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A picture of Hiné Mizushima

Hiné Mizushima

Felt sculptor, animator

in animator, artist, mac

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Hiné [hee-neh] Mizushima, and I am a super-slow crafter who currently lives in Vancouver, Canada with my family. I was born and raised in Japan, and I majored in Japanese traditional paintings at my art university in Tokyo.

My main work is felt sculpture (needle-felting). I like to make squids octopi, bugs, microbes, mushrooms and dolls, etc. I also make stop-motion animation music videos (mostly for They Might Be Giants, dioramas and miniature collages using my felt sculptures. My work has been exhibited in galleries in many cities, and published in books, magazines and on DVDs as well. I sell my felt creations and prints on my Etsy shop, and I also have a Society6 art print & goods shop.

What hardware do you use?

I just realized that I don't use much hardware, because my work is mostly handmade!

I use an iMac (27-inch), iPad, iPhone 5s, and of course, a Super Low-Tech Apple Watch! I use my iPhone as a camera, instead of a phone. Also, I often use my Nikon DSLR and Coolpix digital camera, but they're old and not great quality any more. I need a new one!

I have a Canon printer for printing my prints and stuff for my shop, and I also have a "3D Printer" like this. I recently bought a new Canon scanner, but I actually don't use it much. I also got a Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch last year, but it's been sleeping on my book shelf for a long time...

For crafting, I use these tools. I also use sketchbooks and pencils for writing/drawing my ideas, directly from my brain.

I got a Kindle last year as a gift. Now I finally can buy and read Japanese books anytime via Kindle (there's no Japanese book store in Vancouver). That's so wonderful!

And what software?

I use Adobe Photoshop almost everyday for fixing up photographs of my work, but I'm totally at beginner level. Sometimes I use Illustrator too, for making illustrations, miniature props, and my shop cards, tags, stickers, etc.

When I work on stop-motion music videos, I use Final Cut Express (yes, it's very very old..).

I love Instagram, Flickr and iPhoto. I use them everyday.

What would be your dream setup?

I love my home studio but it's tiny, so I want a bigger one. I wish I could have a second big desk there, exclusively for photographing and cutting papers & fabrics.

I really want to get a Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine now. It might be very useful for my craft work. In the future, I want to own a laser cutting machine, too.

I also need a new a DSLR camera (hopefully a Nikon D5300) and a Horizontal Camera Mount, as well as a better tripod, especially for miniature collage work.

And I wish I had more arms, like an octopus, so I could work faster!