Origami Cupcake

New Artwork: The Destruction of Tokyo

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New artwork in my portfolio.

“Built in 1958 the Tokyo Tower is one of Tokyo’s most iconic structures. It has been the location of climactic battles between Godzilla, Mothra and King Kong (King Kong Escapes) being frequently destroyed and rebuilt. Ironically the sight of famous attractions being destroyed is known to promote tourism and cities compete for the privilege.”

You can see some close-ups and images of the work in progress on the same page.

This work took about three and a half weeks to complete.

Any comments are welcome.

New Artwork: Picnic on the Grass

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New artwork in my portfolio.

“Hanami (lit. flower viewing) is the tradition of watching the cherry blossoms fall while eating and drinking.
This is my interpretation of a ‘West meets East’ picnic.”

You can see some close-ups and images of the work in progress on the same page.

This work took about three weeks to complete.

Any comments are welcome.

New Artwork: Flaming Lolita

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New artwork in my portfolio.

“In this work a lolita raises her dress to display her striped panties. A fetish for striped panties (or shimapan) rapidly spread through otaku culture, quickly becoming an established visual meme. Anime and manga capitalized on the panties’ popularity and depicted characters wearing them, inevitably helping to further the trend.”

You can see some close-ups and images of the work in progress on the same page.

This work took about a week and a half to complete.

Any comments are welcome.

New Artwork: Dragon under Moonlight

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New artwork in my portfolio.

“This work was inspired by the Japanese Shinto which believes that various spirits (kami) inhabit the natural world.
Impressive sites like Mt Fuji are thought to be home of powerful spirits like dragons.”

You can see some close-ups and images of the work in progress on the same page.

I’d only used Illustrator for design before and this was my first time using it for this kind of artwork. I did a lot of strange things but I really learned a lot. By the end the work looked good but the layers were a mess. It made me realize that you have to think through what you’re doing otherwise you make a lot more work for yourself.

This work took about two weeks to complete.

Any comments are welcome.

New Years Greetings

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Or in other words “Happy New Years, please be good to me again this year”. I just want to say thank you to all the people who’ve visited this site over the last year, I can’t believe how many people come to visit my little corner of the internet.

Here’s how you pronounce the standard Japanese New Years greetings:

Happy New Year – Akemashite o-medetō-gozaimasu ((新年)あけましておめでとうございます)

Please be good to me again this year – Kotoshi mo yoroshiku o-negai-shimasu (今年もよろしくお願いします)

Teenagers sometimes shorten these into the colloquial “Ake o-me, koto yoro”, but using that in the wrong context could seem pretty rude.

Enjoy the New Year everyone! ^_^

Nice to meet you

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Japan, land of sweet enchantments

Japan, land of sweet enchantments

South Africa, very brown

South Africa, very brown

My name is Katie Badenhorst, I’m 24 years old and live in South Africa. For anyone who’s gleamed an idea of the racial intricacies of this country from the movie District 9, I have to state for the record that I’m a pretty normal white, middle class, (English), South African, but that this is not the subject of this blog. Rather I’ll be writing about all the things that interest me and relate to my design practice under the name Origami Cupcake: art, design but mainly Japan. I am passionately in love with Japan. Perhaps not the banal existence of actual Japan but the beautiful, slick and glossy surface of contemporary Japanese animé, manga, and film and the treasure trove of traditional Japanese arts and culture.

I don’t really have a sane reason for this obsession except that in comparison to Japan, South Africa is depressing, boring and very brown, and the fact that it’s an obsession that the rest of the world seems to share. In fact this cultural cross-pollination is perhaps the main thing that makes Japan so interesting. Japan, it can be argued, is simultaneously both part of the West and part of the East. For years now Japan has been exporting its culture in the form of children’s cartoons, giving a whole generation a taste for this alien culture. We can see this link to Japan as part of the generation gap, something that Baby Boomers will never quite get, but something which the youth understand instinctively. Critics complain that the American youth are losing their cultural identity, while others hail the beginning of a new global culture. While the concept of a global culture might be overly Utopian, I do believe that Japanese culture is part of the future, and I personally just can’t get enough of it.