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By Hook or by Crook: “Hookers” Opening Night at Corey Helford Gallery

2 Apr

On March 31, Natalia Fabia‘s group curated show “Hookers,” presented at the Corey Helford Gallery celebrated their opening night!

Natalia is an awesome lady, and amazing oil painter that I met at a party many moons ago, and she asked myself and Yume to pose for one of her paintings <3. The theme for this night’s exhibition was “Hookers,” a word that Natalia always uses to describe women who are strong, independent, and stylish, using it in a positive sense to convey modern feminine beauty.

The show featured 22 artists’ rendition of “Hookers,” and the opening night was jammed packed with awesome art and colorful people!

"Miss America Fuck Yeah," by Natalia Fabia

The hordes of people visiting opening night.

Outfit shot from the night! Click on the photo to "Hype" my coord on Lookbook!

More pics after the jump!

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Japan Day 2: Kiiiiiii art, Shojono Tomo & SPANK!, Koenzine Release Party in Koenji, and The Lady Spade in Shibuya

8 Aug

How many parties + openings  can you cram into 1 day? Answer: FOUR! (FIVE if you count after party ramen).

As long as you only eat 1 meal, that is.

Our first full day in Tokyo (Sunday, July 24, 2011) was CRAZY PACKED as every event EVER was happening the same day! We put on our fancy shoes (and I packed comfy ones for the unavoidable max-pain-time), fun outfits, and braved the ridiculous heat to see our friends at their events.

Caro & I started the day by attending an art show/workshop hosted by Reiko Tada, who is also known as the drummer for the kickass Japanese band Kiiiiiii!

The exhibition was in a cute little gallery above a store in Kichijoji. Reiko’s style is super cheerful, playful, and childlike, but with weird little details that you only notice if you look closely! Right up my alley, haha.

Mural done by Reiko and a crowd of people waiting for the workshop portion to start.

Reiko (left in black and purple tshirt) begins the workshop.

These mini artbooks were adorable!

"In the KIIIIIIIIII of Life" is a short newsletter Reiko does for her fans about random events she's been to, or things she's thinking about.

We only stayed for about an hour, and then jetted off to the next location, which was 1) cramming some pastries that Caro got as a present  into our mouths while standing on the train platform because we forgot to eat and 2) popping by the 6%DOKIDOKI store in Harajuku to say hi to our friends! I don’t have any good photos from this visit, since it was literally 30 minutes or less that we were there, and we were all soaked in sweat by that point, haha. Oh, Japan summer! It was really nice to see Vani and Yuka, though we had JUST missed Sebastian and Mika since they were taking a much-needed lunch break. This was just one of many times we would see the 6%Dokidoki gang, so we gussied up, said goodbye and headed to Shibuya to attend FILMMAKERS!!! Vol 02 at SECO Bar in Shibuya.

We walked down the scary stairwell and paid our 1500yen to see our buddies who were attending the event. On the side of the venue, SPANK! and Shojono Tomo had tables set up to sell their products. We were super happy to see Tavuchi again, of course, and to meet Shojono Tomo, an artist who Caro recently has begun to represent in america as part of her Sweet Streets. The main part of the event was a large stage set up with people giving talks about making videos. In Japan, they call people who make independent films “VJs” so it was really confusing at first when I started to ask about the people on stage. The convos went like this:

Me: So, they SHOW VIDEOS like on MTV? Like a DJ but with videos?
Tavuchi: Uhmm.. yes! they make videos!
Me: Wait, they MAKE them or they SHOW them?
Tavuchi: They show them! And they make them!
Me: Uhhhh. So they… are filmmakers. OHHH THE EVENT IS CALLED “FILMMAKERS.”
Tavuchi: Yes….

English fail on my part, basically, ahaha! Anyway, on to pics from the event!

Spank! and Shojono Tomo were making collaborative items! You picked artwork from Tomo, and Tavuchi made it into a cute accessory! Such a good collab! Here is Tavuchi, Spank!'s owner, making a bow right at the table.

Shojono Tomo's half of the booth. She puts her artwork on clothing, bags, handkerchiefs, and tights! I ended up getting a pair ❤ Gotta support our artists!

