Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wanna Be A Billionaire?

These are the things I'd do if I were a billionaire!

- Sleep in as late as I want
- Do art projects that I like... only projects I choose, no boring stuff
- Travel
- Drink coffee at chic coffee shops and feel like my life is a tumblr
- Eat delicious foods
- Hang out at the pool / hot tub all day and soak up the sun
- Play with lots of cute animals
- Drive an awesome, head-turning vehicle


Being an artist isn't easy. You have to make your own projects, ideas, and income sources. There's no direct deposit. You often have to be a debt collector and struggle to get paid for things that you should automatically be paid for. You can be sure that the number on my bank account shocks me continually. I could earn more money working at McDonald's. That's not even an exaggeration.

But then, look at what I do every day in my poor artist's life:

- Sleep in till about 10:00 am daily... and work till about 1:30 am
- Do art projects that I like... beautiful Japanese girls and vibrant abstracts!
- Travel to new cities 2-3 times per year, usually including a yearly international trip
- Drink coffee and tea all day long
- Eat out several times a week and also cook delicious new dishes
- Use the Olympic-sized pool and hot tubs at my gym anytime
- Play with my doggie, the cutest beast alive
- Drive a vintage Porsche 944


UH..... notice something?

THE THINGS I WOULD DO IF I WERE A BILLIONAIRE I ALREADY DO EVERY SINGLE DAY.

There are a few other things I would do if I were rich; like live in another zip code, but as I love minimalism and simplicity with all my heart, there wouldn't be too much more. The biggest difference between Now-Me and Billionaire-Me is the number of digits on my banking app.

I wouldn't trade my amazing life for the highest-paying soul-sucking job there is. You know, the type of job that people utterly hate, but they go back to every single hour of every single week of every single year for 40+ years so that someday they could possibly start to do what they like every day?

Dear artists and entrepreneurs, when you start to despair for lack of direct deposit every week, make your two lists. Listen to the stories around you about horrible jobs, horrible bosses, insufferable colleagues, and exhausting office politics.

I can guarantee that you too will see how incredibly close you are already to being the richest person on earth. Count your blessings, and don't ever forget them!

PS. If you're stuck in one of those soul-sucking jobs... realize that you CAN change your fate. If I did it, anyone can!

<3 JUURI

Monday, October 27, 2014

5 Scariest JUURI Pieces

My paintings are usually full of serene flower-wearing girls; but occasionally out of nowhere, a creepy piece will appear. Check out these top 5 scariest pieces. (Links included for pieces which are available.) Happy Halloween!



1. "Red Tongue - Aka Shita -"

This bizarre lady is based off the yokai of the same name. Read about her crazy tongue and talons here! Original and prints available, from $48.99


2. "Relentless - Yousha Nashi -"

Perhaps the only weapon-wielding JUURI lady ever. Read what she represents here.
Original and prints available, from $58.99


3. "Torn Tail - Osaki -"

This ever-popular piece was a private commission! Can you guess what yokai she is?

4. "Broken or Whole?"

This creepy-looking piece is inspired by a real Japanese festival called THE NAKED FESTIVAL. Strange, huh? Read about what goes on there here.
Original and prints available, from $48.99


5. "The Standing Death of Ben-Kei St. Sebastian"

Just a guy calmly standing with arrows in his neck and blood gushing out. This is actually a real Japanese legend. I didn't make it up. Read about the piece here!
Prints available, $50

Tell me if there are any others you missed. These are fun; I'll have to make more!

JUURI <3

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

WIN A FREE PRINT of "Fortune Favors the Brave"


 Everyone who votes for my Oklahoma City mural "Fortune Favors the Brave" in the Taste of Western mural contest will be entered to WIN a free signed copy of the print of the piece. I appreciate your help because my competition is tough!

HERE'S HOW TO VOTE. Voting ends 10/23/14 at 7pm.

