Friday, July 31, 2009

Nature's Wild Unicorn

Found via Eliza Frye, this is CalArts' student Noel Belknap's 2007 animation about the wild unicorn. Awesome.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

ReDiscover {Kelly Tunstall & Ferris Plock}

The characters in the U2 music video/animation I posted earlier remind me of Kelly Tunstall's wide-eyed girls. I know the big-doe-eyed-girl thing is played over and over again, but there's something truly special about Kelly's girls. I love the way she portrays her characters... so fashionable and so much fun attention is paid to other elements of her paintings, I can't help but have a crush on many. I am lucky enough to have a new painting (in-process image above) from Kelly working its way from San Fran to my tiny home art collection... super yays!!

Kelly and her husband, the talented artist Ferris Plock, have a show, "Sea of Love", opening soon at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco (Aug. 6 - 29th). I HIGHLY recommend dropping by and being passionately inspired by their lovely, fun and collaborative work.

Tangerine by Kelly Tunstall. 8"H, Mixed Media. Click for larger image. Kokeshi available through JANM Store.

Frost by Ferris Plock. 8"H, Mixed Media. Click for larger image. Kokeshi available through JANM Store.

****Speaking of Animation and Kelly and Ferris' uber talentedness, admire this video they recently made with Jim Dirschenberger:

The Seafarers - Sea of Love from Eighty Four Films on Vimeo.

Animation Fascination cont.

U2 - I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight from David OReilly on Vimeo.

Spotted this on Gallery Nucleus' blog. First time for me to hear the song and I'm not sure I'm lovin' it just yet... but the animation has me listening all the way through and more willing to give it some time. As the years pass it gets harder to love U2 the way I did in high school when I had their albums on cassettes. But there's a favorite now and again and their passion for music and creative vision is contagious.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Good Question: RSS Feeds and Readers

I use Shrook to stay up-to-date on all the blogs/websites I follow. A friend of mine uses Google Reader. There are several other free RSS readers online, but I am not familiar with using them. If you don't know what an RSS feed is, take a look at my very first post and there's a link explaining what it is and how to save your favorite sites.

Above is a screenshot of Shrook in action on my computer. The second column on the left is the name of the website bookmarked, the yellow numbers show how many new posts have been added since I last looked at the site. The middle column shows a written preview of what has been posted, with yellow stars indicating posts I have not clicked on yet. Posts can go away or stay depending on the preferences you set up. You can also mark posts that you want to go back to. The last row shows the written text of a post and any photos (not all sites are set-up to display images in the reader, but the majority do... I definitely pay more attention to the sites that show a picture in my reader). Shrook is very easy to use and the software has regular updates, it doesn't crash like it use to and I love all the options to customize it the way I prefer looking at posts.

Go now and fill your RSS Reader with many time sucking and creative juice flowing sites!

Thank you to "katefeesh" for the question on how I keep up with so many feeds. Now I have her blog to take a look it... this is how the web entangles you :)

Cool Hunting Interview (link at bottom of post)

As of this post I have 338 bookmarked RSS feeds, or in layman terms, a whole lotta sites I try to stay up to date with. I use these sites to distract me from my day, learn how to find cheap deals, see what the latest pattern trend is, see adorably cute animals and read up on friends' activities, etc. etc. Included in this vast pool of sites I look at regularly is Cool Hunting. I was excited to learn at the Kokeshi preview, a writer from the site wanted to post the event and even ask a few questions to yours truly. Here's the damage ;)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Discover {Yellena James}

"Morning" Pen and Ink on Paper.

I first came across Yellena James' work through a design blog, wish I could name the one but starting several years ago I have been following so many that they all get mixed around in my head, but needless to say it was a really good one! Yellena calls Portland, Oregon home... I've come discover this area is a treasure trove of great talent.

Yellena has work on Etsy, mostly prints with a rare original drawing posted. Her colorful organic shapes make me think of dreamland flowers and meadows.

Yellena's kokeshi for the 2007 Custom Kokeshi show @ Subtext Gallery, San Diego.

