Category: Inspirations

Inspiration: Hello Kitty Artist Collaborations

It’s easy to get Hello Kitty fatigue, since she’s been available on every imaginable product for a long time now. (And that’s a lot of pink.) But I’ve been happy to see Sanrio let Kitty out to play with various artists over the years, and the results often make the character come to life in a new way.

Like my new favorite shirt!


The design is by the Japanese duo marini*monteany, and the shirt is part of a new Hello Kitty artist series from UNIQLO. (Unfortunately only available in NYC in the US.)

When an artist takes on Kitty and recontextualizes her in their world, I fall in love with her all over again, and often with the artist for the first time. Another example that I’m crazy about is the Wish Come True x Hello Kitty series of figures and accessories, from Miami-based art/design team Friends With You.


(It’s not a surprise that all of these are sold out from the Friends With You website, but I bet they can be hunted down elsewhere.)

It makes me happy that these artists help keep Hello Kitty fresh and iconic at the same time. She still inspires me, and so do these playful and imaginative artists!

Inspiration: It’s a Small World, in 1964

Sometimes people ask me what inspires my Mochimochi world, and although so many things do, sometimes I have trouble recalling them when put on the spot. So I thought it would be fun to start blogging my inspirations every once in a while as a good way to celebrate my favorite things and maybe inspire others too!

Slate recently ran an article about Robert Sherman, a composer for Disney who passed away earlier this month and who was partly responsible for “It’s a Small World (After All),” the much loved (but maybe more hated) song that never ends. The article contained a Youtube video of the original It’s a Small World ride, which debuted at the 1964 World’s Fair in NYC, then was later moved to Disneyland.

I started watching because I remembered loving the ride at Disneyworld when I was five or so (in the mid-’80s), and because I had a moment to kill. I pretty much fell in love all over again.

I can’t help fantasizing about being the person who got to plan out the landscape of this ride, with the objective of recreating the world as hundreds of children singing and dancing in perfect harmony and in respective national costumes. Oh the awesome nightmares I would probably have! The animatronics astound me, especially the way that entire scenes of characters each make multiple subtle movements in rhythm. It’s all so epic and analog and mid-century World’s Fair. And very Disney, of course.

The ride’s Wikipedia entry says that Mary Blair basically had that job of designing the original It’s a Small World. I should have guessed! You can see some of her artwork at Magic of Mary Blair. She is a huge inspiration.

You can also find clips of the ride in its current form on Youtube—it’s interesting to see how much has been kept from the original, but the newer ride also clearly features fewer moving parts, which I’m sure helps with maintenance costs, but which also makes it lose a little of the magic. Still, It’s a Small World will again be a must-ride for me the next time I find myself at a Disney theme park.


Oh, and if the song is stuck in your head for the rest of the week, my apologies!