Art Gallery – Eeeveelution Girls

987{icon} {views}

What’s this nonsense? Pokémon fanart? I was inspired by the Kimono Girls who are present in both the games and the anime and manga. I thought it would be really cool to do a series of them inspired by each of the evolution forms of Eevee, who is one of my favourite pokemon. Hopefully it’s obvious which one is which, but just in case it doesn’t come through clearly (or you’re not familiar with Pokemon), we have, in order:

  • Eevee – Since Eevee is the original/unevolved form, I wanted her outfit to be basic and versatile. Eevee’s distinctive fur ruff and tail formed the starting point for her kimono.
  • Vaporeon – For the water evolution, I knew a seigaiha obi would be perfect, and I’ll never pass up the opportunity to include Kanagawa’s Great Wave when I can!
  • Jolteon – Modern lightning motifs for the electric evolution, of course.
  • Flareon – Hot colours and traditional flames suit the fire evolution perfectly.
  • Espeon – The psychic evolution is hard to convey visually, so I chose to do a base kimono in a subtle gradient of Espeon’s colours, and the sakura motif obi as a nod to the trainer Sakura in the anime, who has an Espeon.
  • Umbreon  – Like psychic, dark is a hard concept to convey, so Umbreon’s style was inspired directly by the visuals of the game.
  • Sylveon – The pastels and bows of the fairy evolution seemed perfectly suited to tabane noshi. This is actually the first one I made, and inspired the rest of the project!
  • Glaceon – Yukiwa motif for the ice-based Glaceon just made sense. The diamond pattern of the obi helps reinforce the crystalline feel.
  • Leafeon – Swirling vines and shades of green and brown were the clear choice for Leafeon’s grass form.

I had a lot of fun finding the right colours and patterns for each of these little ladies, and I love how they look all put together! If you get a kick out of them too, prints are available in my Society6 shop.

A Little Maiko Inspiration

710{icon} {views}

Sometimes, despite my best efforts to avoid it, I find myself browsing Kijiji for local kimono-related things. Imagine my surprise when I came across someone right near my work, selling a pre-tied darari obi! A darari is the very long, dangling style obi maiko wear. Han-darari means “half-darari” and they’re still cute and dangling, but a much more practical length. They’re typically worn by minarai, the young women in training to become maiko, but can also be worn for stage performances or as a dramatic stylistic choice. This one is actually a bit longer than a standard han-darari, but not long enough or thick enough to be a full darari. I suspect it may have been for a young teenage girl, or a stage show.

Colour-wise, this one was such a perfect match for the beautiful kakeshita a very kind friend sent me, so I thought I’d steal a little bit of maiko inspiration and go for some bright, youthful drama with the bold colour scheme, long obi, and trailing hem of the kimono.

I won’t lie, I’m a little jealous of the mannequin right now! These pieces just look so good together. I think I will make an attempt to wear this outfit later myself, when it’s not 40 degrees centigrade out. Even just coordinating this outfit made me feel gross and overheated. I forgot how many layers this kimono has; not just a secondary hiyoku but it’s got a layered collar and fully double-lined sleeves as well. You could almost get away with not wearing a full juban with it, and that’s very likely what I’ll if I ever get around to putting it on myself.

The nice thing about wedding kimono is that in general, they tend to fit me right now even though I am, to put it delicately, not very small. There’s another fun hint for you all – kimono that are meant to be worn trailing will often be wider as well as longer, giving a bigger person more “wiggle room”.

Items used in this coordination

Art Gallery – Washi Papercraft Maiko

375{icon} {views}

Washi Papercraft Maiko This week has been a long and frustrating one. Bad weather, work stress, and my grandmother is having some medical issues. So yesterday, when I found myself with some free time, I decided to self-soothe by working on a digital washi papercraft maiko collage. Typically, I make these based on characters from pop culture – movies, cartoons, etc – and prints of those are available here. However, I realised that the bold and graphic shape of them would be very well-suited to traditional woodblock printing as well. Armed with my large collection of washi and chiyogami paper stock textures and scans, I set out to work.

I stuck to a primarily dusty, desaturated palette to keep things feeling soft and vintage, and applied textures to her outfit to bring it all to life. I added the origami flowers as kanzashi and the bamboo pole on her parasol to bring a bit more depth to it and make it look even more like a “real” mixed-media piece instead of an entirely digital one.

Overall, I’m very happy with how she turned out. It always feels good to create something pretty and share it with the world. I suspect I’ll be making more of these sometime in the future.

 

Art Gallery – Maiko by Charlotte Royal

441{icon} {views}

Sometimes you find the most beautiful things in the most unexpected places. While browsing Kickstarter last year, I came across the Postcards from Japan project by Charlotte Royal. Her goal was simple and straightforward – travel across Japan while creating beautiful and unique works of art for people who helped back her financially.

The painting I received is an absolutely stunning watercolour painting of a maiko, done in Kyoto. I love the rich, warm colours and the thoughtful expression on her face. There’s so much personality and talent in this piece, and the fact that it’s an original, one-of-a-kind artwork makes it all the more special to me. It is large postcard-sized, more than enough room for lush detail but small enough to feel like a little jewel in my growing art collection

I have a bunch of new pieces I need to hang, and this one will definitely be front and centre once I figure out where everything is going.

I received this item as a backer perk for a project or product that was crowd-funded (Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, etc)