Inspiration from Tokyo- Part 1

I brought a big suitcase with me to Tokyo and was ready to fill it up! But honestly I didn't end up buying as much as I thought I would. There were wonderful finds though, and I'm excited to share them!
Everything in Japan is shrink wrapped it seems. These books were a mystery to me since I can't read Japanese and know what the interiors were about, but I had to buy them anyways. Turns out they are activity books! I love this Rub A Dub Dub line. SO CUTE! Score!

I've never wanted a tray this much in my life. From Weles-Art by Naomi Tozaki. Check it this link for more goodies!

P714- they were at Design Festa and I had to buy a few little things- including the cutest post-it notes in the world. More on their website-ahhhhh!

Super cute pop-up birthday card that comes with sound.
The sound is a bottle opening, pouring, then two cute voices that says "kampai!" ("Cheers!" in Japanese.) Who...can...resist....

I have MORE goodies but for now I better get back to work instead of taking pics of everything I got. Hope you got your dose of kawaii for now.

**disclaimer: this post was filled with too much use of the word "cute," but I hope you understand.** :-)

Design Festa-Tokyo, Japan

I'm back from Tokyo!!! It was an absolutely amazing trip...I don't even know where to start. I will concentrate on the wonderful art and design graphics that I saw-which is everywhere and absolute eye candy. One of the reasons for the visit was to attend Design Festa, which is a twice-a-year art event that is held in Tokyo. Many artists, illustrators, and designers get together in a huge space to show off their work. I originally found out about this show through Spadazzle- an artist I met online a few years ago that now lives in Japan. And we finally got to meet in person! (Thank you, Sarah!)

I wish I took more pics from the event. Here is a few that I got:
Amazing cut paper and pop-ups:
This booth was super crowded, I wanted to go back to buy something, but I didn't end up getting a chance.

This owl dude got lots of attention!

Oh my. All the food plushies anyone can dream of.

I want a plushie playhouse like this.

Creatures made from paper.

Can't go without taking a picture of a Japanese girl in a cute costume:
Mitsune Temo and The Round Earth Committee

There is just so much more-aisles and aisles of art. It was so worth it to go, as I got to see how the art trends are like in Asia. I kept thinking-what if I stayed in Asia and never moved to the US, how would my style look like then? I also felt a comaraderie of sorts; seeing fellow illustrators making awesome art.

I got to play catch-up for now, as I need to get back to business after a fabulous week in Tokyo doing no work. I bought alot of very cute things (ahem, for inspiration, ya know?) so when I get a chance to take pictures of them, I will share them here. So make sure to come back if you like kawaii stuff!

Breaking into Freelance Illustration

Lately I've been getting quite a few emails asking for advice on becoming an illustrator. Sometimes I'm quite surprised (and flattered) that people want to ask ME for advice, when I'm still learning and finding my way everyday. However, I've realized that I've been doing this professionally and full time now for about 4 years. I've learned a thing or two along the way and would love to pass it along.

Thanks to Holly DeWolf, I got to contribute to her book, Breaking into Freelance Illustration. She sent me a comp copy back in December- with the holidays and traveling I didn't get a chance to blog about it here. It is a great read for people starting out and even professionals who sometimes need a reminder on a few things. Alot of familar names and blog friends are in it, be sure to check it out if you are interested in becoming a freelance illustrator.

I'm thinking of writing more posts on topics like this, such as what I've learned so far as an illustrator, and my journey of getting there. I feel like I need to pay it forward, as when I was starting out, I looked to bloggers like Keri Smith and Danny Gregory for encouragement and inspiration. So stay tuned.

**OTHER AWESOME NEWS** I'm so excited- I'm going to Japan in May! Just booked flights there for a vacation AND it will be the same week as DesignFesta- which I did purposely so I can attend that as well. It will be a heavy dose of creative inspiration...hope I don't OD! :-)