Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wanna Be A Billionaire?

Glorious photo from Pinterest.com

 These are the things I'd do if I were a billionaire!

- Sleep in as late as I want
- Do art projects that I like... only projects I choose, no boring stuff
- Travel
- Drink coffee at chic coffee shops and feel like my life is a tumblr
- Eat delicious foods
- Hang out at the pool / hot tub all day and soak up the sun
- Play with lots of cute animals
- Drive an awesome, head-turning vehicle (well, so long as I was staying in a city that necessitated having a car)

Being an artist isn't easy. You have to make your own projects, ideas, and income sources. There's no direct deposit. You often have to be a debt collector and struggle to get paid for things that you should automatically be paid for. You can be sure that the number on my bank account shocks me continually. I could earn more money working at McDonald's. That's not even an exaggeration.

But then, look at what I do every day in my poor artist's life:

- Sleep in till about 10:00 am daily... and work till about 1:30 am
- Do art projects that I like... beautiful Japanese girls and vibrant abstracts!
- Travel to new cities 2-3 times per year, usually including a yearly international trip
- Drink coffee and tea all day long
- Eat out several times a week and also cook delicious new dishes
- Use the Olympic-sized pool and hot tubs at my gym anytime
- Play with my doggie, the cutest beast alive
- Drive a vintage Porsche 944


UH..... notice something?

THE THINGS I WOULD DO IF I WERE A BILLIONAIRE I ALREADY DO EVERY SINGLE DAY.

There are a few other things I would do if I were rich; like live in another zip code, but as I love minimalism and simplicity with all my heart, there wouldn't be too much more. The biggest difference between Now-Me and Billionaire-Me is the number of digits on my banking app.

I wouldn't trade my amazing life for the highest-paying soul-sucking job there is. You know, the type of job that people utterly hate, but they go back to every single hour of every single week of every single year for 40+ years so that someday they could possibly start to do what they like every day?

Dear artists and entrepreneurs, when you start to despair for lack of direct deposit every week, make your two lists. Listen to the stories around you about horrible jobs, horrible bosses, insufferable colleagues, and exhausting office politics.

I can guarantee that you too will see how incredibly close you are already to being the richest person on earth. Count your blessings, and don't ever forget them!

PS. If you're stuck in one of those soul-sucking jobs... realize that you CAN change your fate. If I did it, anyone can!

<3 JUURI

Monday, October 27, 2014

5 Scariest JUURI Pieces

My paintings are usually full of serene flower-wearing girls; but occasionally out of nowhere, a creepy piece will appear. Check out these top 5 scariest pieces. (Links included for pieces which are available.) Happy Halloween!



1. "Red Tongue - Aka Shita -"

This bizarre lady is based off the yokai of the same name. Read about her crazy tongue and talons here! Original and prints available, from $48.99


2. "Relentless - Yousha Nashi -"

Perhaps the only weapon-wielding JUURI lady ever. Read what she represents here.
Original and prints available, from $58.99


3. "Torn Tail - Osaki -"

This ever-popular piece was a private commission! Can you guess what yokai she is?

4. "Broken or Whole?"

This creepy-looking piece is inspired by a real Japanese festival called THE NAKED FESTIVAL. Strange, huh? Read about what goes on there here.
Original and prints available, from $48.99


5. "The Standing Death of Ben-Kei St. Sebastian"

Just a guy calmly standing with arrows in his neck and blood gushing out. This is actually a real Japanese legend. I didn't make it up. Read about the piece here!
Prints available, $50

Tell me if there are any others you missed. These are fun; I'll have to make more!

JUURI <3

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

WIN A FREE PRINT of "Fortune Favors the Brave"


 Everyone who votes for my Oklahoma City mural "Fortune Favors the Brave" in the Taste of Western mural contest will be entered to WIN a free signed copy of the print of the piece. I appreciate your help because my competition is tough!

HERE'S HOW TO VOTE. Voting ends 10/23/14 at 7pm.

1. Go to 2014tow.eventbrite.com

2. Scroll down until you find my mural. Enter a donation of your choice and hit the green "order now" button at the bottom. (There is a voting fee minimum of .99. So, the minimum vote would be one cent + voting fee = $1.) Donations go to future public art projects on Western Ave!

3. Enter your payment info, and wait for the "ticket." Once you receive the ticket, your vote has been counted. You don't have to do anything with the ticket.

4. I will pick a winner for the print at random and mail the signed piece to your door!

Thank you for your help, and good luck to both of us!

