In a last bit of cute this week, I chose this bow to Hayao Miyazaki and his well-loved Totoro character. Miyazaki is a Japanese animation director, artist and author with imagery and ways of telling stories that put his films in a class by themselves. He has garnered a huge following all over the world and has fans in every age group and, in my observations, in every walk of life.
This charming necklace is the creation of the Ukraine’s Natalia Grabina who, for the most part, creates delicate flowers and fun fashion jewelry. Most of her pieces show an obvious influence from other polymer artists but in that mix are little gems of astute interpretation. This is, I think, one of those pieces.
The importance of the backgrounds and atmosphere in Miyazaki films are a huge part of what tells the story and colors the characters and their motivation. The representation of the character in this piece is far from precise but the ring of green foliage and springing mushrooms conveys the importance of the natural world in regards to this character, the harmony of the totoro’s existence in it, and the innocence and idealism portrayed in the film My Neighbour Totoro. I would be surprised if Natalia was thinking these things as she created this but we channel a lot of ideas when creating so that concepts sometimes come out in more complete and poignant ways than we are consciously aware of in our thoughts.
Aside from all that deep sounding stuff, the necklace is just really darn cute.
You can see the wide variety of Natalia’s work over in her Etsy shop. And if you haven’t seen a Miyazaki film, or even if you have, take a break with one of them some evening or weekend and pay attention to the colors and quality of the images, especially in the backgrounds. A nod to my better half for bringing animation backgrounds to my attention. I’m passing on that little suggestion in hopes a good handful of you also find joy and inspiration in the artistry of animation. If you have children in the house, watch My Neighbour Totoro but if not I would recommend Princess Mononoke for its beautiful scenes and complex characters or Spirited Away if you are a fan of Alice in Wonderland type tales.
Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Find an animation or stylized film whose look or stories you connect with. Sketch or make notes as you watch it. Let what you find–be it a small form, a color palette, or a deep concept–influence the next piece you work on, in whatever small or large way it comes to you.
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