now you're talking
What do you do?
I work as an English teacher, writer and illustrator in Japan with a degree in Psychology, but consider myself a creative of sorts. So this day I might be writing a fairy tale about the fletcher's daughter, and the next I might be drawing a paper parrot.
What do you write or illustrate about?
I write and illustrate nonsense. The absurd is never of trifling importance to the imagination, and in fact, the more senseless it is, the more senses it invokes. It seems nonsense can be even more fantastic than fantasy, yet oftentimes more engaging and poignant than contemporary news telling.
I find nonsense comes quite naturally to me. Possibly because I have a good grasp of imagination and an even worse grasp of how to communicate it. It also helps that I'm a dyslexic living in Tokyo, so I've forgotten half my English, and the other half I could never spell.
Who inspires you?
From Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to Bruegel’s series of allegories there are many creatives that capture something special, that depict worlds unseen yet still describe the world we see everyday. In terms of life and career it is fair to say my mother, as a business woman, entrepreneur, painter and writer, influenced me a fair bit.
What are you working on now?
I am constantly working on a consortium of pieces, but at the moment; a collection of short stories, an illustrated animation of the ocean, and a novel.
Have unanswered queries?
Contact me here.
I have always believed in respecting fellow people, recognising all animals, and revering the natural environment around me. I believe we should be thankful for the lives we've been given, and acknowledge that we are only a small part of a much grander, beautiful, fierce and genuine world.
As such, I want to create a company that behaves in a conscientious and open manner.
Framed and Unframed Prints
In the framed prints - protective paper sheet on glass, plastic coverings beneath frame, protective cardboard sheet in box, and frame box all repurposed so our activities created no additional waste.
In unframed prints - protective paper is 100% recycled, and paper, protective cardboard sheet and cardboard box are all recyclable.
All products use as much cardboard in place of plastic as possible, as an industry trend is permanent recycling, the cardboard is recyclable and also itself produced from over 90% recycled cardboard materials. (For more information see www.zendanren.or.jp [Japanese])
Bubble wrap - a special locally acquired green bubble wrap made with 15% green polyethylene, an organic material derived from sugarcane, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and being safer for the environment. (For more information see www.putiputi.co.jp [Japanese])
Tape - a special material made from recycled plastic bottles.
Logo sticker printed on thin recyclable Japanese washi style soft paper.
Cups, Cufflinks, and Other Products
Cardboard boxing, tape and stickers all information as above.
Product padding - environmentally friendly, locally sourced natural wood padding.
Currently I use Amazon as my distributor and Createspace, an Amazon subsidiary as my printer. This process allows for a print on demand system, which means that I don't print stockpiles of books, but one book is printed for each order. This reduces excess production as items are only made upon order.
I also hope to convert books to ebooks as soon as possible and promote this avenue to cut down on any production waste.
As I work I hope to develop connections with all sorts of other creatives, artisans and general fiddlers. I hope we will learn from each other, work on projects together, and help lift each other up as we all strive to make touches of beauty and tastes of imagination.
The area where I currently live in Japan, is thriving with creative activity. I hope to try to help it develop further through events, installations and networks of local businesses and people all working together.
- Appearing in the local market events under my shop name Clocktown, I join all sorts of local craftspeople in sharing and displaying our works.
- Displaying work in collaboration with local businesses such as family run veterinary hospitals (animal illustrations) and local restaurants, I create a community of visual art lovers and draw more visitors and local residents into these establishments.
As an independent artist I write my nonsense stories, poems, riddles and more, illustrate them by hand, and publish and print by myself. All projects are entirely hands-on, including the creation of this website! But I also work closely with lots of other creatives in collaborative projects and shared development amongst artists.
- Working with local artists such as Miho Hanyu, a wonderful traditional potter, in developing a series of ceramic cups, and in holding joint exhibitions and work shows. (Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Working on collaboration pieces and joint promotional campaigns with other developing artists on Instagram and social networks to help build a community and help each other grow. For example, this joint work with beautiful Katarzyna, a wonderful illustrator and pattern designer. (Instagram page www.instagram.com/katarzyna.rusek.graphics)
I hope to work with and jointly elevate experience, creativity and exposure of local artists and groups, as well as independent and talented artists around the world.
If you'd like to have a word, please feel free to contact me.