JUURI <3









Monday, October 20, 2014

Humongous Mural Finished! "Fortune Favors the Brave"

After two weeks of pure insanity (12-hour days, fast food diet, long commutes to and from OKC, and absolutely nothing else at all in my life) my mural is safely finished.

"Fortune Favors the Brave" by JUURI | Public art @ 44th & Western in Oklahoma City | Photo by Quit Nguyen

JUURI with her mural at @ 44th & Western in Oklahoma City | Photo by Quit Nguyen
"Fortune Favors the Brave" by JUURI | Public art @ 44th & Western in Oklahoma City | Photo by Quit Nguyen

Here is the meaning behind the piece:

My mural is entitled "Fortune Favors the Brave," alluding to the resilience of Oklahomans to withstand overwhelming natural and man-made disasters. No matter the hardships, we always bounce back and treat everyone with kindness, free of embitterment.

The muse for my piece is a local 14-year old girl who is beautiful inside and out. She is crowned with kimono-style florals and scissor-tailed flycatchers rendered in kimono style to represent my Japanese heritage.

The thin blue line represents law enforcement who have given so much of themselves in our times of need here in this state. As a volunteer for the police department in Norman, I can confidently say that our officers are some of the best people I have met in my time living here. (An Oklahoma City officer and a Norman officer helped me paint the line.) The line is placed behind the eyes of the girl to symbolize future watchfulness against threats, and the line in front of the left eye means that we will never forget the past.

<3 JUURI




Sunday, October 5, 2014

My First Mural Ever

I've started my first legit mural ever. It's at 44th & Western in OKC, and will be part of this year's "Taste of Western" event taking place on Oct 23rd. The idea is to have a night of wondrous cuisine, wine, and 5 brand-new murals in close proximity! You can reserve tickets at the official event page here.

Anyways, my wall is HUGE! It's about 30 feet high and approximately the length of Smaug himself. I was pretty excited, but also daunted for weeks because I've never painted this big in my life. Would it be super hard? Would it be amazingly easy? Would the texture of the exterior wall make me want to kill myself? I didn't know WHAT to expect!

My huge wall, 30 ft high.

Well well, After picking up our paints at HIS Paint (who were kind enough to donate lots of materials and give us massive discounts on others) we projected the image onto the wall and started outlines.


PEOPLE. Being 20 feet up on that leetle yellow scaffolding is SCARY. My knees were wobbling. I actually couldn't handle it, and that wasn't even tall enough to do the top stuff! Ladders are better. And even better than ladders is having E up on the there doing my work for me. Juuuust joking. I did work too.


 But I'm SUPA excited about the painting! It was really fun and fulfilling. I can't wait to start on my girl's face! The cool thing was the number of people who walked up and wanted to tell us how awesome they thought it looked. (Even though... it was just a few lines at this point.) People really respond to oversize art being created live. I probably talked to more people last night than I have at any art opening. Cool!

Good progress for one night. And now it's past 1 am. Hoooo

 I will post updates on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I guess I should probably be tech-saavy and invent a hashtag, so how about #juurimural. OK? Please follow our progress and send me your thoughts!

We have to have this done in 2 weeks! Weeeeeeeeeeeeee! You know where I'll be for the next few long days. C-ya at Taste of Western, if I'm still alive! Bai!

J




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New painting: "Contrarie - Amanojyaku -"

Here is my newest girl, "Contrarie!" What a mix of delicacy and violent pain she is!

Contrarie - Amanojyaku - | Watercolor, colored pencil, gold leaf, and fabric collage on board

She is watercolor, colored pencil (for the details) and kimono fabric collage on board. I ordered the fabric from an Etsy shop in Japan and spent a looong time cutting out the elements that I wanted, pasting them to the board. I really enjoy this unique fusion of media and collage, plus it lets me feature the stunning world of kimono fabric design! Behind my girl's head is a giant patch of gold leaf. It makes her hair shape kind of like the Queen of Hearts' on the most recent Alice in Wonderland movie.





I've always been drawn to the arrow-pierced / impossibly-calmly-suffering imagery like that of St. Sebastian, Ben-Kei, Joan of Arc, etc. One of my favorite pieces I made in college was also an arrow-pierced lady. I must have some deep psychological issue to be drawn to this imagery over and over... *crazy laughter.* This piece was also influenced by one of my favorite Caravaggio paintings, "Young Sick Bacchus."

The Japanese word amanojyaku (天邪鬼) refers to a demon-like creature in traditional folklore. However, it can also mean a very contrary or stubborn person. You know the type... the person who always delights in being the direct opposite of what everyone else says and does. Basically: me.

