and cultures — I wear whatever I like and it’s OFTEN a joke with my friends that I always find the ugliest thing in the store! However when I put it together I feel it’s an artwork on my body — it just seems to come together!

If you are not designing, making content for Miseducated or taking great photos on the Amcam, what else are you passionate about?
Traveling, combing thrift stores and boutiques for amazing things that I cannot live without, relaxing with my husband, diy-ing and having fun with the people I love. I adore dressing up and going out, perhaps a little too much.

If you could make any dessert what would it be?
Creme Brulee because it is the best dessert ever and I do actually own a little torch for desserts — haha.

If you ever feel blue, what’s the first thing you do to get you back on track to your sunny self?
I battle the blues quite often! I just try to see it as a problem that I need to sort out.. the anxiety might be coming from an unsuspecting source and rather than surpress it I like to realize it and move on to focus on my work, family and friends.

Favorite music and why?
Dance music; although I generally just listen to my favorites David Bowie, Veruca Salt, No Doubt and Kissy Sell Out.

If you could have a pet that is a mythical creature what would you have?
This has been my dream forever, a Mogwai (aka Gizmo from Gremlins) — haha.

In the future what do you think is in store for Miseducated?
To be honest, I’m really excited that it’s growing more everyday and I adore all of the amazing people I meet because of it — I see very great things happening as more and more get on board with the Miseducated way of life! I cannot thank everyone who visits, comments, emails us — every single word is appreciated and adored! Live inspired.

Toiluxe: Make Your Toilet Lux

It started with a simple dilemma:

What kind of gift do I give the girl who has everything?

I myself was one of those girls, so I knew what it would feel like to be on the receiving end of another kitschy collectible, retro design coffee table book, funky framed Jesus picture… I loved each and every item, but I was at the point where there was nowhere to PUT anything, and I was not organized or patient enough to deal with seasonally switching things up. I couldn’t bring myself to pack away older items to make space for newer ones, because I had a sentimental attachment to each and every one. They all defined me, defined my lifestyle, defined how I felt when I woke up in the morning. In fact, the only room that reflected who I was the LEAST, was my bathroom, which was fine, because how much time do I spend in there anyway?

Wait a second…

The bathroom…

I went to Home Depot. After much wandering around, lost among contractors and home-improvement-ers, I found it – the wall of toilet seats. The aisle seemed to glow as if I had found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. As if I had discovered the meaning of life, or who was buried in Al Capone’s tomb…

It was perfect.

And everything just took off from there.


Making art out of toilet seats is not a quick-fix type of project. It involves sanding, priming, painting, cutting, pasting, gluing, detailing, and SO MUCH WAITING. Every step involves the need for something to dry – whether it be paint, modge-podge, or acrylic resin. I had to learn how to pace myself (my mother always used to say, “You want everything to happen yesterday!”) and it’s true. But I finally discovered my ideal working environment – my living room (at this point I’d like to thank my husband for his unrelenting patience.) I’d work on two seats at a time – switching back and forth while one was in a drying stage – and the television would be tuned to a campy, cheesy horror movie. The only explanation I can come up with for that is that these particular movies are terrible enough where if I was in a working stage (painting, decoupaging, detailing) and my attention was elsewhere, I could easily tear my attention away from the television and not worry that I was missing some crucial element to the story, yet the movies were also amusing enough that they kept me occupied during any drying stages (which could take anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes.)

I have since changed our home office into a small studio (again, thank you, dear husband, for being supportive enough to my craft for agreeing to move your half of the office elsewhere, and for bringing home the 300 pound cabinet you had at work for me to store my seats in a small warehouse environment.) I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to show my work at Boston’s Bazaare Bizarre and Somerville’s ArtBeat in Davis Square. 75% of my business is from custom orders which has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and create designs I never would have thought of. The Toiluxe Nude Collection started via a request from my landlord, for which I will forever be grateful.
My creation process is constant – I live, breathe and dream toilet seats. If I could eat toilet seats, I would probably consider it. Toiluxe has been the most satisfying creative outlet I have had in a long time. To be able to create and touch a piece of art – a piece of art that also provides total functionality – has an entirely different sense of satisfaction from the computer-based graphic design I have always done in the past.

I love what I create. My goal is to bring joy to bathrooms across America, and even beyond.