Monday, May 21, 2012

Sticking to a Schedule - the Magical Key to Creativity

Even while she was creating art, the Before-JUURI would feel a tinge of horror/guilt/dismay that important marketing, social media, and blog needs were not being attended to. She always felt like she was behind on something or other; there never was a moment's peace!

The Now-JUURI is quite improved. She writes blog posts regularly (about one per week,) keep websites and stores updated, replies to emails, runs giveaways, ships sold work, finds inspiration, AND creates artwork in peace... the horrible guilty-dismay feeling is gone!

What changed the frazzled Before-JUURI into the productive Now-JUURI?

I'll tell you in one magical word.


Yeap, schedule. It sounds so simple, but it's been the key to my using my time better and getting things accomplished. Although I always used to feel that there were literally not enough hours in the day on planet Earth, once I mapped out my days, I realized that I had big chunks of time that I could set aside for artwork ONLY and not worry about ANYTHING else under the sun (except answering the phone and doing office stuff, which is still my day job at the moment.) Here's that all-important schedule that I speak of so highly!


As you can see, if I organize my time this way, I will always have a blog post for each week (I actually time out my posts so I'm writing a week ahead of time, usually) PLUS time for all-important artwork, PLUS time to do lots of other extra activities like DIY stuff for my home, updating my fashion blog, and helping my husband with ideas for his audio / video business. I didn't need to move to Venus to have enough hours in the day after all! Hurray for planet Earth and its ample 24-hr day.

↑ Me working away with my newfound productivity. Photo by my artist buddy Jerrod Smith.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Interview: Sweet & Dreamy Keiko Miyashita 宮下桂子


Keiko Miyashita (宮下桂子) is a fabulous artist working from Yokohama, Japan. I've known about her for a long time because her family is friends with mine. She recently had a solo show in Korea, and I don't think she'll stop being amazing anytime soon! Check out her soothing, sweet works along with this interview, which I've copied here in the original Japanese and translated for you into English. Enjoy~




J: 桂子さんの絵には色々なテーマが出てきます。どういう風にテーマを選ぶのですか?

J: You deal with many different themes in your artwork. How do you go about picking a theme?

K: テーマは描き始めた時からつながっているのですが「インナーチャイルド」が描きたいこと表現したい気持ちなどを一番適当に表現しているキャラクターで描くことを挑戦しています。



KM: I have common themes when I start painting. I challenge myself to create characters which reflect how my "inner child" wants to paint and feel. In the beginning, because my inner child was drawn to portraying a world without humans or animals, I started with blank scenery. Later on, the humans and animals gradually appeared. At first they were closed-eyed characters, and then they changed to open-eyed (although they were still quite expressionless.)

I enjoy being able to care for this other child-like person inside of me, as well as discovering this new dimension to myself through creating art.


J: 桂子さんの絵のスタイルは今カリフォルニアで最も注目されています。日本でもこのスタイルは今人気なのでしょうか?

I think your style is a very popular style right now in places like California. Is this sort of style popular in Japan as well?

K: 日本のアート界で何が起きているのかはあまり分析していないのでわかりませんが、漫画で育った世代ですから、どうしてもその影響はあると思いますが・・・?こういう作品のスタイルが注目されているの?知らなかった!!って感じです♪


KM: Although I haven't analyzed the Japanese art market, we are a culture raised on manga, so there is that inescapable influence. I actually didn't realize this style was so popular in the US!

In Japanese art, negative space is very important. I also love negative space. I am continually seeking this negative space which is so comforting for the viewer... it'll never go out of style.


J: アメリカでは最近インターネットを使って個人的に絵を売るアーティストが増えてます。日本ではどうですか?

J: In the US, artists recently sell their works online without assistance of a gallery. What about in Japan?

K: 日本でもインターネットで作品を売る方法は普通になってきてると思いますが、まだ個人では珍しいかもしれませんね。ネットを見て絵を買う人もまだ一部だと 思います。そして国内より海外のクライアントが気に入った作家の作品や気に入ってるギャラリーの作品を買うためにネット販売は役立っているんじゃないかし ら?事実はどうかわかりません…

KM: Of course there are online art sales in Japan, but it's rarer to see individuals doing this. There is also a limited number of people who will buy art by seeing it online. I think online art sales are more beneficial to clients outside Japan who would like to buy work from their favorite artist or gallery. I'm not entirely certain, though.






J: 将来の目標は何ですか?

J: Translation: What is your dream for the future?

