Wednesday, November 5, 2014

10 years in the making - HARAJUKU Girls Kawaii! Style...

Something like...oh, ten years ago Gwen Stefani's song Harajuku Girls came out. I liked the song, the album, and thought the styles the Harajuku girls developed was so much fun! I never forgot it.
Here's a pic of Gwen with a few of the girls... and here's a LINK to the song on YouTube.

 I had a dream about a year ago... in it, I was creating these ridiculous necklaces featuring plastic babies, that were flocked. I searched high and low for the right size babies, bought 'em, painted 'em, flocked 'em. They're still in my studio waiting for a place to go.

I rediscovered Harajuku girls again... and there are a LOT of different styles. I like the Kawaii style that includes a lot of toys, baby colors, and ornaments. Here are some samples of what's happening in 2014:

Cute, right? I love the sparkles, the Hello Kitty look, the bright colored hair... so I decided to create a portrait of some Harajuku girls using upcycled items. I collected a lot of used things from thrift stores... barrettes, yarn, buttons, toys, jewelry, glittery things... and then started drawing, painting and cutting paper.

I made some changes along the way - in color scheme and a few other motto is "The Impulse is the Action!" I put some red and white rays in the back to simulate the Japanese flag... everything else is from my imagination and inspiration.

first sketch
The paper I used is in my studio...a collection Holiday cards, packaging, postcards, business cards, menus, calendars, training manuals, trade magazine covers, catalogs, business cards, tags, etc. I save everything. All the paper used in the background is Christmas cards, or paper with metallic. Every single piece is cut by hand and glued on to the painting -I created- on canvas.
I cover all of the painting with paper... and the only paint at the end is used on the eyes.
Paper part done!
After I finished the paper mosaic, I added a little blush [yeah, real makeup] to the "girls" to tint the paper! I sealed the composition with a non-toxic gloss lacquer. Ah...but I wasn't done yet.

I assembled all those thrift store toys, jewels, etc. to add to the portrait. I know - the girls are flat, and the toys are dimensional. I HAD TO follow through with my vision. I attached, using glue, thread and fishing line... a variety of "stuff."
I even took some of those babies, painted on some pajamas, flocked them with irridescent glitter and coated them... drilled holes into them and made them into a necklace!
plastic babies in their glitter onsies

I cut slits into the canvas to attach hair clips, a crown and earrings. There are jewels, a doll, a pony, hello kitty eraser, a baby pull toy, more weird plastic babies, teddy bears, buttons, and other jewelry.
I was going to use lavender yarn for hair, but it didn't lay right.
At the very end, I touched up the eyes, adding just a bit of paint. The finished piece is 30x40" unframed, but edges are finished. You can see it "in person" in Miami in December at the Spectrum Art Fair. For information on how to get tickets to the oepning, send an email.

Yeah, it took 10 years for a song to make it to my easel, and to finally get some babies on a necklace!
Thanks for reading!

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