Emily’s very own Totoro portrait & letter from America, (plus giveaway).
Emily’s chosen something for her own ‘blank wall’.
When Emily watched the 1988 Japanese anime film, ‘My Neighbour Totoro’ earlier this year she was instantly hooked. She loves the story, the characters, the animation…Everything! She is Totoro mad. She has the Totoro book, the Totoro DVD, the Totoro keyring, the Totoro soft toys….Get the picture? So when I showed her the wonderfully original Totoro portrait by Mike Matola, one of the artists on my ‘Wall art wish list’ for my blank living room wall, (see my earlier post here), she loved it. So much so, she even dusted off her money box (Shock! Horror!), and put her money where her mouth is, asking me to order it from Mike’s Etsy store, LineByLinePosters (here).
Why LineByLine Posters?
As I explained when I featured Mike’s work in my ‘Wall art wish list’ post, Mike’s hand-drawn line-by-line portraits are striking and wonderfully original. They involve creating portraits using the written word. The process is time-consuming as he painstakingly writes every word, moving line by line down the page and decreasing the space between the letters until the portraits take shape. The words he uses always relate to the subject. For example, his portrait of the Beatle, George Harrison, is made using hand-written lyrics from his songs. It took him over 80 hours of writing and craftsmanship to create. In my opinion, this labour-intensive process is time well spent because final portraits are stunning.
What’s so special about Mike’s Totoro portrait?
For fans of Studio Ghibli’s animated film ‘My Neighbour Totoro’, the subject matter alone makes the Totoro portrait ‘special’. However, that’s not why this is one of Mike’s favourite and most challenging projects. For a start, it took him 6 months (on and off) to create. Why? Mike decided he needed even more of a challenge and constructed Totoro’s portrait using words from the screenplay. Fair enough, you might think, but why did it take him so much longer to create than his other portraits?
Simple: he used the words from the original screenplay…In Japanese!
Special delivery for Emily Taylor.
When I featured Mike’s work in my blog post, I shared the link with him and he was delighted to be among the artists whose work I had on my Wall art wish list. So when Emily wanted me to place an order for her beloved Totoro portrait, I asked if he would be kind enough to sign it for her. He was only too happy too oblige. Mike is based in LA so there was much anticipation in the Taylor household as we ‘counted sleeps’ until the arrival of the Special Delivery.
Emily told all of her friends and had already pre-booked a’ show-and-tell’ at school from what I could gather.
So when daddy brought a poster tube home with a US postmark we knew the wait was finally over…Except, it wasn’t because Emily was already fast asleep. So I did the honours and had a peek…Unbeknownst to Mike, when he had rolled the print and put it in the tube, the ink wasn’t quite dry and his signature smudged.
The next morning, I told an excited Emily her Totoro portrait had arrived and explained about the smudge. I knew she was a bit disappointed but she offered her usual ‘Doesn’t mind, mummy’ (sic). She was still absolutely delighted with it and the blue LineByLine Print would coordinate perfectly in her blue bedroom.
I sent Mike a thank you tweet and did mention the smudge, but stressed that Emily stilll absolutely loved her Totoro poster (which she did!).
I didn’t give it any more thought, until a week later Daddy came home with another poster tube for Emily…
It contained another signed print of Totoro from Mike….
And a note…
We love you, Mike!
Mike, thank you so much. Emily was absolutely speechless when she saw you’d sent her another signed Totoro poster…And she loved the Post-it note message too (Although I suspect she’s probably wondering whether she should send the disgraced pen a food parcel or something or ask for it to be forgiven for its transgressions). Suffice it to say, the Post-it note from you is almost as precious to her as the signed portrait.
Win a signed copy of Mike Matola’s Totoro poster!
Yes! It’s true! I’m delighted to announce that Mike is offering one of my readers the chance to win a signed (or unsigned if you prefer) Totoro print (unframed).
How awesome is that? For your chance to win this wonderful work of art, follow the Rafflecopter instructions below. Good luck!
Competition terms and conditions:
1. There is one Totoro print (signed on request) available for one winner.
2. This prize draw will be drawn at random, and is open to entrants aged 18 or over residing in destinations Mike’s Etsy shop ships to (Worldwide with some exclusions).
3. Up to 4 entries per person. All are compulsory methods of entry.
4. Maflingo.com retains the right to change the competition if necessary.
5. The prize is not transferable and there is no cash alternative.
6. If the winners do not contact me within one week, I will redraw another winner at random.
7. Entries must be received by 11.59 pm on 27th July 2016.
8. The winners will be chosen at random and notified by email on 28th July 2016.
Check out Mike’s artwork!
Don’t forget to visit Mike’s Etsy shop, LineByLinePosters: Here
Or you can find him and his portfolio of other work at: http://www.mikematola.com/
Or on Twitter: @MikeMatola
A little message from me!
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