Earlier this year, Yoko and I approached Wormfun (aka Kaoru Kumano) to be our Featured Artist in the Umamimart Shop's second season line. After working with Anders to create the Umamimart mug, Yoko and I thought to commission an artist to design a tote and apron. We were elated when Wormfun accepted the project, and gave her free reign to how to interpret the Umamimart concept. As a longtime loyal UM reader, I knew she would create a design that would be completely unique, while reflecting our sometimes sinister sense of humor.
Wormfun's creation frankly blew our minds. Her intricate drawings, created dot by dot on a tablet, are whimsical and peculiar--delving into the often Lynchian, always playful world of Umamimart. It is all very powerful imagery, and I am so thrilled to showcase Wormfun's interpretations of these creatures in the Umamimart Shop.
Escargot; Anglerfish (aka monkfish, hands down the ugliest fish on the planet. Love it); Tapir.
Uni; Matsutake; Anchovy; Mandrake; Ice Cream.
Wormfun studied Fine Art at the California College of the Arts AND CRAFTS, and has worked for various non-profit organizations since then. She has a great love for animals, and fuses that with her love of food into all of her creative endeavors. She now also provides chicken and pet care for others through her business, Berkeley Beast.
I sometimes accompany her on walks with her dogs Widget and Nessie. She is loving and gracious, and the way she communicates with them is incredible to watch. She has a keen sense and intuition when it comes to animals, and I believe her drawings reflect this gift.
Here's a personal note from Wormfun:
I love animals, art, music, horror movies, baking, sleeping and crafting, among many other things. Both of my grandmothers are "critter crazy" and seemed to have passed along that gene to my aunt and me. I am SO AFRAID of caterpillars and anything maggot-like.
To me, Umamimart represents a place where we not only talk food and drink but share cultural stories and personal memories. I used the words EAT (tote), and UMAMI (apron) as threads running through disparate objects and animals that are or have been consumed at different times in various cultures to represent this idea. Somewhat unexpected, the subjects were chosen for their visual interest and expressiveness.
I take my EAT tote everywhere--it's the perfect size for the market and grocery shopping. The apron is very well-made and sturdy. It's actually fits so well and so fashionable and slimming that I want to incorporate it into my wardrobe. I can wear it out right? Umami forever.
I have been fantasizing about getting a giant tattoo of Wormfun's anchovy on my inside forearm.
Should I do it? God, that means no onsen forever, though.
*Support Umamimart! Get your tote and apron, or BOTH in the Umamimart Shop. They make great gifts too. The Umamimart Featured Artist project is vital to the spirit of the site, and your support helps keep Umamimart going. Thank you always for stopping by. Hugs. xxk