A Year of Fleas

The year is coming to an end, and what a crazy year it has been. Right from the start of 2017, marks the venture of my life as a struggling artist. I didn't really have much plan in mind, neither do I know exactly where I want to go. But I knew I wanted to sell my art/crafts at Public Garden's seasonal flea market. 

And I needed to get there somehow, since I was largely new and didn't had any flea experience on hand, neither do I know whether anyone would like my art. And bam, without much to think about, and without any products already produced for sale, I decided to sign up for my very first flea market at Singapore Art Museum, organised by The Local People. 

And then, what came along with the rush deadline was my Gachapon machine, along side my very first series of enamel pins - Kyubshi, and mmongi who graduated with me from my schooling days. At that time, I figured I would try live portrait drawing too, without thinking too much that anyone would even purchase an eccentric portrait of themselves. But the response was good, way too good!

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The momentum kept it going. And I made it to Public Garden for the very first time in February. Fast forward to today, I have already been to my third Public Garden appearing as a vendor! This time round, I have two Gachapon machines and expanded my weird portrait series into handcrafted brooch pins. 

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It was such a joy to create lovable products, like the Daruma series. And surpringsly, mmongi.desu is still going really strong even though I have thoughts to retire the series. 

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To think that I have come this far, but yet it is only the beginning of this venture. All I know that, it has been a good year. A good first year, and to know that if you believe in it then all will come true, but you definitely got to work towards it.

So what's next?

I have no clue, and for the very first time I have no definite answers for what is ahead for me in the year 2018. Perhaps, I'm just a little exhausted from all the hustling. So from, I'm taking a little step back and enjoying some 'me' time, celebrating my favourite holiday season of the year. 

See you, in 2018. There will definitely be more of me, and more works to be put out there. 

First Flea Thoughts

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My first flea is over, and what an amazing experience it was. It was my first time doing live drawing as well and it sure was a nerve wrecking experience when someone watches you draw. I was shaking and almost couldn’t control my strokes, but it got better as I got more comfortable with it.

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And my first portrait was done, while more requests were coming my way. I didn’t know people would love my eccentric portraits, as sometimes they may seem all too dark and morbid. But the crowd kept coming and the requests kept going on, and I found myself drawing the entire time.

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It was such an engaging experience to be drawing live and hearing heartfelt comments from the public, and I would most certainly do more live drawings down the road! Thank you all for the support and your kind words, I believe this very first flea experience was a good start to my flea life. I will be seeing you all more often, I hope!

KYUBSHI

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I’ll be launching something that has always been close to my heart – the Gachapon. For those who aren’t familiar with this Japanese term, it’s those capsule coin slot machines that dispense random tiny toys in plastic capsules. I talked a bit about them in my previous post. They’re madly popular in Japan, lining up street shops and game stations. Some even have their own dedicated shops filled to the brim with these machines!

While there are also Gachapon machines around in Singapore, I’ve seen the numbers dwindle over the years. So I hope that putting my own spin to this well-loved toy machine would revive the Gachapon culture!

It’s my dream to see a wide range of weird little toys, collectibles, handcrafted goodies and other illustrator/artist’s creations. I wish to incorporate and promote local creatives through gachapons. But to do so, I will have to first launch the idea with my very own line of products. And this Sunday will be the very first time you will see it in action!

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Getting lost in my own world

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There’s a certain craze that goes on in Japan that had me caught in it as well. The 300¥ balls, or also know as Gachapon / Capsule Machines. Everytime I take a trip to Tokyo, there’s always one place I would never fail to visit. It’s this little store over at Akihabara.

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This little store is packed with Gachapon machines, with all sorts of toys stocked. This is probably heaven to me, as an avid toy collector and a soft spot for all things weird, this is where I spend majority of my cash away. Just 300¥ for one, and then 300¥ for another one, and another one, before I knew it, I have spent more than hundreds in this tiny little store with a bag full of balls.

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They’re everywhere, in the mall, by the street, in train stations, in museums, at universities, and they have all kinds of little knick knacks, collectible toys, and hand crafted products. I love it and I have a crazy addiction to these things.

But sadly, these aren’t as common as they are, here in Singapore. Not often do you come across a store where they have Gachapon machines lined up neatly and well equipped with a coin changing machine for your convenience. And even when you do find Gachapon machines here, they are commonly filled with the more popular anime stuff that our locals are familiar with.

It’s kinda sad not being able to feed my Gachapon addiction while I’m back here in Singapore, but I’m looking to change that.