YAD05 was the fifth time that the Yokohama Art Department organized this event. It is not an art show, an art fair, a craft sale, or a flea market. What exactly is it? People rent a space for the day and display their wares. Most have art of some kind, but… Wait a moment! It is a bit difficult to describe if you were not there. Let me explain some of the background to help you better understand what happened.
The main organizer also organizes Design Festa, one of Asia’s largest art-related events with thousands of amateur and professional artists, musicians, illustrators, and performers showing off their creations. Being in Tokyo, manga artists and illustrators with small, cute items for sale are predominant. A room with dim lighting in one area is available for those who want that kind of atmosphere. Because one of the organizers is the same for both events, many of the same participants go to both and set up their booths in the same way. After YAD05 ended, the organizer told me that she wants YAD05 to showcase more professional artists who are emerging, re-emerging, or established. I assume that she will continue to have a variety of participants, including those with cute crafted items and sketches of manga characters as well as hypnotists and people who tie others up in ropes, to help pay the bills but that she will have one floor filled with the type of art and artists that best meet the criteria of this event. Business and fine arts can be difficult to balance.
At the end of the rainy day, she and several others commented that the third floor was their favourite area. Another artist complimented my work and said he thought mine was the best of the whole group! Can you believe that? I have a hard time believing that but I still love it! To be honest, I think my friends and I helped make the third floor a success.
Louise Rouse brought some of her illustrations, an art book about the oceans with text written by her sister, and her handmade lamp with a peacock shade that she printed and assembled. Do you see the copy of Mac User? She and her illustrations were featured in that recent issue.
Red Meegs, also known as Megan Barnett, does gothic illustration featuring skeletons. She also hopes to come out with a line of T-shirts featuring her designs in the near future.
Eddie Lizarazu was in the neighbouring booth. He is also a fashion illustrator but decided to display his paintings on reclaimed wood. Surprise, surprise! He is good friends with friends of mine. The world is amazingly small at times.
The praise we received was quite an achievement, since the spaces measured 1.2 x 2.7 m. That is a very narrow space. How big is that exactly? Look at the picture of some of the drawings I had on display. I also did not have space in front as some of the others. If I had wanted to have a table, I would have been in serious trouble. As it was, we coloured with the crayons that a friend kindly sent me from Canada and blocked everybody trying to walk around the corner. I would advise anybody who seriously wants to display their work to rent two spaces for a corner wall or three for a complete wall. Cute sellable items and praying for good weather are also recommended.
Lori Ono, from the Spendy Pencil, drew a samurai yuki daruma fighting a ninja yuki daruma. A snowman usually consists of three parts to resemble a human body, a yuki daruma is a Japanese snowman but only has two parts and no nose so it better resembles a daruma, a wooden doll made to look like Bodhidharma whose legs atrophied and fell off after years of sitting in meditation. We discusswed whether or not it should have a carrot for a nose. I thought it would be a good idea to provide some colour and to indicate that the character was a snowman and not just a fat ninja, but Lori wanted to stay true to its Japanese roots.
Small children, elderly visitors, and other artists also helped colour. Nobody was very busy with their booths, and you could ask your neighbour to watch your booth while you were gone. This kind of co-operation meant that you could go and look at what other people were doing. These two cat lovers, Hitomi Fukushi and Inu 1, popped by and of course, drew a cat with crayons. Doesn’t he look like Buster Keaton?
Thanks to my friends who made the journey to the Yokohama Creative City Center for this event. I am still looking for a gallery but I promise I will give you advance notice when I plan to have a show in Tokyo.