Thursday, January 29, 2009
Occasionally I am asked what inspires me to do what I do. Frankly I don't believe in inspiration, and I have nothing to do with it. I am increasingly uninterested in museums and galleries to the point that I don't go there any more. Also, I have been too busy to go to places to look at art that I am not interested in. Producing abstract art is easy, but selling is the hardest part.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Technically speaking, this is an image of compressed acrylic paint onto a plastic sheet. Unfortunately I cannot make this type of image in a large scale, except that this can be scanned and printed in a large format. You can see more of these in this album.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I am always fascinated with the textures of good quality, preferably hand made, papers. When using them as collage materials, paper quality makes a whole world of difference in the final appearance of art, giving a classy look to the final products.
Monday, January 26, 2009
I made this last week and brought in to the farmer's market on Saturday. In the afternoon it was sold. I was sold so quickly that I didn't even take a photo of it! Luckily the lady who bought it was spending a bit of time at the market, so I caught her while she was paying to the Mediterranean food vendor and said, "Excuse me, but do you mind if I borrow it so I can take a picture of it? About an hour later, a young woman came to me and said she wanted to buy something. "Sure," said I. I followed her, and she pointed at a spot where this was hanging earlier but now something else was occupying. Apparently this was a big hit, but its popularity lasted only five hours as it was sold so fast.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Here is what a local massage therapist did with the reproductions of my art. They are both identical but the one at the bottom is hang upside down. They look absolutely beautiful together like this in her massage room. This therapist likes to have these because these images remind her of human muscles which has a great importance to a massage therapist.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
This is the first piece I sold. It was April of 2005, I had been doing line drawings since February of that year, so I had been an artist for a few months then. Apparently I was not ready to have people who want to buy such things as my drawings when the sales occurred. For the record, I am not the first one who started line drawings. I think this type of art can be traced back to ancient times. Interestingly, if you make line drawings they don't look like mine. Mine always look like mine. It's like our voices or finger prints. Each of us make unique line drawings. In any event, just because one person said she wants to buy one, another person wanted to buy one too. Then this second person bought two pieces, one for herself, and the other for her friend. It was in a workshop of teaching artists how to market our art. I was supposed to bring my portfolio to be reviewed by the instructor, but I didn't have a portfolio so I brought a pile of my drawings. I said I didn't have a portfolio so I had to bring drawings and put them on a table. That's when the sales occurred. Yes, sales can be made happen, but sometimes they occur just like that. Lucky me.
Friday, January 23, 2009
This series, “Peachy Story,” apparently appeals to people. The first set of four was sold to a Californian just a few days after being posted online. The second set of four was sold to a local chef at a farmer’s market about a month ago. On both sales the entire four were sold at once, which is lovely because I don’t have to deal with the stray pieces to sell. Although the shapes look “peachy,” my original intention was not peachy. This onion shaped figures are called “Precious Sphere,” derived from ancient India that eventually led to the current Buddhism. I am NOT religious (so please do not start the religious debate!) but I know that this design has been incorporated into architecture and other things that you see daily in Asian culture. So I theorized that this peachy shape is definitely well liked to all human beings; otherwise this design had died out already, which is not the case. I am making the third set of four to get ready for my first art festival next month. I should probably make two or three sets if time allows me to do so because I know that they sell, if not in the festival then another art fair in March. And also, this is the color, pink&red, people are buying this year. I need to add that my name "MOMO" is peach in Japanese and its character is also Peach in Chinese.