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“Big Guns & Pink Bubble Gum”

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Before Anime hit mainstream… Before I became a Photographer… I was once long ago a Manga / Anime Artist. (Among many things)

In fact, it was a childhood dream of mine to become a Manga Artist, so I actually went to school as a Cartoon Major at the School of Visual Arts in New York.   At the time I was considered rather “different” since most of my peers were focused on drawing spandex super heroes while I drew anime girls with big guns and pink bubble gum.

However… I remember struggling… struggling for acceptance while simultaneously trying to be different.

Being an American born Japanese Artist, I remember there were times where I seemed “Foreign” in the eyes of both the Americans and the Japanese. Of course, there was a lot of prejudice not only towards my culture… but towards my artwork as well.

“Why is it that you draw people with outrageously disproportionate eyes with pink colored hair?” was the common question.

It was rather funny to me at the time since Anime & Manga’s roots came from the great Osamu Tezuka (best known for “Astro Boy”) and his influences came from America’s own… Disney!  Oh the irony! Those big eyes that Donald Duck had went to Japan and back!

I eventually struggled some more however… I was tired of being “labeled” so I finally developed a Cross-Cultural breed style of drawing tag naming  myself “Moon”.  The style was inspired heavily by a mixture of Anime, Graffiti, the Comic Tin Tin, and the classic Art Deco style of Alphonse Mucha.

Most of my 1990′s to the early 2000′s I continued with this style, while having an alternate persona named “FrizzyCube”.  FrizzyCube was originally an AOL screenname I made for shits and giggles… but eventually became my tag name for the Anime style I started out with. I guess in some ways… my love for this type of art could never leave me.

Professionally… I was torn between the two styles. I loved them both but was a struggle and a half to maintaining them simultaneously.

So what happened to that career? What happened to those two styles?

Well… I got involved in a start-up company (which I will leave nameless)… leading the creative department…  investing “all” my artwork & designs; my everything.  To me it was my biggest
chance of making it out there again…  the way I want it, whenever I want it.

Despite the positive results in publishing some books and such… alas… not only was I taken for granted but my work was legally taken advantage… eventually forcing me to leave the company with empty hands.

I felt robbed of my dreams… the blood sweat and tears that went in to it… all gone… in an instant.  Those empty hands could no longer hold a pen.

But little did I realize later… those hands were not entirely empty. So long as I had my creativity, and the ability to make things happen…
it didn’t have to be a pen to create characters… emotions… or stories. I had my Camera.

Ironically… my first camera was a borrowed one from the start-up company itself when I was shooting product shots.  That eventually lead to shooting people of course…

And so… FrizzyCube lives today… perhaps not with those Big googly anime eyes but being “Animated” with ideas and dreams. Hells to the F*cking YEAH!!!

The moral of the story… never hand over your dreams to anybody or else the dream is not yours anymore. And the other moral of the story… there’s always a second chance; just never stop believing in yourself!