1. Go to 2014tow.eventbrite.com

2. Scroll down until you find my mural. Enter a donation of your choice and hit the green "order now" button at the bottom. (There is a voting fee minimum of .99. So, the minimum vote would be one cent + voting fee = $1.) Donations go to future public art projects on Western Ave!

3. Enter your payment info, and wait for the "ticket." Once you receive the ticket, your vote has been counted. You don't have to do anything with the ticket.

4. I will pick a winner for the print at random and mail the signed piece to your door!

Thank you for your help, and good luck to both of us!

JUURI <3









Monday, October 20, 2014

Humongous Mural Finished! "Fortune Favors the Brave"

After two weeks of pure insanity (12-hour days, fast food diet, long commutes to and from OKC, and absolutely nothing else at all in my life) my mural is safely finished.

"Fortune Favors the Brave" by JUURI | Public art @ 44th & Western in Oklahoma City | Photo by Quit Nguyen

JUURI with her mural at @ 44th & Western in Oklahoma City | Photo by Quit Nguyen
"Fortune Favors the Brave" by JUURI | Public art @ 44th & Western in Oklahoma City | Photo by Quit Nguyen

Here is the meaning behind the piece:

My mural is entitled "Fortune Favors the Brave," alluding to the resilience of Oklahomans to withstand overwhelming natural and man-made disasters. No matter the hardships, we always bounce back and treat everyone with kindness, free of embitterment.

The muse for my piece is a local 14-year old girl who is beautiful inside and out. She is crowned with kimono-style florals and scissor-tailed flycatchers rendered in kimono style to represent my Japanese heritage.

The thin blue line represents law enforcement who have given so much of themselves in our times of need here in this state. As a volunteer for the police department in Norman, I can confidently say that our officers are some of the best people I have met in my time living here. (An Oklahoma City officer and a Norman officer helped me paint the line.) The line is placed behind the eyes of the girl to symbolize future watchfulness against threats, and the line in front of the left eye means that we will never forget the past.

<3 JUURI




Sunday, October 5, 2014

My First Mural Ever

I've started my first legit mural ever. It's at 44th & Western in OKC, and will be part of this year's "Taste of Western" event taking place on Oct 23rd. The idea is to have a night of wondrous cuisine, wine, and 5 brand-new murals in close proximity! You can reserve tickets at the official event page here.

Anyways, my wall is HUGE! It's about 30 feet high and approximately the length of Smaug himself. I was pretty excited, but also daunted for weeks because I've never painted this big in my life. Would it be super hard? Would it be amazingly easy? Would the texture of the exterior wall make me want to kill myself? I didn't know WHAT to expect!

My huge wall, 30 ft high.

Well well, After picking up our paints at HIS Paint (who were kind enough to donate lots of materials and give us massive discounts on others) we projected the image onto the wall and started outlines.


PEOPLE. Being 20 feet up on that leetle yellow scaffolding is SCARY. My knees were wobbling. I actually couldn't handle it, and that wasn't even tall enough to do the top stuff! Ladders are better. And even better than ladders is having E up on the there doing my work for me. Juuuust joking. I did work too.


 But I'm SUPA excited about the painting! It was really fun and fulfilling. I can't wait to start on my girl's face! The cool thing was the number of people who walked up and wanted to tell us how awesome they thought it looked. (Even though... it was just a few lines at this point.) People really respond to oversize art being created live. I probably talked to more people last night than I have at any art opening. Cool!

Good progress for one night. And now it's past 1 am. Hoooo

 I will post updates on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I guess I should probably be tech-saavy and invent a hashtag, so how about #juurimural. OK? Please follow our progress and send me your thoughts!

We have to have this done in 2 weeks! Weeeeeeeeeeeeee! You know where I'll be for the next few long days. C-ya at Taste of Western, if I'm still alive! Bai!

J




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New painting: "Contrarie - Amanojyaku -"

Here is my newest girl, "Contrarie!" What a mix of delicacy and violent pain she is!