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I gather scraps and other found objects and make art out of them. And I call it, “Raccoon Carpenter.” Who’s the raccoon? It’s me! And who’s the carpenter? It’s me! I am an unprofessional carpenter who plays with whatever laying on the floor or backyard. This is so much fun, and they look so cool and funky. The photo is a small section of my funky art made of Coors Light bottle caps, torn plywood, and resin. The other day at a farmers market, a very polite lady well dressed in pink came to me with this art in her hand and said, “I must buy this!” One can never underestimate who buys which type of art. Now I find myself addicted to bottle caps resin art. I know some artists cut out papers and put them in the bottle caps and pour resin into it. And I do abstract art version of it. And it’s a good excuse to drink more beer!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I would carry the dictionary with me at all times when I came to the States in 1992. My English was too poor to carry out conversations. It is now 2009, and things have changed. Miraculously I now speak English, although I can’t quite read English. Also, all dictionaries are in a small pocket electric dictionary and Internet provides free dictionaries and translations. When my dictionary retired, I couldn’t quite throw it away, as a sense of attachment grew. I wanted to utilize the dictionary pages as part of artworks. But I didn’t know how. So I applied for a local grant to pay for a collage workshop. I suppose it was extraordinary to have gotten that grant because I had been an artist for less than a year then. In any event I got the grant, and I flew to Washington State to attend the workshop. Work of collage is addictive. Time has passed, and I still do it. But now I have accumulated skills, techniques, and tricks, so I do it swiftly now. This piece on the photo was a commissioned work for a deceased cat of my client. The cat’s name was “Pixel.” I found the page of “pixel” on the dictionary and used it. The composition was based on the hair pattern of the cat, Pixel.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
“This is the most beautiful cardboard I have ever seen,” said a visitor to my booth. I would have to agree with him. Some people can tell it’s a cardboard as soon as seeing it, whereas others ask me what it is. It's sized 8 by 10 inches, and of course it is light. It has a pottery or glass look so when people take it in hands they are all amazed to know how light it is. So far no one disapproved of my choice of material, and instead they like the idea of my recycling. It is fun to make these. I guess I like drip painting because I don't have to work hard. All one has to know is how to drip and select color combination wisely. Even Jackson Pollock could do it, so you can. Yes, you can! And I think mine looks prettier than Jackson Pollock's.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Perhaps I am not desperate but I feel we all need desperate changes in our society where waste is abundant. I was told that manufacturing recycled materials ends up in costing a lot more than making things out of new. This mysterious looking thing is made of cardboard and other found objects. My labor is the only cost. So this is one of my “Twenty Dollar Economy” products. I made several pieces of this kind last week and one of them was already sold yesterday! The first “Twenty Dollar Economy” product set of three were sold in two weeks. I sold one last Saturday, the second one this Saturday, and the third one yesterday. I’ve been talking to people at my booth in the past two weeks, and so far, everyone agrees that there are just too much of waste and it is hard to actually recycle, especially in Florida, even though our motivations are high. I report that what I am doing is receiving very positive responses. I am disgusted with this disposable society. A lot of things are made in ways that they don’t last long. Any time we buy something it comes with packaging materials that might even be more expensive than the item itself in some cases. So I, the pack rat, am at work staying busy! I consider what I do with cardboard “Green Art” and find it so appropriate for being shown and sold at farmers markets.
