Artist Profile: Hapa Crafts
This holiday season, why not support some Hapas and Quapa artists? Welcome to Hapa Mag’s Virtual Holiday Market, a place where you can check out the wares of some of our favorite mixed-race Asian artists and crafters.
What is your brand name?
What makes you Hapa?
Identity-wise, my mom is Japanese and my dad is Caucasian. I was born and raised in Southern California where there is a pretty vibrant Hapa community. My alma mater, USC (University of Southern California) even had a club called Hapa SC which I was part of for some time.
What kind of art do you create?
For the time being, I design and create enamel pins and polymer clay jewelry inspired by Japanese culture, among other things. I create to bring more representation of lesser-known -- or at least less mainstream -- foods and concepts.
How does being Hapa apply to your work?
The majority of my work is either named or inspired by something Japanese (e.g., watagashi necklace). The rice ball pin was my first design -- it's a bittersweet homage to when growing up, kids would make fun of the rice balls my mother made me for lunch. I tossed about half of them because of that -- something I still feel really badly about. Now, I'm wearing my onigiri pin with pride, because these foods are something to celebrate, not to hide!
How long have you been a crafter?
Formally, I've been in the design space for about two years, but have always loved to create for as long as I can remember.
What's your favorite gift you've ever received or given?
Any journal I’ve received in my life has always been used from cover to cover. I'm always scribbling something down, doodling, or documenting things, so anyone who knows me well usually gets me a journal. :)
What are your favorite holiday traditions?
I'm a huge foodie, so any favorite holiday tradition revolves around food. The first thing that comes to mind is New Year’s Eve complete with osechi and toshikoshi soba while watching “Kohaku,” a New Year’s Eve special shown by Japanese public broadcaster NHK that showcases artists going all out in their performances.
What are your favorite pieces of your work that you’ve seen?
Any Seattleite who is in the Etsy community knows about Hemleva, an Etsy brand that showcases succulent and plant pins and keychains. They're really lovely. I'm also a fan of Justine Gilbuena's pins too -- she showcases many aspects of her Filipino heritage through her work.
Where can people find your work? (Physical location or website)
What are your social media handles (IG or Twitter)?