K: いろいろな側面がありますね。



クリスチャンアーティストとして神様に栄光をお返しできるような人生にしたいとか…。どんどん夢ばかり大きくなります!そういう大きな夢を見れるアーティストの一人として日々成長させていただきたいです♪ それからギャラリーを造るのも夢です♪

KM: There are many aspects. I want to become a financially independent artist. I want to be able to befriend others' "inner children" who may be feeling isolation. I am a Christian artist, so I'd like my artwork to bring glory to God. I want to be the type of artist who keeps dreaming bigger and bigger. Oh yes, I'd also like to make my own gallery.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Feature in Issue #9 of Refused Magazine!

Here is a happy news. I am featured as one of the main artists in issue #9 of Refused Magazine! This coolio arts & culture mag features lots of swanky street/underground art.

Wanna check it out in person? I am giving away a free magazine copy + sticker. All you have to do to enter this giveaway is to share your favorite JUURI artwork on your FB wall, Twitter, blog, etc. Be sure to either email me the link or @juuriart it so that I can count your entry. This giveaway ends 5/18/12 (Fri.) Good luck!





Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Getting Started on a Painting

I've written a blog post about how to finish out a painting. But how about how to start one? Everyone's creative process is different, but I wanted to share mine with you in case you could glean anything useful from my method.

Each painting of mine starts with an idea. That idea can be a mood, subject matter, or color theme that I want to explore. The best places for me to find these ideas is by watching music videos, reading fashion magazines, watching foreign (especially Asian) films, or looking around on the internet for new fresh artists. If I'm patient and mull things around in my head a bit... an inspiring idea will definitely take shape.

Here are some examples of my favorite sources of inspiration:

Music video featuring Shibasaki Kou (柴咲コウ) (Sorry it won't let me embed for some reason)

↓ British fashion magazine i-D (not to be confused with the now-discontinued American design mag I.D.)


↓ Japanese NHK historical dramas (taiga dorama) such as 2011's "Gou."


Then, I try to capture the mood I have in my mind. I just write whatever comes to mind, whether it makes grammatical sense or looks like ancient prison-wall scrawl. I have to get it all on paper before I forget!

Next, I obtain reference photos for the main subject, which for me, is almost always a single Japanese-ish-looking female (or sometimes, male.) I find myself becoming picker and pickier about angles of the face. My current fave is the 3/4 view with nice rim lighting. I either take a reference photo of a model (or... myself :'( or combine ideas from photos I find online. Then, I make a very detailed sketch, like my most recent sketch for my most recent piece. ↓


These days, I try to take more and more care on the initial sketch. I used to rush the sketch to get to the painting, which often produced wonky, slipshod work later. I am also heartened to hear that everyone's favorite girl Audrey Kawasaki spends sometimes days on the initial drawing before she applies any color at all. Very encouraging fact!

↓ Audrey's super careful under-drawings


Then it's time to come up with an agreeable color scheme for the whole work. People often compliment my use of color, and I attribute that to thoughtful planning beforehand. But do you want to know a WONDROUS secret weapon? It's... Adobe Kuler! This amazing site has series upon series of beautiful colors schemes, and you can even search by keyword such as "hot" or "gloomy" or "Miami Beach." I often find loads of inspiration there. Give it a try!

So, this is the start of my painting process. Sometime I'll blog about the middle, the actual process. For now, you can see a FB album about it on my JUURI page. Hope you enjoyed this little post. Until then, cheerio~!

New Muse: Kawaguchi Haruna 川口春奈

I was watching smapxsmap today and saw cute, cute, CUTE Kawaguchi Haruna! I'm sure she must be pretty popular in Japan right now, but I am *so* woefully behind on any of the trends, and *old person voice* I don't know who any of these new kids are.

I love her big black eyes, w shaped mouth, and adorable bangs (when she has them.) I should paint more girls with bangs. >_<

I love this hilarious Sony Bluray DVR commercial... dads, unless you buy this model, your sweet little girl will cry and cry that you forgot to record her favorite show. Just like this. Haha!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Norman Open Studios 5/12/12


I will open my studio on 5/12/12 as part of Norman's first ever Open Studios event put on by the Norman Arts Council. Feel free to drop by any time between noon and 4:00 pm. One lucky person will win a signed, stamped limited edition JUURI print, so be sure to sign the guest book! You will also have the chance to see "Snow Girl" (in case you haven't seen her yet) at Mainsite Gallery for the show corresponding to this event.

Oh yes, the festivities actually are over the entire weekend. Here's a summary of events:

May 11, 2012 | Open Studios Exhibition opening reception 6:00pm-10:00pm

May 12, 2012 | Open Studios Day 11:00am– 4:00pm (I will be an hour late to open; so 12:00pm)

May 12, 2012
| Artists’ After Party for participating artists 5 p.m. (Public may purchase tickets for $5)

Here is a map of all the studios participating. Go to as many as you can!

View Norman Open Studios 2012 in a larger map

Contact Norman Arts Council at (405) 360 1162 for more info!