Shojono Tomo and Tavuchi! They are awesome ladies and have been friends for a long time. Tavuchi even sells Shojono Tomo's items in her Spank! stores!

Me and Caro pose with our custom made giant heart pins! I love these! Features Shojono Tomo's art, and Tavuchi's amazing DIY skills. She made these in like 2 minutes!

More Spank! products!

A customized medical mask made by Shojono Tomo.So badass!!

Tavuchi even made me an adorable bow as a present! Here is a pic of the back of my head (which apparenly is already up on Tumblr and has a hundred notes on it, haha), and my messy hair, but the bow is SO adorable!

So excited to see Eimi again (left)! Her and her friend came to LA before for the Magical Girls' show in April this year, and it was nice to see them again!

After about an hour and a half there, we rushed off again (I think it’s about 7pm at this point?), this time with Tavuchi leading the way so that we could meet her friends at the Koenzine Launch party in Koenji. I could literally write a BOOK about the things I experienced in Koenji this night and the other few days I stayed there with Tavuchi later on in my trip. Instead, I’ll try to give you the short fun version, and save my deeper thoughts for a separate post another day, haha.

Koenji is a town just to the west of Shinjuko on the Chuo line. It’s credited as being the town where punk rock music was introduced to Japan, and is full of hundreds of little vintage stores, many of which not only sell straight up Western vintage, but also do amazing DIY remakes of clothing. There are many original clothing brands there, and the feeling is youthful, fun, and sort of vintage in itself. I felt like I wasn’t really in Tokyo anymore when I was here, it was so quaint and bustling with youth and really nice, open people, and it was really lovely.

Koenzine is a “zine” in the traditional sense, a print magazine created to show the spirit and artistic life in Koenji. With photography by Hanayo, the book showed many faces I was already familiar with (Tavuchi, Mlle. Yulia, Toko, etc). The Koenzine party was held in the Kitakore building, which is a massive building that is so old it looks like it’s falling apart, with makeshift floors built in as new brands want to open in there. Here you can find brands such as DOG, which Lady Gaga’s stylist basically pulled ALL of her clothes from and created her image from is housed there, along with Giza ilil, and a load of other stores I know I am forgetting, plus a small exhibition space in a makeshift “floor” in the corner of the building.

The photos really tell all! So on to photos!

Amazing things such as kickass ruffled mickey mouse men's briefs can be found in the awesome store, Garter. Caro is AMAZE in this photo! hehe

The ceilings are approximately THIS high! It's like eating the pill that makes you bigger in Alice and then going shopping! SUCH a cool building! And you can see Tavuchi's face down there, too :)Just some of the amazing DIY merch on sale in the Kitakore building!

Here is part of the exhibition they created in honor of the Koenzine launch. These items are discarded pieces from the stores in the kitakore building. You can see the old "Garter" sign laying in there, too hehe.

Small snapshot versions of the photos that are in Koenzine were tacked to the walls in the exhibit area. Here is Tavuchi posing next to the photo of her that appeared in the 'zine.

Here is a beautiful pic of Mlle. Yulia that appears in Koenzine.

Yulia (right) and I!

Yulia (right) is a famous DJ, recording artist, and designer that’s blowing UP in Japan right now! I am in LOVE with her music and kickass style. And yeah, us girls with colored hair have to stick together. She was DJing a set at the party and I got to chat with her a bit. She’ll be coming to LA soon for a shoot and I hope to hang out with her a bit then, too 😉

You can listen to Mlle. Yulia’s newest single, which just dropped on August 3rd, here:

Yulia's handmade jewelry line, called Giza, is sold exclusively at Garter and features impressive metalworking, which Yulia says she picked up when she was living in London for a few years.

Yulia (right) and Koshiro (left) DJ a set together. Koshiro is the owner of Garter, and also Yulia's beau ❤ this photo of them is ADORABLE. The awesome dude on the far right is Youhei, who you will hear more about later. He's awesome and another SOUL MATE of mine haha.

