Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Japanese Ingenuity

I have to give a moment of silence for the passing of Momofuko Anno. The man invented Ramen noodles, & yes, they are carb packed, but his invention has kept poor, grad. students alive for many years. Most folks don't know there are recipes for ramen but check them out http://mattfischer.com/ramen/?cat=2. For those times that I lived off Ramen & peanut butter, this moment is for you.

Other things that I love from Japan are their magazines. Japanese magazines for an artist are like run-proof pantihose for women- they have everything, their perfect! It doesn't matter that I can't read Japanese because they have the main titles in English & little signs that help you decipher. What its about is the images & the thousand ideas that you can get from them. My favorite store to go shopping for them are at the Kinokuniya Bookstore in Seattle. Itchy & I were pulling off the highway to go to Pike's Place Market for a savory crepe & there it was. I like to grab a boba tea, buy manga half-tone sheets, look at the male hair style magazines then off to the craft magazines. These are a hot commodity & you should snatch them up whenever you see them because they've tapped into something. I like the ones with dolls. Last time I was there I picked up Beans. Glad that I did because when I was hanging out with my friends they all had stuffed dolls. One girl bought a doll of a pork chop with eyes for $75! It must be catching on in the US because when I was in Barnes & Noble last week I saw a book called Plush-O-Rama: Curious Creatures for Immature Adults by Linda Kopp. It had some cute dolls with patterns. I giggled over the half eaten gingerbread dolls.

What I really go ga-ga over are Japanese fashion magazines. I completely rethought the way I designed paperdoll costumes after I picked up FRUITS. FRUITS is a magazine that this photographer started after he daily took pictures of the freaky hipsters that used to hang outside his office in the haruka district in Japan. I bugged my local library for a subscription because a copy only cost $2.45 in Japan. The subscription cost them $200 for a year.....I said thank you. BUT my favorite magazine is Gothic & Lolita Bible. Oh, I'm seriously deranged about this magazine. Not only is it run by a transvestite (Mana)that does a four page modeling in every issue, not only does it have recipes, not only does it have the latest clothing from the designers & maps to their stores, not only do they include a poster/button/patch/stickers/iron-on transfer in every issue, BUT the designers give you a design in every issue WITH THE PATTERN! It will show how to do your nails & how to style a wig & do your makeup. How awesome is that!To tell you how I'm inspired by this magazine, I looked at one of the posters of a ram human, came up with a the design, taught a class & got an article written in it in the Lifestyle section of the newspaper.
This is one of those glad to be in Alaska days. So yeah, its -45 degrees out there today, but the new shipment of Japanese magazines came in yesterday. I couldn't get those in Denver, my sister had to get them on her travels or I once left work early & stood in a line outside the Ramada behind a Cosplayer dressed like Pokemon to buy them at a NanDushiCon (like a Star Trek Convention but for japanese animation).

Respect the Japanese inventions but remember never get interested in J-Rock because the cds are $40 a pop & never eat the shrimp flavored Ramen..its wrong.

I'm going home to try to design a stainglass headband like this girl has:), V