Archives for category: Art

© Elena Kalis

Russian artist Elena Kalis lives in the Bahamas and takes these magical photographs of the sea, under the sea, of her daughter Sacha and other things that inspire her. I will leave you in silence to enjoy and succumb to the mid dream mid reality beauty of  her waterworld…

© Elena Kalis

© Elena Kalis

© Elena Kalis

© Elena Kalis

© Elena Kalis

© Elena Kalis

© Elena Kalis

Thank you Elena for letting me use your photos. Her art can be purchased here.

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In 2009 Mette Helena, the owner of the fabulous vintage wallpaper shop Retro Villa, went to England to buy a roll or two of vintage wallpaper for her apartment and came back with 60 rolls instead! She found them in an Indian hardware store where the owner had not been able to sell the old wallpaper. Soon after, Mette Helena returned to England to buy the rest of the vintage wallpaper treasure and sold them through a shop i Denmark. In 2010 she was able to open her very own store in Copenhagen with Scandinavia´s largest selection of original vintage wallpapers. The store is called Retro Villa (Villa is the name of her daughter).

I got to know Mette Helena during an internship at her shop for a short period. I have wanted to write a post about her for a long time but it is difficult to write about someone you know. Mette Helena is very energetic, creative, spontaneous and so much more, and has a way of inspiring people around her to start their own creative projects (for instance my neon lamp DIY project). There is a bit of the author Astrid Lindgrens “Pipi Longstocking” character about her, and there is some”Villa Villa Kulla” – energy in the shop environment as well.

Compositions like these are everywhere in the shop and Mette Helena has a great eye for creating such  tableaus and also works as an interior decorator for magazines. She is an artist and studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Her creative projects with sowing patchwork blankets and pillows and selling wallpaper began as a hobby  to support her studies and has now developed into a business.

Also very cute in person : Mette Helena in her store, wearing a vintage dress.

Painting by Mette Helena called “Watch it happen” from 2006

Painting “Puberty” by Mette Helena from 2008

“Untitled” from 2008 by Mette Helena

See more of her art at Mettehelena.dk.

Vintage wallpaper from Retro Villa

© Charuca  Kokeshi & Little Bird, 2008

I am a little starstruck by this opportunity to ask Charuca Vargas, my favourite Kawaii artist, questions about cute. She was my first introduction to my fascination with Kawaii and of course I have so much to ask her about. To those who have never heard of this great kawaii artist and illustrator, here is a short introduction:

© Charuca  Legion: We are your Friends

Spanish illustrator Charcuca Vargas is the mother of these cute characters and this amazing vector universe. She has created characters such as “Kawaii” and “Gothic” and later “Baby” and “Toxic”. Her impressive portfolio includes collaborations with Sanrio and graphic artist Catalina Etsrada and a book publication about famous Kawaii artists.

© Charuca  I Love Kawaii 2008

Here is my interview with Charuca:

First I would like to ask you about the facts such as formal education, current project / exhibition?

My education in the world of graphic and character design has been largely self-taught. Most of my learning has been experienced in the world of design and illustration until I found my own language. At the moment I dedicate 100% of my time developing the Charuca Universe. I have a studio/lab in Barcelona, where we shape the Charuquil Universe. We do character design and product application. Recently we are also shaping the Charuca’s magazine No. 1… with comics and lots of surprises!!!

Foto of my book “I love Kawaii” by Charuca from 2010

© Charuca 2007-2008

I would like to know if you can remember when and how you were introduced to Kawaii and what it ment to you at the time?

I have always felt the Kawaii inside me. I grew up in a small town where there is not much influence of the Japanese culture. The only references were some cartoons like “Little Memole” and some merchandising from Sanrio…Furthermore, I enjoyed drawing big-headed characters, my big love were dolls and stationery. I was constantly drawing characters. Thanks to the Internet, I could peek into a world where I felt very identified, but the seed was already there.

© Charuca Love Kawaii

Do you think of the Kawaii movement as a new artform which in the future will have its own place in art history?

Yes I think there is a Kawaii movement, it is already here, which includes major artists from many countries. I think that leaving an imprint on art history will be a function of artists like Takashi Murakami, who are taking the Kawaii to another level, bringing their work to MOMA and Louvre museums.