I had super fallen in love with Koenji by this time, and knew I had to make my way back there before my trip was up… which I did 🙂

We really wanted to stay longer but we still had ONE more commitment to go to, and were already sort of running late. We hopped the train back to Shibuya, and rushed to The Lady Spade‘s live show at a small bar/cafe there! I missed them so much! They also came out to perform for Magical Girls in April of this year, and it was our lovely reunion! There was a slight miscommunication, and we thought that their last set STARTED at 10:30pm, but actually, it ENDED at that time ;.; We arrived and it was over, and we were sad… BUT… BUT!! SLF (the leader/DJ of Lady Spade) announced they would do a special ENCORE PERFORMANCE just for Caro and I!!! ;.; TEARS STREAMING, FACES RED OF EMBARRASSMENT WE WERE SO HAPPY AND GRATEFUL! ❤

The new hotness. From left to right, Lotta (who wasn't able to come to LA, so this was our first time meeting her, Alice, and Tiffany!

SLF (stands for "Shit Lives Forever") DJing the tunes for The Lady Spade

Group photo! the projection screen sorta killed this, sorry! Left to Right: Tiffany, myself, Caro, Alice, and Lotta.

Hey! It's Imai-san from The Aprils! He was here to support his friends The Lady Spade. Such a cute photo of Imai and Caro 🙂

My soul mate found me again! Ken was at the event too and we had a few beers, like soul sock bruthas do haha. He is really such a fun dude! And check out his badass chain! It's plush, and part of his "Broken Doll" line that he sells at his store in Shimokitazawa.

The lovely ladies pose for another photo. So artsy!

Here’s a short video I took of the performance:

No late night party time is complete without some FOOD! If you’ll recall, Caro and I only ate ONE OTHER TIME today, and those were just pastries about uhmm… 10 hours before this. So we headed over with our friends to a ramen place nearby and ATE UP! Alice was SO CUTE and I got to meet her boyfriend and friends who came along with us to eat!


SORT OF A LONG STORY, but Alice was pointing to two guys and said "That's my boyfriend!" I didn't know which one so I said, "The one who looks like Luffy from One Piece or the other one?" It was the other one. This is the other guy. He's awesome and one of Alice's friends hehe.

Oh my. There are SO SO SO many more photos than what I posted here, so please take a poke at my Flickr to see them all! I think I’ll be adding these to my Facebook, too since it seems easier for people to find themselves there 🙂

I have JUST gotten over my jetlag so I am gonna do my best to catch up on my posts from Japan! Hope you all are enjoying the read! Please as if you have any other questions such as locations, links, etc for anything you see here that I may have forgotten ❤

Art Openings: “Internally Yours” & “INNARDS”

16 Jun

Last Saturday, on June 11, 2011, I checked out two exhibition openings with a ton of talent around Los Angeles.

First, I headed to Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City, to see the opening for Nouar’s “Internally Yours” show. This was Nouar’s first show at Corey Helford. The show featured 3D gelatin molds with sinister faces eating themselves, other people, and each other. A little creepy, but overall cute, it was a really fun show to take in. Nouar’s show will be up until June 29th, so get over to CHG asap! They are also showing Joshua Petker’s “Celluloid Constellations” upstairs.

Corey Helford Gallery
8522 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232

Kittens & Ice Cream Artwork: ネコポリタン (Nekopolitan)!

25 May

I will be participating in JapanLA’s “Kittens & Ice Cream’ art exhibition, which opens June 4th!

I just finished photographing the art piece that I’ll be entering in the gallery! A portion of the sales will go to the Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue & Support.

I used gouache, which I love for its texture, and some acrylic to get the pearly looking accents just right 🙂 At first, I had just the cat face on the ice cream cone, but added fangs and creepy claws to it to give it more character and weirdness, haha. The little faces in the melted puddle creep me out…!

I named it ネコポリタン (Nekopolitan),! Will gave me the idea to mishmash the words “Neko ” (which means “cat” in Japanese) and neopolitan, since the colors are striped in the ice cream 🙂

Hope you guys like it! If you have any questions about it, or are interested in purchasing, let me know at!

ネコポリタン (Nekopolitan), 2011
Michelle Nguyen
8″ x 10″
Gouache and acrylics on board
Frame is lavender with silver glitter (1″ deep)

You can see the ice cream-like texture I tried to achieve and the shiny metallics from this angle :3

I had fun DIY-ing the simple frame by making it lavender and adding silver glitter.

