Interview with Tartan Kawaii
Tartan Kawaii, Full time Official Kawaii Blogger. Tartan picked her name from the Scottish traditional fabric patterns that are used in Kilts, she loves everything cute and Japanese. Lives at home with her geeky husband, cutie-pie daughter and some-what daft, yet adorable Cat in Bonni Scotland, and has a mission to bring Kawaii to you, is a huge Hello Kitty fan, J-fashion lover and is an inspiring spokes person and model of kawaii.
I would like to know if you can remember when and how you were introduced to Kawaii and what it meant to you at the time?
I cant really remember when I was introduced to Kawaii but it was my interest in Japan from a young age that led me to exploring as much as I can. I have been captured by the beauty of Maiko and Geisha’s since I was very little. As my grandmother has lots of those Geisha-like dolls around her house. It must have grow on me. Now I have my own Kokeshi Dolls in my house (^_^). When I was in secondary school I learnt more from an after school group. ( The teacher had come back from Japan.) That’s were I learned a little about the language and culture and from there on I was addicted and, I guess, from watching lots of animé. I would come across the word ‘Kawaii’. Kawaii, to me then and even now will mean cute.
Now you are not from an area that one associates with kawaii style. How is it perceived in your country?
No, Am not He-he.
Kawaii style is a very small niche over here in Scotland. Where I live is a very small place so if you look different or wear a style that on-lookers are not used to, you will get a mix of comments from them and lots of stares. I think where I live those who have heard of Kawaii are rather content with it but are not really into the fashion, due to it being hard to get into with the lack of knowledge and supply at hand. On the other hand, if they do not know much about it… they may make a quick judgement of it being childish or silly looking .
However, if you travel to the bigger cities it is completely different. There are more people with a variety or styles and when I have been in a Kawaii style in a bigger city no one seems to bat an eyelid. If they do notice they will look over at you with a smile of acknowledgement. I think its still a very niche fashion over here. It would be nice to have a few shops to help us all stay Kawaii! (^_^)
You have a lot going on this year. Many new and interesting ventures. Can you tell us a little about your work with J-Grab?
With J-Grab, I am their official Kawaii Blogger and spokes person for the long term. It came about in a funny (maybe even lucky?!) way, as I happened to win a give-away prize at the same time they were looking for a Blogger and they saw my personal blog and then contacted me. Its all very new and exciting!
What I will be writing about with this blog that is called Kawaii Blush is mostly all the things I love that are Kawaii and lots of Hello Kitty stuff ( I am a HUGE Hello Kitty fan).There will be upcoming contests and give-away entry’s which is so much fun. There will be topics that I hope with reach out to others who love Kawaii like me. I hope to cover lots of areas from fashion to hair and make up. I like to also blog about any events that I attend in the future with J- Grab.
You also have some other new opportunities. Can you tell us about them as well?
Yes, am part of company called Keep it Secret, Keep it Kawaii, is a online store that sells Asian products from snacks to cute products. Again I Entered a contest that I won and they contacted me a little down the line use some of my Photos of the Subscription service,that They offer. Then after that we all got along so well that I was offered to be part of the team.The subscription service is where you sign up and pay for a monthly parcel of cute goodies, Those that sign up don’t know what they are getting, its kept a secret until it comes in the post, its a sweet idea and very exciting to get each month! They have also just launched the subscription to its own new website which you will find that I have been asked to be their Kawaii Club face of the advertisement. Even though I work with the Keep it secret team – even I don’t know what they will be sending. I could ask, but what’s the fun in that?! They will be bringing out a new package, the ‘Ookii Package’‘ for the subscription very soon which is very exciting… but that’s all I can tell you.(^.~)
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style,Well during the week, I am super busy so I lean towards comfy outfits, (^_^)But I like to make sure I am still Kawaii, May it be by wearing a cute bow or a some pretty accessories with a very casual top and jeans. I will wear my wigs a lot and my fake lens Glasses sometimes too.The reason being , When I am not bloging or working . I am doing house work, cooking ,cleaning and bring up my daughter (who is a handful at 2years old). So sometimes it is not very practical.
