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
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ohhh, I think I’d love to see a picture from Howl’s Moving Castle given the treatment, so cool!
I haven’t seen it, Jennifer. Is it Studio Ghibli?
To continue the Studio Ghibli theme, my daughter would love a Kiki’s Delivery Service one.
Sadly lowering the tone, my son would think a Lego Movie one would be awesome (!), though I think the artist might go a bit crazy writing out those lines ?
Ha! Re the Lego movie…I can picture poor Mike having to write ‘Everything is Awesome’ thousands of times. I happen to know that Kiki’s delivery service is Mike’s fave Studio Ghibli (I haven’t seen it)…I know this because I’ve interviewed him for an exciting future post!
I would love to see the Tree of Gondor given the treatment
Oh my goodness I don’t know what picture I would love to see given the treatment, all I do know is that I would love one for his pictures for my very blank walls. It would be cherished and we would take great care of it. What a lovely man to send you another one 🙂
He really is lovely. Emma. All of his LineByLine pictures are amazing. Let’s hope you win!
What an incredible artist! I’d love to see The Princess and the Frog given the treatment.
I’m so glad you think so, Kirsteen. I think he is so talented and original.
I have a weak spot for anything Bambi, It’s was the nickname I gave to my old cat & when he passed away suddenly I couldn’t stop myself from buying anything I saw with bambi on as it made me think of him.
There are so many subjects that deserve the Mike Matola treatment. Thanks for your comment, Samantha.
Disney’s Alice In Wonderland for me.
A hobbit home 🙂
What a lovely man – lucky Emily
The lion the witch and the wardrobe
What a beautiful poster. I’m amazed by the skill put into making such a piece. No wonder Emily is thrilled, I know I’d be if I received artwork of that quality! Thank you for linking up to #fortheloveofBLOG!
It really is so intricate. Thanks for stopping by, Sarah, and for your lovely comment.
What an amazing artist, I love the poster Emily chose – it’s so cute! I also love Mike’s style and it reminds me of a picture we had done of the family made from lots of tiny pictures from my photo album. Great giveaway too, I’m just about to enter 🙂 xx #fortheloveofBLOG
Thanks Bridie! Good luck!
Oh, how lovely! We are big Totoro fans in our house – it’s our favourite Studio Ghibli film. What a fabulous print – and how lovely of Mike to send another! (Bad times for the pen though!) #fortheloveofBLOG
Wow! I’d like to see some more Studio Ghibli! Maybe Laputa? Fingers crossed 🙂
Good luck, Frank!
I’d love to see Pikachu!
The Princess and the Frog
I’d love to see him do a Labyrinth one 🙂
I’d love to see Mike giving the line by line treatment to Stephen Gerrard along with the words from the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. He’s my 10 year old son’s hero. He’s broken his arm quite badly last Tuesday so he’s in need of some cheering up. This would be an awesome gift for him and would bring a smile to his face.
This picture is amazing. My daughter loved My Neighbour Totoro and still has a small Totoro toy that she got years ago. In terms of other subjects to be given the line by line treatment, I think David Bowie would be good as he has a recognisable image and lots of great words.
I’d love to Alice from Alice in Wonderland, for my own little Alice in Wonderland (she’s 6)
i’m a mother now but can’t stop being crazy of having a totoro sticker haha
i have a list of Ghibli’s songs and i play it everyday, luckily my kids love them too.
You are never, ever to old for Totoro, Carol! Thanks so much for stopping by!
Mike’s artwork is amazing. Your daughter is so pretty. It’s the end of August now but I wonder if there is any giveaway more. Really love this.
Aww I’m just speechless looking at the artwork. So amazing. Really wish another give away 🙁