Another angle to see texture

Signing my real name on artwork, and not as "Chubby Bunny" 🙂 Shock!

If you’d like to see the work in person, it will be on display in JapanLA from June 4 throughout the month! Also, if you’re local to LA, you can come to the big opening party! (Hosted by my event production company Bubble Punch!) Hope to see you there!

Epic flyer by Michelle Romo!

“Bunnies & Bows” Opening Video!

19 May

Hey everyone! My awesome friends over at One Bus Productions have finished editing the video and interviews taken at the “Bunnies & Bows” opening on May 7th!

Check out this awesome video, featuring shots of the amazing party at JapanLA, and candid interviews with:

Video and interviews taken at the “Bunnies & Bows” exhibition opening, featuring a look at the awesome party, and interviews with:

Designer of Chubby Bunny and curator of Bunnies & Bows, Michelle Nguyen

Bunnies & Bows artists:
Yume Ninja
Jim Mahfood

and musician Kerli

Shot and edited by One Bus Productions: Tim Chang & Rayne Vasquez

I totally got teary-eyed watching this… and I must have been excited because my voice was super high o.o

**Chubby Bunny accessories that were available at this show are now available online here!

Thanks again to everyone who supported me to make this event truly amazing!

Meet “Bunnies & Bows” artists: Shibuya Girls Pop: Pop Art from Japan

1 May

All of the artists I chosen for the Bunnies & Bows event have influenced me on a creative, professional, or personal level in some way. I’ll be introducing some of the artists who have been sending me in their progress shots for the Bunnies & Bows gallery (debut & opening party May 7!) here!

Shibuya Girls Pop is an artist collective comprised of artists who live in Japan, and specialize in “cute,” and have made a business of it over the years. In the U.S. , SGP is represented by Sweets Streets, whom I’ve worked with on many projects as part of Bubble Punch. I am very lucky to have five of the artists from the collective contribute new work for Bunnies and Bows!

Akira Ebihara

Akira Ebihara’s work features soft, whispy lines, and rosy cheeked girls. Her style is ultra feminine, and is an instant favorite of anyone who likes girly things! I was familiar with Ebihara’s work from seeing it all over Japan when I was living there. It was almost subversive, because you would often see her illustrations used for magazine articles, then again in department stores as part of signage, and again on the train in an advertisement. I was really pleased when I finally found out the name of the artist whose work I’d been seeing everywhere!

Residing in Tokyo, Akira Ebihara became a freelance illustrator in 2004. She primarily draws illustrations for magazine covers, women’s magazines, books, and commercial media for women ranging from teens to adults. Her illustrations have been highlighted in international design and magazines. Akira began exhibiting overseas in 2010 with SWEET STREETS.

Ebihara's finished work or Bunnies & Bows!!! SO adorable!

Tea Time, 2011
Digital Print (limited edition)
11.7” x x8.3”


eimi (one word, not capitalized..!) is a very unique artist, with a style that is extremely high in texture and soft diluted colors. eimi’s characters often look smug or annoyed, which I really enjoy. eimi has appeared in the U.S. several times for live paintings, and it is really wonderful to see her work in progress! She’s an incredibly nice and cheerful girl, and most recently came to LA to do a live painting for the Magical Girls’ exhibition opening on April 1st. I was very happy to meet her!

eimi's past work

Her work for Bunnies & Bows is going to be a great hit!

Eimi illustrates cute girls who are always bright and happy. Sometimes they feel like doing mischief and feel anxiety about eating too much, expressing the many emotions of girls. Eimi evokes this emotion with a glaring pop style that she calls “pink science.” Her artwork is a combination of mixed media, using mainly acrylic, watercolors, and paper collage in a monochromatic palette.

eimi's progress photo of her "Bunnies & Bows" work!

Kayo Tamaishi

I really love Kayo’s work! Her pieces always emote s sort of surface-level simplicity, but then is subversive in

My favorite of Kayo's past work. Under the sea ❤

Kayo's past work.

its details. If you look at any of her work, it always seems like it’s just a picture of a sweet girl, but when you look at the smaller characters and objects around the main figure, you can see she has ulterior messages in her work. If you look at her blog (link above), she often posts her work followed by many photos of the things that inspired it. Right now she’s very into flowers since spring has just come to Japan.