I like to dress up and have fun when doing it .More so when It comes to events or going out with friends.I would say my style is a mix of inspiration from J-fashion trends and sub fashions,and mixing it up with my personal tastes likes of a bit of rock chic and print here and there (^_^). I don’t have a set style as I like to explore different fashions, I get lots of ideas from others and models and trends that seem to surface on Asian web sites those are my main source .I like Gothic Lolita and will dress in Lolita when I am given the chance, I have a soft spot for Gothic styles.
You also are quite a craftsperson! You make crafts of Amigurumi, Crochet, Drawing, Art and other things Kawaii. Tell us about some of the things you make.
Ha-ha, Craftsperson is one way to put it!
Drawing and Art run’s in my family and I encourage with my daughter to be creative, I think being creative in any way or form is a great way to express yourself,May it be finger painting,to creative writing,It feeds the imagination. I did a lot of drawing since I could hold a pencil and still like to draw and doodle when I have some free time.Yea Amigurumi,…I saw lots of Amigurumi made cute toys on the internet and when I found out its from Japan- I had to learn it,It took me months to master it,with tantrums and tears trying to get it right and throwing the crochet hook and wool across the room a few times,Then one day it clicked and I can know make cute creations for friends and family.I also can do some Origami and have been known for dabbling in other arts and crafts in any creative way or form.
I would like to know how you work (do you have to have coffee, music on, or do you have a ritual you have to do in order to be able to create)?
There is no sort of way I set myself to get into my work, I tend to have a idea and am the sort of person to just go for it, Most the time a idea comes to me and I will jot it down some where so I don’t forget .I often make myself a nice cuppa tea and set to my self work, there is nothing very special about it, some times I will play some J-pop but When I do put that stuff on I am most likely to get up and dance to it. (^_^)
Is there someone or something you think the world should know about (an artist, music, designer, book, food, a favorite place; anything, )
Hmm, Let me think.I think. I would say because I have a vast interest in variety of Art, Music and fashions, that you should explore as much as you can and not to be scared of trying them all out,I do have a favourite book with is Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden and My most favourite place would have to be Whitby, Yorkshire. Oh and if you a cat person like me you must check out the Musical Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Its one of my most loved Musicals.
Is there a project or a designer you dream of working with?
I would love to work with any one who is inspired by J-Fashions designs and Culture, I really love to be part of the show in Japan called kawaii.international in some way.(^V^)I also would love to be either a model or a guest model for wigs,which is a huge passion of mine too.I have been wearing wigs for over a year know and think they are the amazing things in the world.I can do the normal thing and go to a hair salon to get a hair cut or coloured, as I am super sensitive to the chemicals used in the hair dyes.(Which last time I dyed my Hair I ended up in hospital.) The Ironic thing is I was a Hairdresser at the time and had to give it all up. So Wigs are my savours!
Tell us a little more about your personal blog. What can we expect to see on it in the future?
Am not sure where my personal blog Staying Super Kawaii with lead me next as its seems to attract a lot of attention and its very similar to Kawaii Blush. You can still expect to see my reviews on my orders from shopping, Hello Kitty and more personal things , Like How I will be hoping to move house in the near future and about my personal life. Staying Super Kawaii will still be kawaii based and more about me as a person I think. I hope to be able to share with the readers and views of my new ventures and projects,and any events that I can attend that are up coming this year.
When did you get into collecting Hello Kitty?
I got into collecting Hello Kitty after coming across her in a shop and seeing her on a few items in stationary, Once I got my 1st plushie (soft toy) Of her I soon found that she has so many designs and styles that were just soo cute that I just had to have more,I adore how she is so trendy and will try any fashion.My most loved Plush would be my 2009 Hello Kitty X Mac doll and the ones in Tartan outfits.
What goals do you hope to achieve in the coming years?
My biggest goal would be going to Japan (with my Family), and spending lots of time there. That’s my all time dream and go to all the places that I want to go to there. (There is so many things I want to do there and so much I want to do as well! (o.O) I also would love to meet Yuko Yamaguchi the current creator of Hello Kitty. Oh and get my Hello collection of Plushes up to over 100+ .My other dreams that I think are more within my reach are to attend some animé expos and conventions even would to attend WGW (Whitby Goth Weekend). I would Love my Blog’s to be known of and I would love to get back into a bit of modelling again,since that has taken a bit of a side step for the time being.I would also like to learn to speak Japanese as I find it a beautiful Language. (^_^)
Find out more about Tartan Kawaii here!