Friday, January 16, 2009
These are resin spills scanned with a scanner, and I think they are so fantastic! The best part of all is that I don’t do a thing to make these as they are just resin spills. The photos don’t show the semi transparency, but they certainly look 3 dimensional when they actually are physically flat. They come in the sizes of 1 to 5 cm and about 3 mm in thickness. View Micro Resin Painting Album.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
“Pills R Us” is a whole bunch of expired pills sealed into epoxy resin. One day I was cleaning up the kitchen and found bottles of expired and forgotten medicines. I poured them into a bucket and mixed them, they looked so pretty in American way. Sealing them up with resin took a lot of layering of resin because large amount of resin causes overheating and would melt some of the pills and I couldn’t do it in one shot. Overheated resin causes bubbles inside the resin and also occasionally resin itself start boiling itself, which is very scary. After I made this while back ago, I am hooked on sealing objects into resin. Today's culture, myself included, is full of waste. I am enjoying this gloomy economy because I no longer buy things I don't need and somehow it feels good to cut the waste.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
This is a list of things I am doing to cut expenses to survive these days. “Add It Up” formally know as “Bank of America Mall” This is for Bank of America account holders. When you shop online you can access your favorite online stores from “Add It Up” account. By using Bank of America debit or credit cards, cash back will be added to your checking account. For instance, I just placed an order at drugstores.com with a total of $75.76. This particular retail store is set to be 8% cash back, so I get $6.06. It may not be much of cash by itself, but imagine you use this each time you shop you can save hundreds of dollars over time. Costco Account I recently bought a Costco membership. Since I live alone, the use of the huge sizes of Costco merchandise can be tricky. That being said, I could use some discount by buying in bulk. Toilet papers, kitchen towels (I need this for my art works), drinking water, cat food that are eaten by wild peacocks, wild opossums, cats, and other birds, and other items. Oh, I bought a package of HP printer's cartridges that were much cheaper than buying them at any other place. Farmer’s Market I’ve been showing and selling my art at local farmer’s markets and I barter with a vegetable and fruit vendor who loves my art but cannot afford it. I gave the vendor a piece of art that she was dying to get but couldn’t afford, and she gave me a “vegetable/fruits credit.” We have a log book of how much value of vegetable and fruits I am taking home each week. Some of organic foods are expensive, but now I can get those because of the credit. I am cutting vegetable/fruits expenses this way, and the vendor got the art she really wanted to own. I am eating much more vegetables and fruits due to this bartering. Fine Art Products Made of Free Materials I now use recycled materials instead of buying art supplies like I used to do. Then I reduce the price to match the current poor consumer confidence. The posted photo is the one of my "stimulus package art" works. I made three of these pink stuff last Thursday and I sold one of them on Saturday at a farmer's market. The buyer emailed me that she wants to buy the second one this Saturday. What's your stimulus plan?
Monday, January 12, 2009
I have been a street vendor for a little over a month by now, and all of vendors agree with me on my “$20 economy theory.” People feel frightened if something costs more than $20. So the vendors with items less than $20 somehow make profit, though they may wish to make more profit, and vendors whose minimum prices are over $50 can hardly sell their merchandise. So I call it “twenty dollar economy.” Reducing a price from $300 down to $150 wouldn’t help at all, and if you think dropping it to $100 would help, you are wrong. People just don’t buy something unless it’s $20 or less! If you don’t believe me, get a booth (do it legally) and try selling whatever your merchandises are. Be a street vendor in a wealthy neighborhood for a few days, then you’ll give me a credit for naming the current retail situation so well. As far as I am concerned, twenty dollar economy is real and is happening right now. I have all the vendor friends who back up my twenty dollar economy by saying “You’re absolutely right.” If one wants to do well in this twenty dollar economy, selling merchandises priced less than $20 is crucial. So I came up with $20 merchandise business model. Now I make very attractive and uplifting artworks with left over materials and sell them at a green market. How much is it each? TWENTY DOLLARS!