If something is madly popular and everyone is getting on the train, I most likely won't... or will only do so if I decide the thing is really worthy; and even then, with begrudging trepidation. Also, if a person or group is despised by the hip crowd, I will most likely end up taking a liking to them. I take a weird delight in being isolated, disconnected, bizarre, and thinking differently than most people in my demographic. I sometimes don't even feel that I fit in properly with other artists.

My Contrarie girl is surrounded with gorgeous florals to show that she is ever surrounded by beauty and good things, (like I am,) but her stubbornness, tenacity, and amanojyaku-ness often bring her pain. Still she carries on, because she's grown accustomed to the sting of opposition and impossible dreams. It isn't the first time, nor the last that she'll be shot right through the heart.



Hopefully this painting made you think, and maybe you can even see a bit of yourself in her.

Both the original piece and prints will be available to purchase in my shop on Friday, 9/26/14!





Thursday, September 4, 2014

Coaster Show at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in LA


Halo everybods, I'm here to tell you that I'm in a fantastic show at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in LA. Even though it's a group show with 1,050+ pieces, I'm still supa dupa excited to be at this gallery.... one of the best, as we know! I'm trying not to scream like a fangirl!

I saw the preview yesterday and was blown away by the level of art. If you live in the LA area, this will be a show to see. There is so much good art jam-packed into tiny coasters. They are expecting several thousand attendees, so it sounds like the place to be. It's not going to be a small-time event!

I'm so sad I couldn't make it to LA this time. Hopefully there will be more shows there to come. If you are interested in purchasing my coasters, please email the gallery.

*SEE THE COASTERS HERE!*

Amedama I - IV  |  Mixed media & vintage kimono collage on paper  |  $75 each

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Use Your Selfishness and Laziness

Sometimes as artists, we struggle with what we feel we should paint as opposed to what we want to paint. Perhaps I should paint full figures. Perhaps I should paint bigger. Perhaps I should paint more intricate floral and kimono designs adorning my girls.

But guess what?

I want to paint faces only. My interest wanes when I get to the neck or the hair. But I could never, ever tire of painting the face. I am simply in love with it.

Faces, faces, I LOVE faces! (This is my newest work in progress.)

I want to paint medium-size pieces. I love sitting with my piece at my desk, painting peacefully whilst listening to an ambient music track on Soundcloud, taking a sip of hot PG Tips tea here and there and enjoying the sunlight streaming in my window on the right.

Drawing peacefully at my desk with tea, my computer, and watching some football too!

I want to surround my girls with detailed kimono patterns but am either too lazy/selfish to paint flowers (remember my sole obsession with the face?) So... why not adorn them with real, vintage kimono fabric? (I just ordered some here... can't wait to receive them!) Not only is the idea unique and meaningful to me, it gives these beautiful fabric pieces the happiness they deserve... the chance to live on in a painting instead of stuffed in a drawer somewhere. :)

Sumptuous kimono fabric from AtelierLiaSan's Etsy shop
Now do you see why I say "Use your selfishness and laziness"? It's because sometimes in art when you feel "selfish" or "lazy", it's not a bad thing... just an arrow that points you straight toward what you are most, most truly interested in.

And isn't that what all artists are seeking to find their whole lives?

Love,
JUURI






Saturday, August 9, 2014

New Painting: "Red Tongue - Aka Shita - "

I can't stop painting my interpretations of various yokai, so here is another one! I believe this is only one of a few "bad girls" I've painted... my girls are usually innocent and melancholy. But it's fun to do something different for a change.

Red Tongue -Aka Shita- | Watercolor, acrylic, colored pencil, and gold leaf on wood panel | 24 x 24" | Available to buy

The original creature is simply called "Aka Shita" which means "Red Tongue." It's not supposed to be a female in particular, just a cloud of smoke. Here's a brilliant illustration of it from this new snazzy yokai project site.


From this description I took the part about red mouth and red tongue... perfect for a female with a wild attitude! It sort of reminded me of Jessie J's impossibly colored mouth in this video.



The creature is supposed to have claws, but I didn't want her to seem too cheesily witch-like, so I opted to give her a fashionable talon ring instead. It's like she's using it to draw the lines of smoke all around her.



I used to have to ask Lowe's workers to chop plywood for me every time I went there, but behold: now they sell perfectly pre-cut 24 x 24" birch plywood boards. Yeeeei! They are thicker than the other type, too. I like to paint the edges with a bold color, so the painting doesn't need a frame. It has a wire on the back and is ready to hang!


