It’s time for another Super Cute Creators interview. Today we’re finding out a little bit more about Anna Hrachovec, overlord of the kawaii knitted world of Mochimochi Land. Read on for another inspiring look into the life of a kawaii creative!
Who are you, what do you make and what do you do in your spare time?
My name is Anna Hrachovec, and I’m a designer and artist obsessed with making a world full of cute and odd little knitted toys, called Mochimochi Land. Aside from knitting my creatures (or “mochis” as I often call them), I also write patterns for them, I create landscapes in which they play, and I bring them to life with stop-motion animation. That doesn’t leave a lot of spare time, but while I’m knitting I often listen to podcasts (I also write about them for The A.V. Club). I love reading and going to museums too.
Where do you live and what’s it’s like there?
I live in Chicago, where I’ve been for about a year and a half, so it’s still a little new to me! It’s a really big city with many different personalities. The first thing people usually say about Chicago is that it gets VERY cold, and they’re not kidding. So hibernation for a good four months of the year is pretty typical and inspires a lot of knitting here.
What was your first experience with kawaii culture and why does kawaii inspire your work?
The first time I encountered kawaii goods was when I was 12 years old and my family had an exchange student from Japan come to live with us for a year. Her mother would send her care packages filled with candy from Japan, and the packaging was so adorable and fascinating, I knew it was a country I was destined to visit. Not only did I visit a few years later, but I also went there for a year as an exchange student myself! I also learned to knit in Japan, although it was many years later that I discovered I could combine my passions for knitting and kawaii stuff to make my own characters. The simple shapes and expressions, along with the unusual depictions of kawaii characters from Japan, continue to inspire my designs.
What cute products can you never resist buying for yourself?
For me it’s stationery! I was just in Korea and came home with sheets and sheets of adorable stickers. I don’t even use stickers all that much, but there’s something about a page full of cute characters in various poses that I just can’t resist.