Friday, January 09, 2009
Last year I bought a few sheet of YUPO to experiment on. I was curious what YUPO was and how I could use it. It was fun to play with YUPO, and I was pleased with it. YUPO is a very white synthetic sheet of paper. It is hard to describe how this sheet works, so one has to get it and play with it to see what it does. Here is one of my experiments. Since the sheet is ‘very’ white, the color pigment shows brighter than ever. I also experimented with applying resin on it, and unfortunately I concluded YUPO not suitable for resin applications. However, since it costs very little and turns waterproof after the paints are dry, this could be a material for the economy of 2009. With its low price, it is archival and low maintenance. Although it is a sheet of paper, it is hard to wrinkle and hard to tear.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
I have not been able to know the reason why the restaurant is called Yoko’s. The owner of the restaurant wouldn’t tell me. “Someday I will tell you,” the owner, Kamei, would say. I attempted to guess, but all guesses failed. It’s not Yoko Ono. It’s not his wife’s name. It’s not his ex girlfriend’s name. So what is it? Someday, I will find out why the restaurant is named “Yoko’s.” Someday… This is sized total of 6 feet wide and 4 feet high, consisting of three pieces of 2 feet x 4 feet each. Resin coated art is perfect for restaurant because the surface can be cleaned with glass cleaning solutions like Windex. Anything on the walls in restaurant gets very dirty no matter how fancy the restaurant may be.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
More than half of my work utilizes recycled materials. In other words, whenever I make art pieces there are always left over materials, and I use those left over materials to make more pieces. For instance, each time I cut a piece of paper in order to use a certain shape of cut paper, there are left over pieces of paper. Wood is the same story. There’s something about left over materials and making artworks out of them. Since they are already second hand, so to speak, I find myself being able to be much more playful, free from certain pressure to do it right. Basically I am playing with “trash” and fear of failure is non existent. If I screw up I can always throw it away since it was a “trash” in the first place. However, at one point I started noticing those “trash” artworks were popular. First of all, they are all unique and playful, and secondly I can price them very low because material cost is near zero. Thirdly I don’t feel like I “worked” to make them, and people buy them! I sold quite a few of those recycled art over the years. Photo Album
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
About a year ago, I was talking about selling my art online. Some people said it was a good idea, and others said NOBODY would buy my art online. I spent a few months researching what may work for me, and I decided to give it a shot to an online gallery, BoundlessGallery.com, and actually signed up in February 2008. While I was doing so, I completely avoided people who said NOBODY would buy my art online, by eliminating any form of contact. I ignored phone calls from them and their Facebook friend statuses were DELETED without mercy. Some people are what so called “negative people,” and I decided I didn’t want anything to do with their craps that had nothing to do with reality. A month later I signed up with BoundlessGallery.com, I started selling, and in a few months I was listed as one of their best sellers. I directly sold 31 pieces online, and there were buyers who decided to see my art in person before purchasing them but they found my art online at BoundlessGallery.com, so if I include indirect sales I probably sold over 100 pieces thanks to online business. NOBODY would buy my art online? Negative people suck. My art had been listed online for just less than a year. I have been successful, but it was time for me to move on. I now want to do things differently, and the visible pricing to the World Wide Web became something I had to eliminate.
Monday, January 05, 2009
Nearly 70 percent of people say they are eggs. Others say they’re beans. They could be rice grains or rocks. And they may certainly be jelly beans or even potatoes. They are what you think they are. I personally don’t know what they are. I just know how to make them. This series is the best seller in my art business. Yesterday I sold the four pieces seen on the photo. See more of this BEANZ series.
Saturday, January 03, 2009
A booth shot is something an artist who wants to do art fairs and art festivals must have in order to apply for juried events. I had to wait until I had the presentation walls and canopy because they are required to be in the photo. I like those dark gray walls and enjoy taking photos of my work hanging on them. See more of my booth shots here.
I procrastinated it as much as possible until today. My feeling toward having a functioning blog has been so terribly mixed. It wasn't that I, a semi net-geek, didn't know how to set up a blog, but I was very, very afraid that it may take up so much of time and energy to the extent that it becomes another full time job on top of my seemingly triple multi-task full time jobs I already have. I have always admired those bloggers who can keep updating blogs, maintaining them, and interacting with (crazy) readers of the blogs without turning themselves insane. Or perhaps they were already insane to begin with to become blog hosts. Let me tell you what I don't like about blogging. I hate to read comments from mean and stupid people who don't even know me. So I definitely turn off the comment so readers cannot leave comments. As far as I am concerned, those comments, both positive and negative ones, don't constitute anything at all. One thing I found in online culture is that most people don't know how to have a constructive debate. Disagreements are useful as long as they become catalysts of discussion. Instead, much of online discussions resemble a whole bunch of ducks fighting with each other. It produces only noises. So my goal in having a blog is to find a middle ground between a duck fight and entertaining/informing X number of readers who would appreciate what I have to offer to the world. see more collage art