Contrarie - Amanojyaku - | Watercolor, colored pencil, gold leaf, and fabric collage on board

She is watercolor, colored pencil (for the details) and kimono fabric collage on board. I ordered the fabric from an Etsy shop in Japan and spent a looong time cutting out the elements that I wanted, pasting them to the board. I really enjoy this unique fusion of media and collage, plus it lets me feature the stunning world of kimono fabric design! Behind my girl's head is a giant patch of gold leaf. It makes her hair shape kind of like the Queen of Hearts' on the most recent Alice in Wonderland movie.





I've always been drawn to the arrow-pierced / impossibly-calmly-suffering imagery like that of St. Sebastian, Ben-Kei, Joan of Arc, etc. One of my favorite pieces I made in college was also an arrow-pierced lady. I must have some deep psychological issue to be drawn to this imagery over and over... *crazy laughter.* This piece was also influenced by one of my favorite Caravaggio paintings, "Young Sick Bacchus."

The Japanese word amanojyaku (天邪鬼) refers to a demon-like creature in traditional folklore. However, it can also mean a very contrary or stubborn person. You know the type... the person who always delights in being the direct opposite of what everyone else says and does. Basically: me.

If something is madly popular and everyone is getting on the train, I most likely won't... or will only do so if I decide the thing is really worthy; and even then, with begrudging trepidation. Also, if a person or group is despised by the hip crowd, I will most likely end up taking a liking to them. I take a weird delight in being isolated, disconnected, bizarre, and thinking differently than most people in my demographic. I sometimes don't even feel that I fit in properly with other artists.

My Contrarie girl is surrounded with gorgeous florals to show that she is ever surrounded by beauty and good things, (like I am,) but her stubbornness, tenacity, and amanojyaku-ness often bring her pain. Still she carries on, because she's grown accustomed to the sting of opposition and impossible dreams. It isn't the first time, nor the last that she'll be shot right through the heart.



Hopefully this painting made you think, and maybe you can even see a bit of yourself in her.

Both the original piece and prints will be available to purchase in my shop on Friday, 9/26/14!





Thursday, September 4, 2014

Coaster Show at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in LA


Halo everybods, I'm here to tell you that I'm in a fantastic show at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in LA. Even though it's a group show with 1,050+ pieces, I'm still supa dupa excited to be at this gallery.... one of the best, as we know! I'm trying not to scream like a fangirl!

I saw the preview yesterday and was blown away by the level of art. If you live in the LA area, this will be a show to see. There is so much good art jam-packed into tiny coasters. They are expecting several thousand attendees, so it sounds like the place to be. It's not going to be a small-time event!

I'm so sad I couldn't make it to LA this time. Hopefully there will be more shows there to come. If you are interested in purchasing my coasters, please email the gallery.

*SEE THE COASTERS HERE!*

Amedama I - IV  |  Mixed media & vintage kimono collage on paper  |  $75 each

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Use Your Selfishness and Laziness

Sometimes as artists, we struggle with what we feel we should paint as opposed to what we want to paint. Perhaps I should paint full figures. Perhaps I should paint bigger. Perhaps I should paint more intricate floral and kimono designs adorning my girls.

But guess what?

I want to paint faces only. My interest wanes when I get to the neck or the hair. But I could never, ever tire of painting the face. I am simply in love with it.

Faces, faces, I LOVE faces! (This is my newest work in progress.)

I want to paint medium-size pieces. I love sitting with my piece at my desk, painting peacefully whilst listening to an ambient music track on Soundcloud, taking a sip of hot PG Tips tea here and there and enjoying the sunlight streaming in my window on the right.

Drawing peacefully at my desk with tea, my computer, and watching some football too!

