Sunday, 25 February 2018

Fukubukuro Lucky Bag from Blippo

In Japan, there's a tradition where shops sell a lucky dip bag called a Fukubukuro at New Years'. The bags usually have a generous assortment of items at a very discounted price. I saw that Blippo, one of my favourite kawaii online shops, was selling one at the start of this year, and I decided to splurge.

I was very happy with my kawaii Fukubukuro. I paid around AU$27 and the items were worth at least twice that, I would say. The items came in a pouch made of sturdy fabric. It's a very nice pouch and I will use it for keeping craft projects in.

The bag was stuffed full with kawaii goodies!

There were several bag charms. I will probably donate the teddy bear, but I like the rest. I think I will make a new cord for the ice cream squishie, as the black cord looks rather out of place!

There were lots of cute hair accessories. I already have some similar to this, but none of them were in duplicate colours, which was very fortunate.

Here is a cute pocket mirror, a brooch and nail polish. I don't normally use pocket mirrors, but I like the colours on this so I might keep it to display.

Finally there were a packet of flower envelopes, a cute fan for Summer, a small bag and a rainbow llama card-holder. I love the bag as it could match with Summer Mori outfits, but my absolute favourite is the llama head. It's so cute! It has a clip, a pouch and a space in the back to hold a card.

I was really happy with my Fukubukuro. There were a lot of varied items in the bag, with only one item that I didn't really like, which is very lucky for a mystery bag. I'm not sure I'd get another one in future, but not because I was unhappy with it, just because I'm trying to be aware of how much I purchase and how much I own.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

21 Days in My Art World : Week 3

Here is the final in my series on this hashtag challenge hosted by Tara Leaver. I skipped a couple of days in Week 3. The challenge started to seem really long by that stage, I have to admit. Once again, the photos are accompanied by the original notes I wrote on my Instagram.

Click here to see Week 1!
Click here to see Week 2!

15. How I Name My Paintings
The way I name my paintings is quite boring, I'm afraid: I name them after the character ("The Gut Pixie") or what the character is doing ("Papa Hupio Tells a Story"). I prefer to keep them simple and straightforward because in the folk tales I'm inspired by, even the most fantastical events are described in a simple, straightforward way. It somehow adds to the air of unreality.

16. Smallest Painting
Back in 2008-2009, I did a lot of ACEOs (playing card-sized works). I don't know where they are now, so I took a photo of them on my blog. I was really into the swirly shapes back then. I also did a lot of embroidered ones which I remembered that I enjoyed a lot.

17. Largest Painting
None of my paintings are noticeably larger than any of the others, so I skipped this one.

18. Celebrate!
I'm sick of posting photos of my art, so here's one of my derpy self! At least half of the photos that Husband takes of me I have my eyes firmly shut, but we keep going until we get something good. That's what I'd like to celebrate: turning up against all the odds, against all the obstacles both external and internal, and just giving it a go!

19. From the Archives
This drawing (photo is a screenshot from my blog) is a re-creation of one I did when I was 13. The original is lost to the mists of time - ie the bin, probably! This was the artwork which my art teacher criticised harshly and put me off doing art for many years. Re-creating the drawing was an act of defiance. I did it to accompany an article on facing your fears for a group zine. When I look at it, I remember the sadness and sense of exclusion my younger self felt, but I also feel determined never to let anyone else feel the way I did. I truly believe anyone can be an artist!

20. Favourite Technique
This prompt seemed quite similar to an earlier one, plus I was falling behind in the challenge, so I skipped it.

21. Big Dream
My big dream is to make enough pieces to fill up a gallery and then have a show! And at least a couple of people will look at them and be happy. They think, "ah yes, that's a Katie Theodorus!" And then they will think, "I want to make some art, too!"

Sunday, 18 February 2018

21 Days in My Art World : Week 2

I'm continuing on with my series on this hashtag challenge hosted by Tara Leaver, even though it happened quite some time ago now! I'm just a completist that way. I skipped several days in Week 2. Once again, the photos are accompanied by the original notes I wrote on my Instagram.

Click here to see Week 1!
[Week 3 is coming soon!]

8. Inspiration
I'm inspired by many different things! Here are a few of the ones that came to mind first: dreams, craft, TaĆ­no stone carvings, nature, especially the bright colours of flowers, monsters (friendly ones!), kawaii illustration and culture, etc!

9. Where the Art Happens and 10. Artist Hands
I was too embarrassed to show my hobby room as it looks like a dogs' breakfast right now! (Plus you could see peeks of it in previous photos.) I was too embarrassed to show my hands as my eczema is very bad at the moment, as it always is in Summer.

