Kawaii Fast-food Collection and the Foxy & Trash Panda Collection
Dewy Venerius (alumna Fine Art in Education): ‘As a visual graduation project, I developed two product collections with illustrations, in which I got my inspiration from Japanese popular visual culture. Food is the central theme in these collections. The Kawaii Fast-food Collection consists of drawings, and products made from junk food and deserts, which were inspired by the Kawaii culture from Japan. Everything within this subculture revolves around immaturity and girls escape into a cute, childlike world. The Foxy & Trash Panda series portrays the friendship of Foxy and Trash Panda, who explore the world together. They find various abandoned vehicles at deserted locations, which they convert into snack bars, food trucks and food stalls.
During the graduation exhibition at the Breitner Academy, I presented both a shop, in which products like key rings, bags, picture postcards and badges from both collections were for sale, and a spatial layout, in which life-size figures attached to wood were arranged. These cut-outs formed a powerful image and were also a nice photo opportunity due to the theatrical arrangement with spotlights.
The large figures I made play an important role for me in the practice of illustrator and product designer. After graduating, I started my own company and I am going to offer my products at various (Japanese) markets, fairs and events. The images from the spatial layout serve as a form of promotion for me during these events, while at the same time being an attraction for the visitors who can be photographed with them. Both my products and the large images will contribute to the subculture of the young people who find so much enjoyment in these types of conventions.’
Dewy's product website
From the jury report of the Graduation Prize: 'With the Kawaii Fast-food Collection and the Foxy & Trash Panda Collection, Dewy Venerius created an impressive number of designs, which were exceptionally well worked-out and were also actually put into production. She shows herself to be a good entrepreneur, who has developed a product line with Japanese visual culture as a clear source of inspiration, which will not only appeal to the aficionado, but also to a wider audience. Both collections exude the creator’s enormous enthusiasm and will undoubtedly reach a wide audience.'
Sam Hijdra, decoration team manga convention: ‘The beautiful artworks of Dewy are not only cute and nice to look at, but they also tell a story. A story about discovering the world, about friendship, about ‘being different’. Subjects which the average manga convention visitor can relate to. Through her work, Dewy shows that it’s OK to want to escape reality now and again. She also shows that you don’t have to be ashamed of creativity, of ‘being different than the rest’.
From an educational perspective, I not only see this as a boost that she gives to her customers, but also as something which she can impart on her students as a teacher. Creativity is a beautiful way to learn how to deal with things that we face in our daily life and from a cultural-historical perspective, there is no better medium for emphasising this, in my opinion, than manga art.’
Milo Rottinghuis, illustrator: ‘The quality of Dewy’s work is high. Dewy can draw well and has a lot of imagination. I see a totally ‘personal’ visual world emerging. This stands out even more, because she has chosen a unique direction for her work and persevered with this while at the Breitner Academy. Dewy is creating her own ‘market’ by materialising her inspiration and carefully considering where she can go with her work (both as an artist and teacher). That is a testament to her strength, in my opinion, and gives the impression of somebody who can go a long way and play an important role in her field, as well as being able to interest people with surprisingly good art.'