Check out her incredible body of work and learn more about this talented artist at

Saturday, July 18, 2009

JANM 2009 KOKESHI Photos

I posted a few of my photographs regarding the Kokeshi Show here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Blank Kokeshi 2009

click on above image for larger view

I was unable to find blank kokeshi online back in 2007 when I started the first Custom Kokeshi show, so I had to have all the dolls created for me. All are U.S. made from Hardwood Maple and Birch (sorry, not the traditional Japanese woods) with removable head. Minor sanding may be required to finish cut edges.

The LARGE is the same design the artists used for the Fall 2007 show at Subtext. The ARTIST size is the same design used in the most recent show at the Japanese American National Museum. I have a limited quantity of every style, write me if you would like to purchase any, this is the "official shop" for now :)

Happy Creating!
Christina Conway

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

3 Kokeshi Artists Interviews

The amazing and lovely Stella Im Hultberg has been interviewed numerous times in the past and one of the most recent ones is from Sour Harvest for her show "Momento Mori", which opened last Friday night (July 10, 2009) at Thinkspace Gallery in Los Angeles.

Stella also writes on her personal blog the influence the Kokeshi project had on her latest work:
"i've been painting a wooden figure for the kokeshi show (in july), and for fear of ruining the one & only kokeshi blank i received, i ended up making an army of studies with little wooden forms i'd had...  this lead me to other ideas of painting some mini paintings on wood i'd cut up of black figures:  black shapes are so interesting & fascinating to me. especially when it's a living figure (i love black cats). unexpected, interesting shapes with mysterious implication & abstraction...  i plan on painting some more as i've cut up quite a few pieces of wood, i'm enjoying the process of simplicity of the graphic imagery  and the immediacy of acrylic paint (which i'm really bad with).  hopefully this will land me somewhere interesting with my larger works as well. ^__^"

"Alone in the Dark" by Stella Im Hultberg. Oil, acrylic and graphite on wood, 8" tall.

Poketo has an interview with the mysterious "Busc" who designed their custom kokeshi, which are freakin' adorable... really! Cute interview and great photos.

"Sebastien and Chloe" by Poketo x Busc. Mixed media  on wood, 8" tall. 2 kokeshi plus mini forest.

Poketo also did a little interview with me, shortly before the show opened, you can find my wordy answers here and also a peak into the artwork I create outside of paid design projects. Some people were surprised to learn that the curator of the custom section, i.e. me, has a piece in the show. The Custom Kokeshi show back in 2007 (at Subtext Gallery in San Diego) was sprouted from an invitation by another artist to create multiple custom Munnys for a duo show, but I wanted to explore a new shape and invite a wider array of artists too... so Custom Kokeshi was born :)

"Cc73" my first and only custom Munny was created for The Summer of Munny show in Denver, Colorado in 2006. Acrylic on vinyl.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Custom Kokeshi at JANM Part 2

Custom Kokeshi at JANM Part 2, originally uploaded by 2winks_Art.

These are the kokeshi that are along the wall close to the ones on the pedestals in Part 1. There is a mirror behind them so viewers can see the amazing back designs.

Monday, July 13, 2009

VIDEO Custom Kokeshi at JANM Part 1

Custom Kokeshi at JANM, originally uploaded by 2winks_Art.

A creaky video I took of the space before it was ready for the public. I wanted to record the dolls before the protective shells were placed on the display boxes. Enjoy. But you MUST see this in-person, the scope of the show is truly impressive, showing the history of kokeshi. Hope you can visit the museum. Show will be up until Oct. 4.

All the kokeshi in the custom section of the show are available for sale here. There is little signage that pieces can be purchased so take advantage of this and find a favorite online, there's not a bad piece in the bunch :)

I will post more about the opening soon, trying to catch up on everything missed in the last few days since I spent them away in Los Angeles... which was awesome!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Custom Kokeshi Sneak Peek {R}

Custom Kokeshi {P} cont. ;)

I wish I could write that this adorable custom kokeshi will be in the show, but alas she will not. I discovered this gorgeous doll on Pilar Berrío's blog. Pilar is indeed an artist in the Kokeshi show at JANM (her sneak peek is the last image in the previous post below, the teasing hand pulling up the dress to reveal a sleeping pig).  The kokeshi shown here is a present she made for her mom, so so very sweet! View more of Pilar's amazing work on her website at