Completed mini albums

I am a huge fan of Tom and Lorenzo’s Mad Style series, in which they analyze the costuming on Mad Men (i.e. the most depressing series on American television right now. Oh God, the latest episode was wrenching). One of the things they focus on is the interplay between characters’ clothing and their environment, such as the way Trudy Campbell often literally blended into the decor of her apartment. I know real life is obviously very different from a TV drama with meticulous art direction, but Tom and Lorenzo’s posts have started to influence the way I think about clothing and my own surroundings. The other day, I realized that my closet and our apartment seem to come from two different universes. My home is bursting with color (I like to say that our color scheme is rainbow), but I’m always dressed in grey, black and navy. Maybe that means when I’m out and about, I like the safety of being camouflaged in Taipei’s asphalt and concrete, but when I’m home, I feel comfortable expressing a different side of myself. To varying extents, everyone experiences a dichotomy between their public and private selves, and mine manifests itself through color.
I’ve been thinking about color theory for the past couple of days because I recently attended a mini-album workshop by Japanese artist papakaori at VVG Something (好樣本事). I’ve admired papakaori’s creations for a while, but I nearly passed up the opportunity to take her class because I was feeling very tired on Saturday morning. I decided to go at the last minute and I am so happy I did. Just sitting amid her handmade journals, collages and crochet items filled me with energy, in part because she is a genius with color. It was like spending the afternoon in a rainbow.

Papakaori's handmade items 

Tag album of a trip to Paris 

papakaori is known for her creative journals and handmade books. I just purchased a pack of manila tags to practice paper crafting techniques on, but I think I may use them to make a small scrapbook instead, like papakaori did with ephemera she picked up during a trip to Paris.

Papakaori's Taipei journal
I really loved this journal, which featured photos of Taipei.

Mini album examples

During the workshop, we learned how to make tiny accordion journals covered in fabric. I’m planning to fill mine with photos of my cat.

Materials for my mini album
Papakaori workshop details 

Some of Papakaori's mini albums for sale at VVG Something

VVG Something's menu for the Papakaori workshop

The class was NT$880 including the cost of all materials and a snack. By snack, I assumed VVG Something meant dessert and drinks, but they served us a delicious meal prepared by VVG Bistro. They even made a tiny menu complete with drawings by papakaori and told us how to prepare each dish at home.

 Papakaori workshop food 
We ate frozen watermelon with mint and lemon juice, poached egg in broth with rice cake, green tea served with candied orange peel and raspberry granita topped with mint and lychee.

Since my awesome workshop experience, I’ve decided to start learning more about color theory. In college, I wrote a paper about Christine Ladd-Franklin’s theory of color vision for a psychology class. I have almost zero recollection of what was in it, but I do remember what a crazy trip reading all the debates about the perception of color was for my 19-year-old brain. The whole thing is really a debate about what is physically real. It’s both confusing and exhilarating to consider.

Anyway, that is my long-winded way of saying that a) papakaori is awesome, b) keep an eye on VVG Something’s blog for workshops and signings because you will not be disappointed and c) I need to stop wearing so much black.