Hello 2012, with a new year I am beginning a new project. Altho not entirely new, I have been doing pieces that will fit in this series for quite some time. The difference is I am now getting focus and really going to see how far I can take the ideas I have. Kowai Kawaii Yokai コワイ かわいい 妖怪 is the name of the series. The name is in Japanese because most of the
influence comes from Japan and because I like the sound of it. What does it mean? Kowai = Scary, Kawaii = Cute and Yokai =Demon, Spirit, Monster. So they will be Scary and Cute Monsters. If you would like to know more about Yokai look to wikipedia, it has info on what they are and the many different types.
This series has come about over a very long time and is a perfect mix of my obsession with all things Japan and my fascination with Monsters. I have always been
fascinated with monsters, as a child I would watch Sir Graves Ghastly every Saturday.
Sir Graves was a pretend vampire who would play old black and white monster films; Frankenstein, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dracula, the Werewolf. Kind of like today’s Elvira… But way less sexy.I always saw the monsters as the misunderstood hero in the story. People saw them as different and attacked because of the fear of their difference. I always saw myself a monster in a way, I wasn’t popular in school, I had friends but I was often the butt of jokes and I was picked on a lot. So I related to the monsters plight of being picked on and misunderstood. For years I have done my own versions of these Classic Monsters, sometimes even mixing my obsession with Japan and making Geisha Versions of them.
Then a couple of years ago I discovered a book Yokai Attack. It was a revelation for me, All these monsters, spirits and demons have been a part of so many of the Japanese things I love. I found them in my favorite Anime. Pom Poko, Spirited Away, Princess Monoke all have Yokai in the story. Many of the Japanese tattoos I was drawing for clients had Yokai in them (Oni, Tengu, Kitsune). And even in some of the lovely art I picked up on my trip to Japan were all filled with Yokai!!! Now I had a name for them, I could look up more and more about them online. And I have spent hours looking at Google images of Yokai, reading articles about them and doing sketches of them..This is the first time since I started drawing my Big Eyed Girls that I have been this inspired.. I have so many things I want to do with them. Paint, draw, design, try new techniques and really explore my own creativity with them..
Here is a sample of some of the new work:
Me and my Yokai pals
Ha No Me (teeth eyed)
Tanuki and Kitsune playing hanafuda
I will be posting more images as I work on the project and more specifics about the Yokai I am working on.