11. Turning Point
When and how did I decide I was an artist? It was a couple of years ago. I just decided one day to start calling myself an artist. It took many years and a lot of inner work to get to that point: to ignore everyone who said I couldn't, and overcome my self-doubt. My first thought after making the decision was: "I need to stop working in art journals and start working on canvas so other people can see this stuff!"

12. Current Motifs
I notice that my paintings often have an oval shape around the central subject. Usually the oval is a portal from which the character is emerging, though in this work (in progress), they are a protective energy field. I like the freedom and sweeping movement of drawing the ovals in paint before settling down to the finer details.

13. Process Insight
To be honest, I couldn't think of anything to put for this. My art is very intuitive so I don't really think of myself as having a procrss.

14. Sold!
I have sold a total of one painting, and it was to my best friends. I don't think that really counts, but the gesture of support means so much to me. They hung it in their front hallway so all their visitors can see it when they enter the house. This is a great honour for me!

Monday, 12 February 2018

I Went to the 2018 Zine Fair

Last year I went to Melbourne's annual Festival of the Photocopier Zine Fair as a customer. This year I went as a stallholder! (Or I 'tabled', as the kids say.) Hello to everyone who has found my blog through purchasing one of my zines or taking my card. I appreciate your interest: it means a lot to me. Thank you and welcome!

Having a stall at the Zine Fair was a huge step for me in several ways. I'm very introverted, I have social anxiety, and am starting to understand that I'm an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person). All of that means sitting in a huge room packed full of people all with their own nervous energy, while a stream of people come past judging my work, is not the best place for me to be! It was a really great experience though, and I want to do it again next year.

I first started writing zines in 2006. I even had an Etsy shop where I sold them for a couple of years. I closed it in about 2008-2009, partly because of declining sales, but mostly because my anxiety made it too difficult to go on. A couple of years ago, when I saw that zines were resurging in popularity, I was encouraged to start making them again. I had a lot of pieces of writing stored away that were too personal for the blog, not on topic for the blog, or I just preferred to present on paper. Instead of writing zines on single topics or in response to a prompt like I had in the past, I decided to write more of a magazine-style zine. It would have articles, stories, comics, and whatever else I could jam in there. I was hoping it would be the first of a series, and it would be called Intensely Introverted. My anxiety interfered often though, and there were long periods when I didn't work on it.

That was interrupted when I was invited to take part in an exhibition on Chronic Illness in early 2017. I was told that any creative endeavours including zines were welcome. I'd always wanted to write about my illness, so I made I Have Ulcerative Colitis and presented it there. I was proud of it, yet at the same time horrified that I shared such personal (and disgusting!) stories.

Intensely Introverted was my real baby though, and when I pinky-swore with my friend Fox that we would have a stall in the 2018 Zine Fair together, I knew I had to finish it! Skip forward to yesterday, skipping over a lot of stress, anxiety and last-minute trips to Officeworks, and I made it to the Fair.

I got to find out what it was like being on the other side of the table. I saw many interesting people, and met some lovely ones. I got lots of ideas for future zines and future stalls. I have a list of 'what to do / not do next time'. Which I may as well share!:

* Don't bring so many zines -- I really had no idea how many copies of each zine I was going to sell, so I brought lots. I had to lug them there and then lug the un-sold ones home! It was a great learning experience to see which ones were more popular and how many copies sold. (Of course, if I become a famous zinester in the next year, then I'll bring more!) Also, it's good to note that you're not going to fit more than 7 or 8 A5-size zines on the table.

* Having a card is a great thing -- Quite a few people took my card, and as a customer, I will always take the card of someone whose work looks interesting, but I can't buy it at the time for whatever reason. So I'm always very pleased when someone takes my card.

* Bring cough lozenges, breath mints and muscle rub -- My throat was very sore after 5 hours of chatting with my friends, I was paranoid about my breath after eating sushi handroll for lunch, and my jaw was sore after all that smiling!

* Make a greater variety of zines -- This is just an aesthetic point, but when I saw my zines all lined up in a row, they were all the same size, and most of them were black and white. I'd love to have some of different sizes, and with colourful covers as that suits my personality.

* Go to town with the table decorations -- Really, you may as well. You have an hour to set up, and an interesting display really brings people in. Even if they don't buy anything, looking at a cute and/or interesting display makes people happy, and I want to make people happy!

* Bring whatever you need for your self care -- I was so glad I brought my mascot Princess Fuzzyhorn. Stroking her and even just looking at her helped keep me calm. I wish I'd brought my essential oil roll-on too, so I'll do that next time.

I haven't posted for a while because I was focussed on the Zine Fair. Now that it's over for the year, I want to finish off some paintings, do some craft and start sewing again. All of which you'll see here!