Kayo Tamaishi was born in 1980 and raised in Yokohama, Japan. Kayo’s work includes water painting, book cover design, magazine illustration, T-shirts design,design of CDjacket,Advertisement,Poster, Live painting,and more.Eyes of girls whom she draws are impressive and attractive.Pleasure, sadness, happiness, solitude, and various secrets are included in the eyes.All girls whom she draws are cute and fashionable. They are always casual, and enjoying that she is a woman. Kayo started activity except Japan such as L.A. from 2010.

Kayo's finished work for Bunnies & Bows!

Thousands of Prayer Bows, 2011
Color pencils, color pens
11” x 14”


NICO's past work

I am so pleased to be able to have NICO as part of the Bunnies & Bows show. I am a huge fan of hers, and have been since I was introduced to her work while living in Japan. Her work, like Ebihara’s, is extremely prevalent in every media outlet in Japan, and I would often see her work on

NICO's Past work. One of my favorites by her!

buildings, at stores, and in magazines. Her extremely graphic style is cool and pleasing to the eye, and she mainly works in digital format only. However, for Bunnies & Bows, I am so excited to announce that NICO will be producing an original painting for the show, something that is extremely rare for her as an artist! Usually she only does digital prints on canvas. Anyone who is a fan of NICO’s work should definitely come and see it in person!

NICO began illustrating at a young age professionally in 2001.  Her modern pop artwork is gaining international popularity, having designed many CD albums, characters, magazine designs for Vogue Nippon, GQ, Loreal, Mattel, and Paperchase stationary. She is based in Japan, UK, and exhibits worldwide. 

Yuki Takahashi

Yuki's past work

Yuki Takahashi works in a very soft style with watercolors and and a lack of black lines despite the graphic quality of her work. Yuki’s work is very whimsical, and often takes the idea of gravity for granted, usually featuring free floating objects, or with a lot of movement present in the character’s features, the objects around them, or the background images.

Her work for Bunnies & Bows combines all of these elements, and is sure to be a show stopper at the gallery!

Yuki Takahashi’s artwork came to the attention of Tokyo art fans when she designed the back cover of Japanese art magazine “Design No Genba [The Scene Of The Design]” in the Liquitex illustration contest in 2008. She is a traditional illustrator

working with a variety of medium such as acrylic gouache, watercolor, and colored pencils to make her artwork colorful and pop. She is a recipient of the CWC Chance-Ten Finalist Award.

Yuki's in-progress photo of her work for Bunnies & Bows!

Meet “Bunnies & Bows” artist: Jim Mahfood: Exactly What Meeting Your 16-Year-Old Crush Is Like

30 Apr

All of the artists I chosen for the Bunnies & Bows event have influenced me on a creative, professional, or personal level in some way. I’ll be introducing some of the artists who have been sending me in their progress shots for the Bunnies & Bows gallery (debut & opening party May 7!) here!

Jim Mahfood

Yes, in this photo Jim is posing victoriously by a Nissan decorated with his amazing artwork. I would punch a kangaroo for this thing.

Jim Mahfood’s work is heavily influenced by graffiti art, draws in heavy pronounced lines, and he is definitely a badass.

I am going to launch into a really long story, but it’s REALLY IMPORTANT TO MY DEVELOPMENT so just read it and don’t get discouraged by all the nerdy words leaking out.

Generation X: Underground! Still said to be Marvel's most "subversive" comic ever. I still have my copy!!

I have a lot to thank Jim for, and it goes back to when I was the tender age of 16 (I guess 16 year olds are more mature now, or something, but I was 16 at an all-girls Catholic school in Pittsburgh so.. YEAH.). I regularly read comics, you know, the regular ones that are not from Japan, and was pretty mainstream about it, reading a pretty regular cycle of all the X-men titles (that’s like… 10 titles right there, damn you marvel), Spiderman, the Flash, and a smattering of Manga once I got that figured out.  I was a huge fan of the X-Men spinoff series, called “Generation X” where they took all the new young mutants introduced by the Phalanx story arc (getting in to nerd territory here, so just hold on a bit), threw in Jubilee for nostalgia, and created a team. A team led by BANSHEE (ahahhaha. god this is still so funny to me) and THE WHITE QUEEN (RIDICULOUS CHOICES. Marvel made them in the 90s).