I want to surround my girls with detailed kimono patterns but am either too lazy/selfish to paint flowers (remember my sole obsession with the face?) So... why not adorn them with real, vintage kimono fabric? (I just ordered some here... can't wait to receive them!) Not only is the idea unique and meaningful to me, it gives these beautiful fabric pieces the happiness they deserve... the chance to live on in a painting instead of stuffed in a drawer somewhere. :)

Sumptuous kimono fabric from AtelierLiaSan's Etsy shop
Now do you see why I say "Use your selfishness and laziness"? It's because sometimes in art when you feel "selfish" or "lazy", it's not a bad thing... just an arrow that points you straight toward what you are most, most truly interested in.

And isn't that what all artists are seeking to find their whole lives?

Love,
JUURI






Saturday, August 9, 2014

New Painting: "Red Tongue - Aka Shita - "

I can't stop painting my interpretations of various yokai, so here is another one! I believe this is only one of a few "bad girls" I've painted... my girls are usually innocent and melancholy. But it's fun to do something different for a change.

Red Tongue -Aka Shita- | Watercolor, acrylic, colored pencil, and gold leaf on wood panel | 24 x 24" | Available to buy

The original creature is simply called "Aka Shita" which means "Red Tongue." It's not supposed to be a female in particular, just a cloud of smoke. Here's a brilliant illustration of it from this new snazzy yokai project site.


From this description I took the part about red mouth and red tongue... perfect for a female with a wild attitude! It sort of reminded me of Jessie J's impossibly colored mouth in this video.



The creature is supposed to have claws, but I didn't want her to seem too cheesily witch-like, so I opted to give her a fashionable talon ring instead. It's like she's using it to draw the lines of smoke all around her.



I used to have to ask Lowe's workers to chop plywood for me every time I went there, but behold: now they sell perfectly pre-cut 24 x 24" birch plywood boards. Yeeeei! They are thicker than the other type, too. I like to paint the edges with a bold color, so the painting doesn't need a frame. It has a wire on the back and is ready to hang!


If this lady captures your heart, remember that you can purchase this piece! Look at my shop for details.

Love,
J

Friday, June 20, 2014

New Piece: "Baien"

I decided to go back to a previous method or working: cutting girls out of paper and pasting them on wood! Whooo, it was exhilarating and fun. I've missed it!

This piece is quite large, a 2x2 foot square. The girl is watercolor & colored pencil on paper. The background is acrylic paint on top of a birch panel. The golden parts are real gold leaf that shine in the light. She took me about a fortnight to complete.

Baien -梅園- | Watercolor, acrylic, & colored pencil on wood | 24 x 24"

She is called "Baien" after a heavenly nature park which I visited last time I was in Japan. Baien is in the sleepy little seaside town of Atami, not far outside of Tokyo. Atami is famous for its onsen (natural hot springs.) The town is a bit old fashioned and quaint, and that's what I love about it! You can explore its slightly shabby steep streets endlessly and be greeted by friendly faces everywhere you turn.

Anyway: I'm glad we decided to pay the small entry fee for Baien. It was well worth it because it turned out to be one of the most beautiful, serene, and peaceful places I've ever been. The area was in a quiet valley filled with plum and cherry trees of all sorts. Waterfalls and rivers wove alongside the walking paths, and filtered sunlight streamed in from above. Here and there were old style Japanese houses and gardens through which you could wander. It was early spring, so the weather was perfect.









We stayed in a hotel close by. And yes, the onsen (hot springs) are marrrrvelouuuuuus.

One morning, I got up early and had a peaceful soak in the hot water. There weren't many people there, so I felt like I was in my own private paradise. The water was soooo warm and comforting, the sunlight was streaming in through the windows and making the steam glow all around me, and my stress level was truly at 0. I closed my eyes and tried to lock in that memory, since it was such a perfectly blissful moment.

Those happy feelings have come back to me lately. And that's why I wanted to paint "Baien" girl, to remind me of being perfectly happy and enveloped softly by the warmth of the natural water. The bright pink flowers in her hair remind me of that beautiful Baien park forevermore. I hope you feel serene, peaceful, and content when you look at her.

So now you know the story behind her. Check out this step-by-step process video! It's just 52 seconds long, don't worry.



C-ya,
Julie (JUURI)