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Crazy About Kawaii!

23 August 2018

Everyone loves cute and cuddly things. We love puppies, kittens and anything fluffy! But the beauty of Kawaii is that it not only highlights the cuteness in the world, it can also make almost anything cute! As Merriam-Webster explains, Kawaii is about more than just cuteness. It is about giving plants, animals or objects some personality. Even mundane things, like coffee cups! The possibilities are endless.

What is Kawaii? 

Kawaii is a Japanese word meaning ‘cute’. Kawaii art is often cartoon-style and usually includes characters with limited facial features (big eyes, small mouth, red cheeks), is graphically simple and usually decorated in soft, pastel colours. These features suggest a child-like innocence, which is why some people believe that we are drawn to Kawaii artwork because we feel the need to protect these sweet creatures, much like we are drawn to love and protect baby animals. 

Where did Kawaii come from?

It is thought that Kawaii came out of a youth movement in Japan that started as a ‘cute’ style of handwriting, often practised by teenage girls, that included hearts, stars and cartoon faces. This art-style started as a national trend and became a global phenomenon, seeing the creation of TV shows, movies, brands, merchandise and more.

Scholars suggest that this movement came about as a reaction to the rigidity of Japanese society after the Second World War, as it exudes a sense of youth and playfulness.

Interestingly, the Japanese government have since embraced the Kawaii way of life too, with different departments choosing their own cute Kawaii mascot!

Kawaii it for yourself!

Kawaii-style artwork is easy to learn to do, and you’ll love creating heaps of cute characters! Anything can be made into Kawaii, you just need give them a cute face to convey their personality. Give your characters big eyes, red cheeks and a happy or cheeky smile. You can even add fun accessories, like a cute hat or a bow tie! The possibilities really are endless so let your imagination go wild!

Hinkler’s newest activity set, the Kawaii 5-pencil and Eraser Set, is filled with heaps of learn-to-draw activities for kids! You can learn to draw your own Kawaii mascot, as well as complete heaps of other fun Kawaii activities.

For instance, everyone loves plants! They look great and they help create the oxygen that we breathe! Why not take this Kawaii drawing tutorial and ‘Kawaii-efy’ this prickly character to bring some cute to the plant world?

How to Draw a Kawaii CactusNow that you’ve created your own cute cactus, why not keep the fun going and try your hand at more Kawaii creations? You can make anything into a cute Kawaii character!