If this lady captures your heart, remember that you can purchase this piece! Look at my shop for details.

Love,
J

Friday, June 20, 2014

New Piece: "Baien"

I decided to go back to a previous method or working: cutting girls out of paper and pasting them on wood! Whooo, it was exhilarating and fun. I've missed it!

This piece is quite large, a 2x2 foot square. The girl is watercolor & colored pencil on paper. The background is acrylic paint on top of a birch panel. The golden parts are real gold leaf that shine in the light. She took me about a fortnight to complete.

Baien -梅園- | Watercolor, acrylic, & colored pencil on wood | 24 x 24"

She is called "Baien" after a heavenly nature park which I visited last time I was in Japan. Baien is in the sleepy little seaside town of Atami, not far outside of Tokyo. Atami is famous for its onsen (natural hot springs.) The town is a bit old fashioned and quaint, and that's what I love about it! You can explore its slightly shabby steep streets endlessly and be greeted by friendly faces everywhere you turn.

Anyway: I'm glad we decided to pay the small entry fee for Baien. It was well worth it because it turned out to be one of the most beautiful, serene, and peaceful places I've ever been. The area was in a quiet valley filled with plum and cherry trees of all sorts. Waterfalls and rivers wove alongside the walking paths, and filtered sunlight streamed in from above. Here and there were old style Japanese houses and gardens through which you could wander. It was early spring, so the weather was perfect.









We stayed in a hotel close by. And yes, the onsen (hot springs) are marrrrvelouuuuuus.

One morning, I got up early and had a peaceful soak in the hot water. There weren't many people there, so I felt like I was in my own private paradise. The water was soooo warm and comforting, the sunlight was streaming in through the windows and making the steam glow all around me, and my stress level was truly at 0. I closed my eyes and tried to lock in that memory, since it was such a perfectly blissful moment.

Those happy feelings have come back to me lately. And that's why I wanted to paint "Baien" girl, to remind me of being perfectly happy and enveloped softly by the warmth of the natural water. The bright pink flowers in her hair remind me of that beautiful Baien park forevermore. I hope you feel serene, peaceful, and content when you look at her.

So now you know the story behind her. Check out this step-by-step process video! It's just 52 seconds long, don't worry.



C-ya,
Julie (JUURI)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Nurturing Your "Mood"

If you're an A+ blood type person like me, you're always looking for ways to organize, save time and energy, and make things efficient.

For me, that included cutting out TV watching, movie watching, searching for less new Japanese music online and just being content with the Spotify stream, less online clothes shopping, and less browsing of fashion / interior design magazines.

All those changes were fine and made me into some sort of efficient, time-saving art robot.

But after awhile, I missed being human!

That's when I realized that one's "mood" is very important, and very conducive to good creativity! Not to mention that you'll feel happy and fulfilled to set aside a little bit of time for those "other fun" things that you enjoy, even if they seemingly have nothing to do with your concrete goals, such as finishing a painting by the end of the week.

So this is what I do now.

When an episode of my favorite Japanese variety show "Smapxsmap" is made available online, I watch it during lunchtime. I never laugh so hard as I do when watching Smap and their hilarious antics. It makes me have a great mood, and gets my brain thinking in Japanese. When I think in Japanese, Japanese inspiration soaks into my head more easily. I'm not sure why, but it does.

番組の激しい字幕が何より面白い...

I periodically browse Netflix for new artistic-looking foreign films. The beautiful visuals recharge my brain and creativity like nothing else! I especially like slow, visually luscious films with deep meaning. My recent favorite is "Hara-Kiri: The Death of a Samurai." (And not just because I loooooooove Ichikawa Ebizo!) (✿ ♥‿♥)

相変わらず市川海老蔵っていつもカッコいい〜!やーめーて!

I look online for Japanese radio streams, and browse YouTube for my favorite artists and save good songs to a playlist. I have so many favorite artists that there's no end to new releases from them. I made this drawing late at night whilst listening to Moriyama Naotaro's beautiful song 「愛のデーゼ」.


I renewed my subscription to Elle Decor, since there's something special about having a magazine in your hands... and curling into a comfy chair with a cup of coffee, and reading the evening away. That's a special feeling that fast browsing of online blogs can't give you.

I could spend lots of time checking out the visual feast of this room!
 I also don't stop myself from browsing at Lookbook and shopping online for clothes (though I usually don't buy... I just put things into my shopping cart and feel happy.)

Great look... exciting combination of texture & color!

