art & design inspiration

Thursday, 30 June 2011

PAINT IT, MAKE IT! Party for Japan

Last Saturday, along with a group of lovely creative people, I helped take part in Illustration Rally's charity event for the Ganbare Nippon Japan tsunami appeal at The Book Club in East London.  It was a fantastic event, with lots of exciting activities.  Here are some photos from the day.
Natsuki Otani made these wonderful giant origami pieces. They make the girls in the background look tiny!
Amazing live drawing by Kristian Jones, Mister Millerchip, Stephen Chan and Seb Burnett.

Stephen Chan doodling away.  These boys are so talented.

Illustrators Jenny Robins and June Chanpoodimole did live portraits.

Pop up Art shop.  There's still lots of lovely artwork to buy from the Etsy shop here.
Adding the finishing touches.....
Origami workshop, plus Kuretake bought along heaps of their amazing pens to try out!
Getting crafty with zine making.
 Natsuki Otani (of Illustration Rally) and Stephen Chan came up with the idea of making a zine for the event, and managed to get pages designed by some super talented illustrators, including Lesley Barnes, Gemma Correll, Uberkraaft and many many more... See here for the full list...  You can also buy it here from the Etsy shop.

Lea Wade and Stephen Chan ran the zine making workshops, and made it even more exciting by incorporating elements like different textured paper, embellishments, and traditional Japanese book binding techniques. 

The completed live drawing masterpiece... amazing.
 The day was a great success, and all together managed to raise over £300.  Well done Illustration Rally & friends for putting together such a brilliant event!


I got a bunch of pretty pink peonies last week. They're the loveliest flowers.  I can't wait to have my own garden, apparently they grow well where its rainy (perfect for here in England!)  I took some shots with my camera, capturing all those gorgeous ruffly petals.  Enjoy♥

Sunday, 26 June 2011


It's a stunning day today so I went to sit in the park for a few hours and do some sketches.  It seems a long time since I've drawn anything and I've been wanting to create a series inspired by Alexander McQueen for a while.  They are just sketches and ideas at the moment, but its lovely to just sit and doodle.  I'm far less precious when working directly in pen in my book- and less worried about making mistakes.  Here are some of the drawings I did today.

Sunday, 19 June 2011


Ever since I did a "Yakimono" (traditional Japanese pottery) workshop in Japan, I have discovered a love for ceramics.  I was really excited when I found RouDesign, whose elegant ceramics are available at their etsy shop.  They are a "mother-daughter collaboration and a life-long partnership in art & design", which I think make their work all the more personal and special.

There is definitely a Japanese influence in these beautiful ceramics.  In particular I find the designs with imperfections very charming, like there is an element of chance and unpredictability in the making of them. It must be really exciting to see different results each time.

I love the understated elegance of this vase, with a modest yet intense little splash of colour.  I think these ceramics are just so exquisite! 

All images courtesy of RouDesign.

Saturday, 18 June 2011


Since the horrific earthquake that happened in March in North East Japan, fellow illustrators Natsuki Otani, Lea Wade and I have been involved in various activities to raise funds for the Japan appeal.

Illustration Rally (Natsuki's lovely project) has had some incredible work done by illustrators with the theme "Don't give up Japan".  It's shown the sense of community spirit that I think makes Japan such a beautiful country.  We also have an online shop here at etsy, with some beautiful illustration, art and handmade pieces.

Renato Pequito Pagoda Print, available here

Mr Yen hand cut papercut, available here

This Saturday, 25th June there is also an event at The Book Club, in Shoreditch, East London, called "Paint it, Make it, Party for Japan".  There is going to be zine making, with pages by some brilliant talent in illustration, such as Gemma Correll, Aaron Miller and Stephen Chan of Thunder Chunky, a pop up shop selling all the lovely stuff from our online shop, a signed teatowel raffle by ToDryFor, live drawing with Mister Millerchip and Kristian Jones, origami workshops, and cupcakes!  How much fun and creativity can you fit into one day?

 You can check out the official facbook event page here, and also read more about it at Illustration Rally.  It's going to be a fantastic day!  All money is being raised through Just Giving.


I've recently discovered the online store, which is a lovely place to buy goods made by independent designers.  I think it's particularly great for buying homeware- there is some gorgeous stuff here- trouble is it's so hard to choose from so many fabulous products!
  I was really excited when I found that Kaigami are having a sale on their beautiful paper inspired lampshades.

Kaigami is the design brand of Guillaume Lyons, a Goldsmiths College graduate.  I absolutely adore these delicate organic structures- they must take a lot of skill and knowledge to craft.  I just had to get myself one- I'm eagerly awaiting it's arrival!  Am really excited to put it together and hang it up.
All images courtesy of and Kaigami.


Recently my boyfriend and I went on a trip to Berlin.  We both totally fell in love with the city.  What came to our immediate attention was that it was so laid back and relaxed.  Dotted around the city are memorials, reflective on the city's troubled past,  each reinforcing positive messages of peace.  There's lots of greenery, a really lovely place to just wander and people watch.

Berlin is a designer's city.  Street art surrounds you, Berliners are hip and trendy, and if you look closely there are remnants of old school retro design everywhere, which I loved.  We were lucky to have gorgeous weather, and sat to refuel at quite a few beer gardens- some great outdoor places to just chill. 

My favourite area of the city was Prenzlauerberg- but I definitely want to go back and explore some more!

What is 'GENKI?'

"Genki" is a word, an expression, used broadly in Japanese language.  It means happy, fine, full of beans, energetic, in good health.  I love it's positive meaning and the way it sounds.

Hello!  Welcome.  I called this blog Daily Genki because "Genki" is one of my favourite Japanese expressions.  I'm half Japanese and have been brought up by my family to learn Japanese- my Mum was focused on imbedding the language, morals and attitudes into both me and my brother when we were growing up.  Being quite arty, and with Japan having such a visually rich culture- I have been really lucky to be heavily influenced by Japan's aesthetics.  I grew up loving anime and all things 'kawaii', reading manga, making origami, and being absorbed in all things Japanese.  My earliest memories are from when my family and I lived in Tokyo.  Japan has shaped me both creatively, and as a person.