Working at the Pera Museum, the Japan Media Arts Festival and Maywa Denki’s Otamatone

Remember my post about the Pera Museum? Well guess what, I have been working there under the Japan Media Arts Festival for two weeks now, therefore I haven’t had much free time to update here, but it has been wonderful. You should definitely drop by if you are in Istanbul because it will definitely be worth it. I work at the fifth floor, where all the interactive media art works are, to guide some people who have a hard time understanding what’s going on, and are reluctant to touch some of the works. I still have one week left (or three days, which makes today – oopsie, it’s already 2 A.M.!, wednesday and friday, I’m there from 3 P.M. to 7 P.M.) so drop by if you want to see me AND the exhibitions. I figured I would have seen more familiar faces, but so far, apart from the friends I dragged along, I only saw one of the assistants from college and some celebrities that I didn’t recognize but was told later on who they were (why am I so bad with faces? WHY?)

Ahem. So I’ll tell you my favorite work at the exhibition which is the Otamatone by the Maywa Denki corporation. Before I started working in the museum, I attended the seminars (because I wanted to, I hadn’t even seen the job posting at the time) where the artists introduced their works so that helped a lot while answering questions. I saw the guy who invented the otamatone and he was an adorable person. So basically the otamatone is a music-note shaped cute toy/musical instrument where the stem of the note is the handle of the instrument, the head of the note is actually… a head, and the flag of the note is a rotatable piece. This all sounds really confusing, but to sum it up:

Behold, the otamatone! To play this very cute instrument, you have to use two hands. While pressing on the touchpad on the handle, you have to squeeze the cheeks of the head so that the mouth will open and a high pitched or bass sound will be played through the small speaker inside the head. The notes start with Do from the top. You do have to press on the cheeks or there will  be no sound at all. I find this ingenious and adorable at the same time. And today for the first time, I have looked at the price through, and the price of this black otamatone is *drumroll please* – only 35.95$! I was expecting it to be over 70$ so I guess this is pretty decent. There are a lot of different versions of the otamatone, the black one being my favorite. There is also a white version, and another version with a face consisting of teeth (the black one has a silver colored handle while the white one has a gold colored one). You could purchase one from this link.

Anyway, you could play with them for free (once you pay for the museum ticket) as long as you want on the fifth floor of the museum. The exhibition will continue until the 3rd of October, so be sure to pay a visit before it’s over.

More updates soon!


Imaginism Studios

I love the characters from Imaginism Studios, which my friend Pınar told me about. (Check Pınar’s blog about asian dramas, by the way – the blog is in Turkish.)

“Imaginism Studios is made up of independent artists specializing in publishing, television, and movie pre-production. We produce some of the most fun and upbeat designs, concepts, and illustrations around.”

Folk Art Plushies by cartbeforethehorse

cartbeforethehorse is a group of two impressive artists that make “folk art”.

“We are a mom-and-dad business, a two-person company of artists. We make the kind of art we like, then we open our doors to you. All of our creations are made one at a time. We make them with our own hands, since these are the only hands we have. We call ourselves Cart Before The Horse because we’re always getting ahead of ourselves.” say the artists.

Their art is quite impressive, their online shop in etsy tells about how they make these creations, for example, the description for Alice and the Cheshire Cat is:

“Alice and Cheshire Cat is an original, hand-crafted work of art by Dylan and Jo–signed, dated, and numbered by the artists. Like each of our creations, it is entirely hand painted.

Alice is made of quilter’s muslin that has been
painted and sanded, then painted and sanded
again, giving the fabric a rich patina that
feels like old leather. Her arms and legs are jointed,
allowing her to be posed. She has our signature wooden bottom, giving her a nice flat surface to sit on.
She can also be posed in a standing position
by placing her on her wooden stand.
Her Cheshire Cat pull-toy is made of hand painted wood.

Not intended for children.”

The prices of their completed plushies range from $90 to $220. Their shop is here.


My copy of Shigenobu Kobayashi’s Colorist finally arrived (because I was waiting since the order on 20th of October.) I haven’t really examined the book, but I flipped through it, and I think it looks pretty interesting. I really do hope it’s easy though, seemed a bit complex..

The description of the book is: “The Colorist seeks nothing less than to demystify color aesthetics. After three years of extensive travel and research, color specialist Shigenobu Kobayashi has devised a stunningly simple method for pinpointing personal color preferences. A series of clear-cut exercises allows you to accurately define your color sense and then locate it on an “image scale” in order to select compatible color schemes for home or office, or even wardrobe.

Next, Kobayashi illuminates the underpinnings of color in everyday and ornamental settings, revealing the hidden technique beneath each successful color scheme. He introduces a full range of colors for all moods and tastes, then presents eight psychological color types to assist you in putting your own color profile to practical use in the bedroom, den, playroom, or office.

With over 500 color photographs, 50 charts, and hundreds of sample “color-scale chips,” the Colorist not only delivers a unique method of defining color sense but provides invaluable insights into the art of using color, making it an indispensable guide for home owners, decorators, artists, and designers—indeed, anyone who works with or enjoys color.

You could order the book from amazon.





I recently bought (and immediately read and finished) Clover as a collected full edition, which is by the manga artists group CLAMP. I do not want to give any more spoilers than the back cover, so here’s the synopsis from the back cover itself:

“Kazuhiko is a young, but already deeply wounded, black-ops agent of a baroque, retro-tech world-pulled out of retirement to escort Sue, a mysterious waif, to a destination she alone knows. Sue and Kazuhiko have never met… yet she knows him, having grown up since the age of four with her only human contact being two distant voices: that of her elderly “grandma” – Kazuhiko’s commander, general Ko; and that of Kazuhiko’s dead girlfriend, the beautiful singer Ora.

And Sue has been kept in that cage all these years because of what she is, and what the Clover Leaf Project found her to be: a military top secret…and the most dangerous person in the world.”

I think the artwork is amazing, well of course coming from CLAMP, that was expected already :) The ISBN of the book I bought is 978-1-59582-196-6

Here are some pieces of art from the manga:

Here is the music video made for Clover, don’t watch it if you don’t want any spoilers, although it doesn’t give much away it can make the reader unpleasant to know about one or two details..

Behance Network

Behance Network is a website I found through TypePoster72 (which is a site that shares typographic posters) and I think it’s a great community for professional artists and designers. Their answer to the “What is Behance?” question is: Behance is a company that designs products and services that empower the creative world to make ideas happen. Behance is founded on the principle of “Productive Creativity.”  Too often, great ideas never materialize.  Creative people are rarely lacking inspiration; rather, they lack effective processes and tools to make their ideas happen.The Behance team studies exceptionally productive people and teams working in creative fields.  We document the methods and resources that these productive creative professionals use to push their ideas forward.  We then develop products and services based on the best practices that we discover through our research.”