© Charuca Sugar Avenue

© Charuca  Mini Toys 2010

© Charuca  Paper Toy 2010

I have met people who think of kawaii art as a kind of superficial way of viewing the world. Personally I think everyone needs something to smile about, but can you understand the scepticism of these art critics?

I can understand that not all people get to feel what the Kawaii can awaken in some persons. I do not think Kawaii is a more superficial art form than others. Art is art from the time that it touches your sensitivity, and Kawaii awakes internal feelings. I do not think that positive images are more frivolous and superficial than negative ones. Joy and sadness came from the same depth of the soul.

© Charuca  Kawaii Porn 2008

If you could design anything and budget wasn´t an issue what would you like to create?

I would work in Charuca products and designs without worry for a moment of cost. I would use all qualities I wanted, I would create wonderful accessories and would open Charuca shops, online and physical stores as well. I would do the same as now but as big as possible.

© Charuca

I would like to know how you work (do you have to have coffee, music on, or do you have a ritual you have to do in order to be able to create)?

At the beginning, I worked alone in a room of my apartment that I enabled as an studio. A year ago I moved to a studio in the center of Barcelona. It’s really spacious and luminous where creativity flows easily. In addition, also a year ago I stopped working alone, I have an assistant, Miriam Alvarez, who understands me perfectly and who had helped me to bring beyond Charuca World. Every day we come to the studio, I play music (always music, I can not work in silence) and we spent the day playing with the characters. All I need to work is to feel happy and relaxed. I take good care of the working environment in the study…

© Charuca I Love Gothic 2010

Is there someone or something you think the world should know about (an artist, musik, designer, book, food, a favourite place; anything, )

I think it is important to travel, experience other cultures, other countries. Walk out to the world and do things, each one what stimulates oneself. All Kawaii lovers should visit Japan, which is the cradle of this aesthetic trend.

© Catalina Estrada & Charuca – Forever Love 2010

You show a great sense of humour in your figures, for instance the “sugar kills” figure. What do you wish to communicate with this type of message?

My main message is “Do not take life too seriously”. We live immersed in a stressful culture that can make us worried or sad. Some people work in places they hate to earn money to buy things they do not need … My work wants to help people to stop worrying and start enjoying the beautiful things of life . Time passes, laugh, have fun, do what you like to do and do not take anything too seriously. It’s not worth it!

© Charuca – Toxic Fruits

Do you do scetches by hand or mainly on the computer? (I would love to show some scetches of your work)

Yes… we never draw directly on the screen. Pencil and paper allow a fluency and a connection to the subconscious that it is hard to get drawing directly on the screen. Our process always begins with paper and pencil.

© Charuca Baby

© Charuca Baby

© Charuca  BBZ Baby Zigoto 2008

Is there a project or a designer you dream of working with?

There are many dreamt projects, but I would rather not talk about them because I am bit superstitious and I think it is better not telling dreams…if you do, they will not become true 😉

Charuca

www.charuca.net

www.charuca.eu

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Charuca/44476864516

Thank you Charuca for letting me use your beautiful inspiring illustrations and for the interview  😀

Tsumori Chisato Autumn Winther 2005 campaign

In random order I have chosen photos and graphic illustrations to show you from Tsumori Chisato´s website. Her collections have a timeless storytelling appeal to them which is what I wish to show.

Illustration from Tsumori Chisato Autumn Winther 2010-2011 campaign

Tsumori Chisato studied fashion at the prestigious Bunka Fashion School in Tokyo. She has worked for Issey Miyake and in 1990 she started her own brand. The first time I held a piece og her garment in my hands I was in love, so carefully detailed and feminine and you really feel that the garment is cared for from idea to final wearable piece.



Illustration book by Tsumori Chisato

Illustration by Tsumori Chisato from her Autumn Winther 2009-10 campaign

Tsumori Chisato opened her first store outside Asia in 1999 in Paris. Situated in the heart of the Marais neighbourhood, the boutique showcases Tsumori Chisato’s love for the arts through collaborations with photographers, visual artists and set designers exhibited in the storefront. Her artistic sensibility is also translated throught the brand’s inventive advertising campaigns.

Store installations from her Paris shop; top: installation by Sandrine Pelletier & Sophear Froment and below: installation by Guillaume Ségur

Her innovative and luxurious textiles, intricate beading, embroidery, appliqués and prints of her own design are her signiture style. Graceful, elegant and fun at the same time. Her clothes are slaso available at one of my favourite shops and webshop Lubarol in Copenhagen.

