Lumièna ◆ June 13, 2017
The rainy season has started in Japan.
Since it gets hot and the humidity level has risen, it’s little bit uncomfortable to touch wooly yarn these days…..
But my passion for creation will beat this unpleasant weather! I hope!
This time, I would like to talk about the word “Encounter”.
The story goes back to January 2016.
I was in New York and experienced three encounters.
At that time, I participated in “Vogue knitting LIVE”.
I was walking around the exhibition hall in search of good yarn, while keeping the ambition for a new challenge in my mind.
My challenge was not just to purchase yarn, but as an artist, to negotiate and collaborate with exhibitors.
It was a big challenge for me because my English conversation skills were not good enough to negotiate.
The first encounter was Mrs. Marlene Cicalese from Angoraonline.com.
She was with her husband and exhibiting very lovely fluffy yarn at their booth.
The couple looked gentle and friendly just like their yarn.
I approached her booth, and build up my courage to talk to her in English.
I tried to request a collaboration with their yarn, but it was very difficult to explain it with my limited English ability.
Furthermore, I have never had that kind of negotiation in my life as an artist.
I felt very apologetic for my limited English, but I tried my best.
She was very patient and tried to understand what I was saying.
Ultimately, she accepted my request.
I was able to purchase their fluffy angora yarn at a discount price under the condition that I use it for my art work.
For my first encounter, Marlene gave me a bit of confidence.
My second experience was with Mrs. Pam Blasko from SHEPHERDS TALK.
I saw a crowded booth with several female staff and lots of happy customers.
There were rare materials on display there.
The booth was called Curly Locks (Staple).
As soon as I touched the yarn, a clear image of white lion’s mane appeared in my mind.
I didn’t hesitate and tried to tell her what I saw.
“I want to make a white lion with your yarn.
I am a famous Amigurumi artist in Japan!
I will make Amigurumi with your yarn and announce your shop’s name on my SNS accounts.
It would be amazing if you could give me a discount!!”
Well, I’m not actually a “famous” artist, I’m sorry.
However, I was very desperate and wanted her to understand my offer.
Eventually, she understood me and accepted my collaboration request.
I am very grateful to her.
She was very kind and patient, and tried to understand what I was talking about.
Through my interaction with Pam, I learned that I can convey my feelings without being fluent English as long as there is passion.
After returning to Japan, I started crocheting Amigurumi using Marlene’s angora yarn and Pam’s locks yarn.
As a personal ritual, I meditate to concentrate my mind before I start creating my artwork.
My heart was telling me to make a wonderful piece with the precious yarn brought back from New York.
While I was crocheting, I often remembered the two encounters.
My tension during the negotiations, excitement, and joy when I was able to convey what I felt. These memories make me smile all the time, and I am able to proceed with my work with happy thoughts.
Here is the completed work.
My special creation made from precious materials and warm friendships.
This type of horse called “Andalusian”.
I named him “Chess knight”.
As I mentioned before, my father is a woodworker.
I asked him to make a wooden base for my horse.
It is another art collaboration based on the love between a father and daughter.
“Chess Night” was exhibited at the gallery in Ginza, Tokyo.
I am very happy and very proud of having participated in this exhibition.
When I reported this wonderful news to Pam, she was very pleased.
I am very delighted to know that she was happy with the success of this collaboration.
Lastly, I am very grateful for these wonderful encounters and I hope to see them again in the near future.
Please check out their lovely yarn!
■ SHEPHERDS TALK:
By the way, you may be wondering what happened to the “White LION”!
After “white horse”, I finished to creating “white lion” and participated in another exhibition.
Here is a picture of my lion.
The third encounter was Mr. Ikezawa from RESOBOX.
The first and second encounters could not have happened without him.
Mr. Ikezawa encouraged me to negotiate with the exhibitors.
“You don’t have to worry about your English ability. You are in New York now! You traveled all the way from Japan, it’s worth to try!!” he said.
I think I was able to meet new challenges by his words and influences.
To think about it, I realize that not only two encounters, but also visiting New York, writing this blog, everything started from my meeting with Mr. Ikezawa.
He is such a wonderful gallery owner and I am very thankful for him.
It takes courage to do something new, right?
I recommend challenging yourself with even just a little bit of courage.
It’s not fun if you just stand around waiting for something to happen.
If you take action and step out from your comfort zone, you will find a new field with wonderful encounters waiting for you!
So, that’s all for today.
Thank you for reading.
Until next time, Happy Amigurumi!!