In March 2010, I created some apparel for a Hello Kitty licensee which was a hell-o a lot of fun. Hello Kitty is a perfect pop-cult icon to play with since her personality can go in so many different directions (possibly due to the fact that she never speaks -I mean with no mouth, how could you).
After finishing the apparel side of things, I was asked as a favor to create an art piece to present to Sanrio as a gift. Initially it was going to just be something simple but you know how that works. So I did my research on her whole history/family ties and thought that it would be great to tell her life story, at least the Japanese part of it in one grand print.
I imagined her as the most famous Takarazuka girl in all of Japan, performing and learning her art. Then trajedy strikes and to pay a debt, HK is forced to first become a “Maiko” or apprentice “Geisha” and then later, an Oiran…leaving her dreams of acting behind.
And then so many years later, recounting her life for my imaginary film – Memoirs of a Kitty. I also played with the idea of calling it Memoirs of a Gay Chat since Chat (pronounced “Sha”) is cat in French. But I didn’t think that people would remember that “gay” also meant happy and since I love to stay clear of major controversy in my imaginary films, I passed on that title.
* It seems like Sephora either had the very same ideas as me, or possibly liked mine enough to borrow it for their new collection. Either way it’s nice to see although would be even nicer to see some of my Hello Kitty art come alive one day on an actual product!