 Beauty and happiness are everywhere, and it's good to soak it up into your mind to nurture a healthy mood without being too rigid about a "schedule."

Let me know what things you do to keep a creative feeling going!

J


Friday, May 30, 2014

Changes to Simplify Things

The "illustration" section of my consolidated website.












Recently I feel so very busy— I'm doing a million things but not doing any of them well. Part of the problem is that the number of websites, online stores, and Facebook / Twitter pages for my creative stuff has gotten a little out of hand. I meant well enough... separating things by genre and audience. However, I've come to the conclusion that running myself ragged trying to market and promote several sites (all for my art) is a bit silly.

I don't think it's bad that I explored all those options... you can't know what works or doesn't until you try it. So it wasn't a wasted journey.

Anyway:

All my art is now here under my usual website: www.juuriart.com

I've put my Japanese-flavored art, my "abstract" art, and my crazy colorful illustrations. That's basically everything I create. I sometimes create random things (like motorcycle & gun art, t-shirt designs, photography, etc) but I realized that I don't have to have a website for everything I do in life. A very clever person once told me that my website should be a curated viewing experience. I've remembered his sage advice now and shall endeavor to live by it.

I'm phasing out my Storenvy shop called "Fash Art Home" and simply keeping one Etsy shop for Japanese art, one Etsy shop for non-objective art. That's all. They are both linked on my website so it shouldn't be too confusing.

I tried Storenvy for awhile and really like the interface and the fact that it's free; however I never got much traffic there anyway and all the spontaneous sales came through Etsy. So, bye-bye to that for now.

Huzzah to simplifications and consolidations! Now that everything's straightened out, I hope I can get to work on some new pieces, whether they are Japanese, abstracts, or just plain old wild sketches. And you can get all that news on one website, one Facebook, and one blog. Just as it should be!

Cheers,
J

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wandering...

For the past few months, I feel like I'm flitting to and fro in a mysterious landscape full of inspiration. Wild, fervent inspiration that only lasts a few minutes and then burns out in a spectacular flame.

I can't even finish the sketch before the vision is gone. A few hours later, I come upon another mind-numbing inspiring thought... try to capture her, but then she disappears before I can even find a pencil.

Why can I not find a bleeding pencil!? I need to buy a bucketload and have them available absolutely everywhere.

So, I haven't finished anything worthwhile in months.

Most of the time these days I can't even draw. My skill eludes me. I don't know what's going on.

How long do I have to say in this strange place, I wonder?  Why am I full of thoughts I can't express?

It's terribly, horribly frustrating. I'm not sure when I'll find a cure.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tropic Fever

Nothing can energize my creative mind and blast my brain full of new ideas like TRAVEL can! I make it a priority and try to have something like 2 big trips per year, with some little ones added in.

I went to Mexico in the summer, and this winter I visited Hawaii for the first time since I was a child.

You know how, when you're little, everything seems magical and beautiful; and as you get older, you get more cynical and see more negative things about everything? That's why I thought that I might see a slightly less-glamorous Hawaii than I did when I was 4, but guess what?

Hawaii put a giant shush-finger on my mouth and made me see this. Right in my neighborhood.


And I saw that the WAVES themselves are bright teal as they come crashing down toward the shore, floofing into a foamy blanket of white.


And I saw that the plain old "overrated" sunsets look like this.


And that when you go into the mountains, there are slices of sideways, impossibly steep angles covered from bottom to top in lush green. I didn't see any scary bugs, either. Not even one. It was just peaceful, breezy quietness. Probably because all the carpets of green absorb all noise.


And real sea turtles come up and sleep on the beach next to where you're staying. At first they were so still that I was afraid they were dead... but then as I stared at one, he slowly opened his giant dark eyes and gave me a knowing nod. I didn't see any other movement from any of them after that. Magical moment!


And you can chase and find the boldest, hugest, clearest rainbows you've ever dreamed of.


And, since the islands aren't that big, pretty much every common place looks like some variation of this.


And the fruit tastes like heaven in your mouth. Papayas in Oklahoma Wal-mart produce section, please change your name, since it's an insult to the real Papayas that commonly grow in people's yards in Hawaii.


And the sand is über-soft between your toes. And the people are friendly, kind, and welcoming. And colorful geckos and random wild chickens are as abundant as squirrels! And the weather truly is perfect, even in the dead of winter. And everything is alive in blazing, brilliant color.

My color-loving heart is about to burst with excitement! Looking forward to a very vibrant 2014.

<3 JUURI

(All photos are © JUURI Art. You can share them, but please give credit. Thanks!)