Dress by Tsumori Chisato available in stores now

Picture of her work for Petit Bateau from Tsumori Chisato´s Facebook group

From Tsumori Chisato´s Spring Summer 2011 show in Paris

Tsumori Chisato Autumn Winther 2005-2006 campaign

Illustration from Tsumori Chisato´s  Spring Summer 2010 campaign

Illustration from Tsumori Chisato Autumn Winther 2010-2011 campaign

Owl Poster by Krisitne Mandsberg

I have fallen completely in love with Kristine Mandsberg´s graphic universe, I hope you find it as inspiring as I do:D

Kristine Mandsberg is a Danish designer, based in Copenhagen. She graduated from the Royal College of Art in London, 2008, specialising in printed textile. Kristine is working in the crossover between art and design, 2D and 3D, exploring how materials, textiles and illustration combined can produce interesting visual outcomes, displayed through several different medias. Most of her work is linked to a narrative, and is often a startingpoint, when new work is taking its’ form. She has since her graduation, received grants from The Danish Arts Foundation, and exhibited her work in both solo and group exhibitions.

 

 

Croco Illustration by Kristine Mandsberg

Kristine is also freelancing for several companies, and has among other things developed a textile collection for IKEA, and is designing artworks for fashion (ao Soft Gallery). Other areas, she has explored, is as set-designer for the opera “The First Commandment”, and working with costumes and other project based set-design projects, which is an area that interests her a lot.

Drops Collage by Kristine Mandsberg

Krstine about her inspirations: “I can get inspired by pretty much everything which surrounds me. However my inspiration depends very much on the project that I do. For my own work the idea often comes from some sort of narrative, which I want to visualize through a certain media. The project is therefore linked to words or a headline, which describes an idea or a thought. Where as the stuff that I do for clients often has its’ starting point in a visual idea, which is then developed into something unique.”

Still from video animation “Structure” by Kristine Mandsberg

Kristines dream project: “There are lots and lots of project that I want to do, and people that I would like to work with. If I should define my dream project it would be to do some kind of huge scale installation or theatre project. It should be a project where I could work with all the different things that I like to combine, such as animation, video, illustration, textile, materials, costumes, props, space and body, linked to a narrative that would give the viewers some kind of experience visually and emotionally.”

The Freaky King and Queen by Kristine Mandsberg

People who inspire Kristine:

Filmmaker: Tim Burton (I love his visual style, a mix between reality and fiction)

Photographer: Tim Walker (and the set designer Shona Heath, which he often works with)

Japanese Fashion designer: Tsumori Chisato (her prints is amazing, colourfull and humoristic) Note: Kawaiicph will blog about her on Thursday!

Danish artist: Cathrine Raben Davidsen

You should all know: A collaborative animation by Blu and David Ellis

Birds and Feathers textile print by Kristine Mandsberg

Printed textile by Kristine Mandsberg

Thank you Kristine for letting med use your lovely pictures. If you want to buy posters and graphics by the artist they can be purchased at Butikcmyk in Copenhagen.

Pictures from Kawaiicph

Bubbles

Origami City

Princess

Shop

Tiny Bird

Glitter and sunshine

Confetti

Engel

Snow

Light

Cellofane

Feather

So cute and lonely these little cardboard box people from Singapore based artist Anton Tang

Rainy Days

Hope

 

Lonely Hopscotch

 

Irresistible

 

See more on his website here

I recently fell in love with artwork from Akihiro Higuchi where animals meet human aesthetic, here from an exhibition at MA2 Gallery in Tokyo:

Pictures from MA2 Gallery´s website

The Cherrybox have made these artworks that can be purchased on their webshop:



You can also buy them at Shanalogic.com who also sells these Super sprinkles heart necklaces:

And this little green housearring:

For origami lovers like myself, this jewellery from French Origami Jewellery is a must-own:

Available online here

Red/orange Shawnimals  Wee Sticker Pork Dumpling you can buy this at MyPlasticHeart
Labbit 5 inch – Pack D by Frank Kozik
Momiji message doll from shop in Copenhagen see  m o n o m o n o
Where you can get these amazingly addictive miniatures from Japanese Re-ment they match the size of the Blythe doll
I got my Blythe alter ego from Tokyo
But you can buy them om e-bay, these are from Junie Moon