ANYWAY, I would regularly skip lunch so I could use my lunch money to buy comics after school, down the street at Phantom of the Attic, (which is still there! Booyah!), and I remember the day I saw the cover for “Generation X

Reggae star Ziggy Marley, son of Bob Marley, is part of a joint effort with co-writer Joe Casey and artist Jim Mahfood to produce a pot-powered superhero coming to stores on – you guessed it – April 20 of 2011

UNDERGROUND.” I was SO CONFUSED because (and take a look at it in the sidebar there), there were only three colors and the inside was black and white!! I was just like, “Wait, is this a new comic that ripped off the “Gen X name or…?” I was mega curious so I grabbed it off the shelf and was thereby introduced into the world of INDIE COMICS and WHAT THEY LOOKED LIKE. I promptly stopped trying to imitate Humberto Ramos (I was a HUGE fan of Impulse, despite the turnover of writers.. damn you for leaving Mark Waid) when sketching and immediately tried to draw exactly like Jim. For like, an entire year or two. All of the notes to my friends, day dream doodles in my notebooks.. they all tried to emulate Jim’s awesome blocky style he used in the Generation X Underground comic. I went on to collect Jim’s other work “Grrl Scouts,” which I really loved. Thinking back on it, I MUST have been in love with the art, because I seriously had NO IDEA WHAT WEED WAS when I was 16. Yeah man, THAT sheltered. (Major plot point in Grrl scouts had to do with the selling of marijuana. Womp womp).

Okay, huge tangent. THE POINT IS! Jim is a badass mofo, who introduced me to “Not the mainstream” when it came to sequential art. This is a big deal!

Well, I stopped reading American comics for a while after I entered college– that’s when I hit my huge manga-nerd stage–  and I forgot about Mahfood’s work until I moved to Japan in about 2005, and there, met a girl from the Bronx who had packed her entire collection of Grrl Scouts with her! We totally bonded over Jim’s work (is this getting creepy yet? I feel like it’s getting creepy), and through that ice breaker, we eventually became super close friends.

Enough about me and how Jim’s art has changed my life. ABOUT JIM.

I moved to LA and after I became friends with Jamie of JapanLA, she mentioned that Jim USED TO BE HER NEIGHBOR. WTFFFFF. I met him in person a few times, and he was a super nice guy, and luckily, was not completely creeped out by my fangirling. He does a lot of live painting around LA and elsewhere, and if you have a chance you should totes check it out. Super inspiring stuff, guys!

On to Jim’s Bio.. which is totally impressive…

If you watch NBC's "Community" at all, you know who Kickpuncher is. Jim illustrated the comic for it. I REALLY NEED TO GET MY HANDS ON THIS ASAP!

Jim Mahfood aka Food One is a freelance artist working professionally in the fields of illustration, advertising, comic books, murals, fine art, animation, live art in nightclubs, and custom body-painting. He has worked for every major comic book company and his illustrations have appeared in such publications as Playboy, Spin, Spectrum Illustration Annual, Star Wars Gamer, URB, the Hollywood Reporter, BPM, the Phoenix New Times, Mad Magazine, Heavy Metal, and more. Highlights of his career include illustrating director Kevin Smith’s “Clerks” comics, handling the art chores on the entire ad campaign for Colt 45 malt liquor in 2007-08, painting the murals on Comedy Central’s “Sarah Silverman Show”, illustrating the “Kickpuncher” comic book that was included in the Season 1 DVD of NBC’s hit show, “Community”, illustrating and art directing reggae legend Ziggy Marley’s “MarijuanaMan” project, and providing custom car art for Nissan’s new “Juke” Artist Series (that’s what the photo at the top is of!).

The work he created for the show is amazing! Take a look! I am HONORED!

Mizz Chubbs & The Demon Hare Crew
Mixed Media
10″ x 16″

For all purchase inquiries, you can contact me at iamchubbybunny (at) gmail (dot ) com! Stay tuned for more artists’ previews for the Bunnies & Bows show!