Tuesday, June 10, 2014

like playing with paper dolls

I've blogged many times about recycling etegami, but my motivation for doing so is not necessarily the same each time. Sometimes I like the image, but am disappointed with the writing, so I cut out the image, glue it to a new card, and redo the words. Sometimes I use faded or damaged etegami in making a paper pulp to produce new washi for new cards.

And sometimes, like today, after scanning the original etegami for my records, I cut out the image, glue it to a fresh background, and put the same, or similar, words in another language to reach a wider audience. Only the final version actually gets sent in the mail. The earlier versions only remain in digital form.

The words on each of these cards have the same meaning. It's the old Japanese saying: After a victory, tighten the cord of your helmet. In other words, don't let the euphoria of victory make you careless. I drew this bike helmet long ago to illustrate a short story a friend wrote about a motorcycle accident, and decided to turn the illustration into an etegami. Then I took it apart and made a new version of it in English. And then I did it again with a different background.

It kind of reminds me of the paper dolls I played with as a child. I remembered this morning that I used to draw and cut out my own paper dolls and design the clothes I would make them wear. Probably lots of children did the same. Maybe my etegami play a similar role for me in my old(er) age. Today I'll put you against a blue background with German words, I say to my image, How would you like that? Am I weird?


  1. No you're not weird!! Just ultra-creative ... You really think "outside the box".. The mark of a true artist !

  2. No no like Mary says "your are a true artist." I often thought as a little girl to draw and cut clothes for my dolls but... I never went far with my tries... :-)

  3. The dark background really makes it stand out. It's interesting how a change of colour can change so much!