#KAWAIIindaHood got its start with after school programs at Sasha Bruce’s Randall Community Center in the SW quadrant of Washington, DC. The classes were small and intimate, with guest visits from native textile artist, Decoy and manga artist, Nikkon. For three months, January to March, we met with Jefferson Junior High School students every Wednesday. The program’s goal was to teach participants about Japanese culture through arts and crafts. Most of the students who chose to take part already knew about kawaii and wanted to know more, so we thought it would be best to teach the program through a kawaii filter. This way, we would be able to introduce and promote kawaii culture specifically, using some of the lifestyles positive aspects to nurture students’ creativity and how to join it into their everyday lives.
Be cute. Be daring & different. Be Edgy. Be YOU!
Though what would be taught in the class was completely up to the participants and their interests, we still had a basic class structure which included a cultural conversation part and class dismissal with Japanese snacks.
Simple Arts & Crafts
In an orientation class, we talked about the students’ arts and crafts/ creative interests. Since the class was 100% girls there were naturally girly answers. Everyone wanted to make headbands, cut up t-shirts, and cute bracelets.
We started with easy D.I.Y. kits from Target to gauge interest
students styling each other with I.P. Brand Ink & Art T-shirts
Young fashionistas in the making?! ^^
Students took initiative with leftover crafting goods and some free time to do their phone cases ^^
Everyone was inquisitive about how to personalise fabric for creating bows, leggings, and other things that we see in branding. We talked about the design and screen-printing process over creating our own fabrics by hand.
Decoy getting busy and talking textiles with the girls <3
We will take these and create bows inspired by Chubby Bunny.
Chubby Bunny-inspired Bows
Money, money, money~
“When I can afford to travel I want to spend cheap and smart!”
During this class season, participants were really interested in currency – the art on Japanese yen, monetary amounts, and currency exchange rates. WOW! They were so brilliant for wanting to know these things.
a student’s “wish bow”
her wish is to go to Japan some day so she included yen as her goal reminder
Decoy blasted “Just got home from Kawaii class!“
It’s a pleasure when our guests have as much fun as the participants.
Try Something New!
We ended every class by exploring traditional Japanese snacks, courtesy of Skoshbox. This encouraged students to expand their taste palette (even for snacks) past our known American brands.