Written by megangex | September 18, 2014
Her characters might be adorably playful, but Kinoko is a serious illustration powerhouse. She does way more than just put pen to paper. Kinoko teaches comics at PNCA and instructs at the IPRC. A constant stream of her work flows through Grasshut, Floating World and comic shows around the city. Her Etsy is always on fire. This year is her first time contributing a house to Put a Bird In It, and we couldn’t be more excited to see what she brings to the party.
MG: What attracted you to Put a Bird In It?
KE: The first year I volunteered. The party was really fun and I had a good time meeting the makers. I met a bunch of people from Laika and it was great to see their process. I mean, these are people that make miniature houses for a living. It’s their thing.
MG: How is your birdhouse coming along?
KE: I don’t know where it’s going yet. I drew a lot of different things. I like the idea of keeping it simple. But then people really go all out and I think people might be disappointed. I’m just sketching a lot of ideas but at this point I need to collect my thoughts and get into materials. Make sure it can happen.
MG: Are you drawing inspiration from anywhere in particular?
KE: Well, I started thinking, and came up with the character, a Female blue jay. The Character is for my process in what’s motivating me to work on it. The personality of it would be a city girl but someone who would still have a garden. I want to be progressive and a feminist but when I got into it she was like ‘No! I just want to have a house and kids.’ Birdhouses are for mamma birds and I guess their families, you know. She’s the decision maker. The dude in her life has to go along with her or he’s not going to hear the end of it for the rest of his life.
She’s realistic in thinking about the right house so I guess she’s still progressive. She’s already thinking about what schools to send her kids, you know if she moves into northwest they’ll have access to the Montessori school. She’s got to make the right move.
MG: Your illustrations already incorporate a lot of houses. Is that part of the narrative of your characters?
KE: I’ve always been a little obsessed with houses. I grew up in Philadelphia and when I left my parents house I rented out an attic and here was a garett window. You could look out and see a bunch of rooftops. When I saw the tops of houses I start thinking up stories. I thought about alley cats or robbers—not knowing to what’s really going on inside the houses and buildings. The outside perspective creates these narratives.
I also spent some time in Japan and got obsessed with rooftops. I wish I could get a rooftop-drawing grant. Japan has huge cities, really modern but then you have he suburbs with Japanese houses. Then there’s ton of ancient architecture in the middle of it. Integrates really well.
MG: Do you like switching it up and doing some sculptural projects?
KE: I have. But when you do something that isn’t your specialty you feel like an imposter. When you are in the arts people come up to you and friends are like ‘can you paint this boat’ just random stuff.
I’m doing a ceramics project and some mugs with my colleague. My friends recently asked me to make a wedding topper for them so I have been experimenting with that. I have the resources so I should be able to experiment. I should.
#dwpdx #designweek #kinoko #putabirdinit
Written by cre8tivegirl | September 12, 2014
Bowen Ames is a creative thinker. He’s also a photographer, stylist, art director, and prop maker. His background in theatre, art and writing has shaped his pathway towards ever changing mediums and projects, including working with some top brands like: Target, LÓRÉAL, NIKE, Adidas, Wieden + Kennedy, Atlantic and more. We were delighted when he accepted the challenge to create a birdhouse for this year’s Put A Bird In It and look forward to seeing his approach for designing for the birds.
YPE Your hand is in a lot of things. What would you consider your daily focus? How do you make your living?
BA Its been a fortunate happenstance. The business aspect of what I do has comes to this point—right now I have clients who just get me and like my aesthetic. They let me take the reigns creatively on many different projects. I have no consistent industry that I work in. Last week I was styling a catalogue shoot in Seattle and next week I’m food styling a commercial. The only thing that connects the two of them is that I’m working with my hands and I’m in control of how things look.
I ended up doing the work that I’m doing because of my background in art. I graduated from the New School and tripled majored in writing, arts & context, and theatre with a focus on set design. My first job out of college was at the Guggenheim Museum as an exhibition technician. I often worked directly with artists to build things within the museums. That’s what I was doing for the five years before moving to Portland.
YPE So what would you call yourself?
BA An art director and a stylus because it crosses mediums and industries. There’s always an art director in photography and agencies. The stylus is to keep my street cred and let people know that my hands are still in it, that I’m physically doing things and involved in the finer details. When I’m working for an advertising agency or a production company or directly with a brand, that title is the one people understand the most. I also like to say I’m a creative. Creative for hire.
YPE How did you get involved in being a stylist and working with video?
BA I thought I would continue working in museums once I got here but there were so few of them. I was friends with a lot of photographers from New York who had come out here for photo shoots, and they started to ask me to help. When I was on set for the first time I figured out the info-structure of what goes on behind the scenes—there’s an art director who oversees a stylus and a prop stylus and the photographer. That was my first understanding of the photo industry. I bounced around roles quite a bit really early on, after that I started to direct and art direct video.
“I like to try on lots of different hats and I like to experiment with a lot of different mediums.”
YPE What are you working on right now?
BA I’m doing this video piece that I’m writing the treatment for. It’s about the concept of wanderlust—that innate drive towards traveling or towards wondering. I have always kind of hated the word because it often gets applied to me.
YPE Why does it get applied to you?
BA Because I move around a lot and travel a lot. I’m sort of an avid adventurer. I don’t like the idea of wanderlust because it means that to wonder is sort of like something you are lusting after. I don’t lust after it, I just like to do it. I like to try on lots of different hats and I like to experiment with a lot of different mediums. It’s not like I’m searching for anything. I‘m just enjoying it, it’s something I’m content with.
YPE What attracted you to the birdhouse project?
BA The freedom was the main thing. I’m always under huge time constraints on work for hire. This project was broader. My project turnovers are usually in production for no more than a week or two, and start to finish two months. When I got the notice for this, it was like four months and that’s amazing. I can learn how to do something new and get out of my comfort zone to create something that is small, tangible and has a great process attached to it.
YPE What inspires you to make?
BA I think that makers have this innate sense and drive towards understanding things in a physical and visceral way. As a kid I always wanted to understand things with my own hands, and own abilities. When I see an object, I want to pick it up. I want to understand it and how it’s made, and what it was made of—then I want to see if I can do it myself. I’m driven by the learning process. Thats everything to me, the learning process and being challenged by that process.
#putabirdinit #dwpdx #bowenames #pdxart #pdxevents