Hey Kessy is all about forming and nurturing a community of makers in the Philippines. With this in mind, we decided to give you quick doses of creative inspiration by introducing talented crafters and artists. This week, we chatted with washi tape artist extraordinaire Ge Mapa who shared how she got into making washi tape art pieces!
HK: How did you discover arts and crafts as a child?
GM: My dad was an artist. He was an art director in an ad agency, so I grew up having art materials around the house. Most of my siblings were artists too! I drew a lot when I was a kid. I remember drawing Pac-Man and Nancy (the newspaper comic strip character) and give them to my classmates in school. I wasn’t much into crafts. I was more of an illustrator back then.
HK: These days, what’s your favorite medium or art equipment and why?
GM: Washi tape, of course! But I also love embroidery.
HK: How did you discover washi tape? How did it evolve to making those unique works of art?
GM: I think the first time I used it was to decorate some DIY gift wrapper. As an artwork, I was invited to join a group exhibit back in 2013. I was supposed to do some embroidery art, but I didn’t have enough time to do it because I had a day job back then. So I thought of an alternative medium. Since I had lots of washi tape, I thought I’d give it a try since nobody had done it before anyway. I made Twiggy, Warhol, and Garovs, and they all came out nice.
HK: How many washi tape exhibits have you had and what are they?
GM: To date, I’ve done two group exhibits: Bloom Arts Festival in 2013 and You Are Here in 2015 featuring the Lichtenstein series. As for solo exhibits, I’ve done the Wes Anderson Tribute, Mixtape: Pinoy Pop Icons, and Whisper of The Heart: Tribute to Hayao Miyazaki. I’m currently finishing my artwork for Booklat, a fundraiser exhibit [for the Young Focus Library]. I’m doing Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat.
HK: Do you have a particular washi tape artwork favorite?
GM: The Steve Zissou because it landed me a page in Time Magazine’s July 2014 issue. [FYI: This was Bill Murray’s character in the Wes Anderson movie, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.] But I also love the “Girl with a Blue Ribbon” from Roy Lichtenstein and the Studio Ghibli stuff.
HK: Where do you draw inspiration for your art?
GM: They’re mostly characters from movies or musicians that I like and other pop culture references.
HK: Do you have a favorite Hey Kessy shop item?
GM: Washi tapes!!! I like the quality and designs of their tapes, and the reasonable price.
HK: What advice can you give other artists and crafters, both budding and longtime ones?
GM: Just keep creating. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different mediums. Keep innovating.
PS: Comment below to let know who you’d like us to interview next.
Photos courtesy of Ge Mapa