From Hong Kong I flew overnight to Japan and arrived in the Land of the Rising Sun at sunrise, which was pretty spectacular, even at Haneda Airport. Jet lagged and weary from working through the weekend at the Hong Kong Gift Fair, I spent the day at Yoyogi Park, where I walked through avenues of beautiful conifers, in the middle of which stood the Meiji Shrine. Lucky me twice in one day, I arrived just in time to see a sacred ceremony. Walking further through the park I fell asleep on the grass by the lake … that’s how relaxed I feel in Tokyo!
It was a lovely surprise to see my Tokyo and Japan Cityscape bags and IPhone cases on sale at the amazing ASOKO in Harajuku, which is my favourite part of Tokyo and is where I stay. I love the winding streets of independent retailers, which are increasingly turning into vintage stores and coffee shops!
Meetings with my Japanese licensee give me the opportunity to talk through new design projects and show them how my work is evolving. It’s great to have a face-to-face so you can bounce ideas off of each other and it gives me the opportunity to learn more about the ever-evolving Japanese market.
The biggest and best display of my work is at 0107 PLAZA in Ginza. Not only have they created some wonderful stationery and bags but they have created an amazing, super-cute display out of my artwork.
My main reason for coming to Japan was to create a live Cityscape of GINZA in their beautiful store. It was such a fun thing to do and I love to connect with the children and get them drawing too as well as asking them what I should put in the design.
Little Reina became my design assistant for the day, helping me to choose things to include the design as well as creating some of her own artwork. I painted a little portrait of her and her sister to remember the day by and is one which will stay in my memory for a long time.
The last year has been challenging for many as we adjust to living in a time of heightened insecurity and restricted freedoms...