Interview with Mascot design winner Leah Kramer and introduction of Matsuri 2017 goods!

Interviewer: Howard Chen

The Mascot Competition for Matsuri Japan Festival received a variety of impressive, high-calibre applications. Although it was immensely difficult in choosing the winner from the designs, we decided that the 2017 mascot for Matsuri Japan Festival would be Shima-chan. After reaching out to the winner, Leah Kramer (2wintails), for an interview, we asked her a variety of questions. In this interview, she shares her inspiration for her design, and thoughts on the competition and matsuri.

Related post: Meet Shima-chan!

1. Why did you apply for our festival’s Mascot Design Competition?

I saw the competition on Facebook and was excited because it was an opportunity to draw something cute.

2. How did you come up with design of ‘Shima-chan’?

I thought about the theme of “Taiken – Experience”, and tried to come up with something that would incorporate the experiences that you’d have at a festival. Wearing a happi coat and hachimaki are both things that definitely get you into the “matsuri” mood. Other than that, shiba inu have become very popular and well-loved dogs in Australia and on the internet in recent years, so I thought a shiba character would be easily relatable and recognisable for lots of people. I wanted to use a round, soft-looking shape for maximum cuteness! It had to be something that would make people want to approach it and give it a big hug!

3. How much time did you spend on designing ‘Shima-chan’?

I thought about the design for about 2 days, and drew it in one day.

4. What kind of design activities have you been doing so far?

I’ve been drawing for about 9 years, but I also like to sculpt and handcraft things. Anime and manga fan art is my main inspiration.

5. Have you ever participated in Matsuri festival?

This year was the first time I’d heard of Matsuri in Sydney, but I’ve been to matsuri held in Japan before. I’m looking forward to this year’s Matsuri in Sydney.

6. What kind of things do you like about the Matsuri festival?

It’s a fun place to meet up with friends and relax. I also like the festival foods, like takoyaki and yakisoba.

7. Could you please tell us what ‘festivals’ mean to you?

Festivals are when everyone comes together to celebrate and enjoy food and culture with friends.

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Matsuri 2017 goods

You will find a lovely Shima-chan everywhere at this year’s Matsuri Japan Festival. Here are some of goods for you and your friend!

Official t-shirt for Matsuri 2017

Official Uchiwa (fan) to avoid hotness

Product designer: Shizuka Akiyoshi from Mathilda Tours & Design
Insta: mathilda_td

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