Saturday, December 13, 2014
Here is another little Hello Sandwich craft video to help you get into the Christmas cheer!
(Thank you Duncan-san!)
You can see the 'how-to-make' instructions over here.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Kodomoe magazine invited me to produce a gift wrapping story for their December issue.
It was a day or so after my new book shoot and I was soooo busy that I had to paint my nails (for the 'how-to-make' shots on the train on the way to the shoot! Hah! But it turned out okay, hey?
Sandwiches! I am playing catch up here. So many blog posts, so I hope you'll bare with me while I spam your feedly feeds. (Gomen!)
Here is the little Hello Sandwich craft project in the new Frankie craft book. So many fun projects in this book - it would definitely be a must for Chistmas presents for your crafty tomodachis!
Thank you always Frankie team for your ongoing support. Love you guys to bits.
My photography is in the latest Kate Spade book! Such an honour.
Have you seen the book already? It's so divine. And the gold edging is to die for!
The Kate Spade team also recently featured Hello Sandwich on their website, and asked me to pin a few pins on their pinterest account. Then they sent me a bag of my choice! Whaaaaaat? Could not believe how sweet they are!
Thank you Kate Spade team!
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
More from the 'This is Antwerp' tourism Antwerp trip.
There was a choice of two workshops on this particular day. Make a leather bag and take a visit to the fashion museum, or silk screen print at Ctrl Copy. After my residency at Harvest Workroom (some more pics here), I was keen to see how screen printing factories worked in Antwerp, so boarded the taxi van with the guys to the outskirts of Antwerp.
We had a bit of time to kill upon arrival so Pants Off climbed on a car. We all took photos of Pants Off on the car. Then we headed to the river side in search of photos and abandoned buildings.
This morning was one of my favourite memories from the trip. The grey. The cold. The slow time. The brilliant company. Walking slow. Looking down. Looking up. Enough time to see. Taking photos. Laughing. Climbing through corrugated metal walls. Skipping over puddles. Listening to different languages. So far removed from my regular life. No phone service. So comfortable.
"That's the grey I can't get in my paintings", said Luke's voice in my head as I took this shot.
Antwerp Fujifilm club for life.
The human Antwerp logo.
Art direction by James and Itay.
Sander's little foot sticking out.
Miss this guy!
"A little bit to the right. Um, no, back a bit now. Okay! That's it!"
Mint tea on arrival at Ctrl Copy.
At this stage I still hadn't been to a supermarket in Antwerp so this was about as close as I had been to experiencing the local food packaging design. So lovely!
Almost like a genkan with all those little shoes lined up.
I think we all had in mind that we would each make our own design and then print it, but it turned out that we would make a collaborative design and print it as a group. Can you imagine a bunch of maybe 7 creatives trying to decide on one design that we all liked?
Pants Off's re-enactment: "We don't want to put any words in your mouth, but it would be great if you could use the letters D.A.T.E. But again, we don't want to put any words in your mouth".
*Editor's side note - D.A.T.E = Discover Antwerp Through Experience
"How about we write Mayonnaise in fries"
Itay: "Everyone save some fries. I need a combination of long ones and short ones"
James: "Why don't we write D.A.T.E. in hands?"
Sandwich: "I was art directed out of my design!"
At one stage I was outside acting as a photographers assistant to James as he photographed leftover chips. I was holding an A4 piece of paper as a DIY reflector board! Whaaaaaaat?! I guess it's my punishment for not shooting RAW.
I loved peeking into Sander's bag. He was there next to me, supervising, of course. He was carrying around a tin of pencils and a sketch book. Brilliant! What a dude.
It was brilliant sitting in this room. Coffee. Belgian waffles. A mac per meter. Access to printers, scanners and wifi. Walls lined with nicely designed flyers and posters. Some of the best guys on the planet. Antwerp. Antwerp's outskirts. I could happily work away in a studio like this.
The founder of Ctrl Copy, Sven, expressed such enthusiasm for his screen printing. It was infectious. I really thank you Sven, for your kindness and time, and sharing your expertise with us. I took my little Ctrl Copy tote bag to my local Shimokitazawa supermarket the other day, too.
We each printed a grey sweater with hands spelling out 'D.A.T.E' and a bitmap of a hand from the celebrated 'Druon Antigoon' sculpture in front of the town hall. There were a lot of hands. It was very boy. But I love those guys to bits.
Dinner was at Het bos. I loved the atmosphere of this place.
"The red tokens are for drinks and the green one is for dinner upstairs".
They had beautifully designed flyers, too, which always helps. The below flyer was designed by JJ funhouse. (Picture courtesy of JJ funhouse's instagram)
Later that night we ended up at an advertising agency party at the MAS. It seemed to be an unwritten dress code rule that acceptable colours to wear were black and grey, with very minimal usage of neutrals. I, however, arrived in true trademark Hello Sandwich style, in a ditsy floral sweater. The even better part about wearing this particular sweater to this uber cool Antwerp fashion party was that the said sweater was $6 from Kmart at Broadway. Hah! I'm saving the pic of us all on the dance floor for the archives.
Miss these guys to bits.
Monday, December 1, 2014
This stunning building was home to the B&B where I was staying in Antwerp. The ceilings were probably more than double the height of my Tokyo apartment.
The final check before leaving for the day. When my odango goes well, I consider it a sign of a good day ahead.
This particular morning started with a maroon, blue and paynes grey colour scheme.
In one of the very rare 'Free Time' blocks in the schedule a few of us headed to vandoag is't... I've never seen so many coffees on the one menu. Look! For me, it was a chance to see how the city really worked. A chance to imagine yourself living in that city and ordering your daily coffee. And yes, I could totally imagine myself living in this city and popping in for my daily cortado.
"Guys! I'm writing a story for a Japanese magazine, can you just stand there in a line?"
The 'This is Antwerp' tourism project was aimed at youth, so the National newspaper that we were featured in took the liberty of changing my age from 34 to 28! Whaaaaaaaaaat? A few other changes were made, too. When I mentioned that Antwerp seemed to have quite a relaxed vibe when compared to Japan, I was quoted saying something along the lines of "Japanese people are stiff". Interesting sub-editing!
Lunch at Graanmarkt 13.
Gosh, it would be nice to stay at Graanmarkt 13's 'The Apartment'.
I love this pic because it so accurately sums up all of us on our phones or cameras. We spent all day everyday together chatting away, but when we finally got wifi and had a moment to relax, this little Antwerp family of ours was comfortable enough together to be able to peek at our iphones for a moment or two. We were, after all, there to promote Antwerp through our social media outlets.
"Does anyone know the wifi password here?"
"Here's the wifi password if anyone wants it!"
I only managed to hop on one of these sweet little trams twice during the week. 'This is Antwerp' set each of us up with everything we would need to explore the city. A rental bike card, a tram travel card, a museum pass and a sim card charged with 50 Euros. All meals, accommodation and activities were taken care of, too. Can I please do this for a full time job?
A few of us headed to a local bar in our neighbourhood later that evening. We sat at the back of a bustling bar chatting away drinking our Belgian beers. It was another great chance to see the real city and people watch.
We bumped into some of the boys on the way home. More giggling than usual. And those chips you can see somehow ended up in a pile on the street.
Pants Off: "It's not Drink street! It's just 'Drink'!"
Miss you guys.