It’s time for another Super Cute Creators interview. Today we’re finding out a little bit more about Amigurumei, whose adorable amigurumis we’ve featured many times. They’re all made by Mei, who’s also just released a book of patterns featuring Hello Kitty and friends (read my review). Read on for another inspiring look into the life of a kawaii creative!
Who are you and what do you make?
My name is Mei and I’m always (albeit secretly) pleased whenever someone refers to me as an amigurumi “artist”. Those outside my crafting circle, however, will know me better as a features writer and craft columnist for a local newspaper where I live.
I’m a 80s baby and I love all things Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, Rainbow Brite, Blinkins, Popples and cute Tonka cupcake flip dolls. I love snuggling up to a good horror flick, but I also have these cravings for participating in Japanese conversations — that’s where my anime time come in.
I’m a self-taught crocheter and I have been making amigurumi for almost three years. I share my amigurumi adventures on my blog, www.amiguruMEI.com. I recently published my first book, Hello Kitty Crochet, in conjunction with Ms Kitty’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
Where do you live and what’s it’s like there?
I live in the sunny city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It’s been a little rainy lately, but that’s just a great excuse for me to pop out my Le Petit Prince umbrella, which I hardly use! We have a growing crafting community here, with a lot of talented home-grown crafters who are very much in the zakka phase. Due to our multi-cultural influences, most of us speak at least three languages, which we learn from school and at home. I recently picked up a fourth language – Japanese – in hopes that one day, I’d be able to watch anime without the subtitles. The classes, which I’m still attending, have been great help actually — since I can crochet and watch anime at the same time without having to look up all the time to read off my MacBook screen :)
What was your first experience with kawaii culture and why does kawaii inspire your work?
While I and my siblings were huge toy hoarders (not collectors) growing up, I must say that it was not until I watched Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbour Totoro did I really start becoming obsessed with the whole kawaii culture. I must’ve probably been in college by then. I’ve since watched each and every Studio Ghibli production, and I still squeal each time I chance upon Studio Ghibli merchandise. Part of the reason why I decided to learn how to make amigurumi was because I wanted to make my own Totoro dolls. Now most of my work takes inspiration from anime characters and the hopelessly-cute world that they live in :)